For a small project I’m trying to draw a simple 3d graph. After reading a big chunk of the redbook and online tutorials I gathered the proper way to do this is glOrtho.

To get the view I want, I do this in code:

```
glRotatef(-45, 1, 0, 0);
glRotatef(135, 0, 0, 1);
glOrtho(GetHorizontalMin(), GetHorizontalMax(), GetVerticalMin(), GetVerticalMax(), -GetDepthMin(), -GetDepthMax());
```

Where the min/max functions are min/max values in each dimension of the data to be graphed (more simply: GetHorizontalMin stores the smallest x value of all the points, GetDepthMax stores the greatest z value of all the points, etc.). I figure this way when I get to plotting points I can just do glVertex3f(point.x, point.y, point.z) and count on the point showing up in the right place.

…but things don’t appear to be so simple! First, is it a bad idea for me to call glRotatef on the projection matrix? I’m not 100% confident I know what glRotate is doing – does it move the clipping planes that glOrtho sets up so that I’ll need to put my points in a different place for them to show up?

I found this site that seems to think calling anything other than glOrtho, gluPerpsective, etc. is a bad idea and I’m not sure if what I’m doing is a similar abuse:

http://sjbaker.org/steve/omniv/projection_abuse.html

Second, I’m not sure why, but I had to do negative DepthMax/Min in order to get anything to show up! If I pass them both positive, everything disappears. DepthMin is always greater than 0, DepthMax is alwas less than 100, and DepthMax is always greater than DepthMin.

Lastly, this is the code I’m using to draw the axes right now:

```
glColor4ub(0, 0, 255, 255);
glLineWidth(1.0);
glBegin(GL_LINES);
glVertex3f((GetHorizontalMin() + GetHorizontalMax()) / 2, (GetVerticalMin() + GetVerticalMax()) /2, (GetDepthMin() + GetDepthMax()) /2);
glVertex3f(GetHorizontalMax(), (GetVerticalMin() + GetVerticalMax()) /2, (GetDepthMin() + GetDepthMax()) /2);
glVertex3f((GetHorizontalMin() + GetHorizontalMax()) / 2, (GetVerticalMin() + GetVerticalMax()) /2, (GetDepthMin() + GetDepthMax()) /2);
glVertex3f((GetHorizontalMin() + GetHorizontalMax()) / 2, GetVerticalMax(), (GetDepthMin() + GetDepthMax()) /2);
glVertex3f((GetHorizontalMin() + GetHorizontalMax()) / 2, (GetVerticalMin() + GetVerticalMax()) /2, (GetDepthMin() + GetDepthMax()) /2);
glVertex3f((GetHorizontalMin() + GetHorizontalMax()) / 2, (GetVerticalMin() + GetVerticalMax()) /2, GetDepthMax());
glEnd();
```

I had to do it that way to get the axes to show up! Again, I’m not sure why. What the code is doing is drawing half an axis – from the midpoint to the end. If I try to draw a whole axis, i.e:

```
glVertex3f(GetHorizontalMin(), GetVerticalMin(), GetDepthMin()) // Draw x axis
glVertex3f(GetHorizontalMax(), GetVerticalMin(), GetDepthMin())
```

then it doesn’t show up!

Can someone explain my questions? I’ve read quite a bit about OpenGL but I think I must have some misconceptions about fundamentals.