Help! What math do I need to do 3D ?

Im really a 9th grader and I want to know what math is needed to do 3D? Recently I heard Linear Algebra. Well thanks for the time.

Vectors and Matrix.
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It’s linear Algebra.

It really depends on what you want to do in 3D. You may end up needing Vector Calculus and Abstract Algebra, but I doubt it.

Don’t let anyone scare you (i.e. abstract algebra ). you don’t need to know anything for a while if you’re a newbie. opengl has nifty functions that make newbie work real easy, and when you get advanced and want to make a body of water that obeys all the laws of physics and conserves volume etc. etc. you can learn vector math. the hardest part is practicing all the boring easy stuff until you can draw basic stuff really well. thats my problem anyway, i’m a newbie too. I don’t think you’ll find linear algebra (although vectors can be converted into matrices if you want to be tedious) very handy for a long long time.

basically you can learn a bunch of math devoting less time to openGL programming specifics and soon realize you don’t know how to apply all the stuff or you can learn how to do all the basics in OpenGL and then you can go about to learn the complicated math. also, after you know opengl its also easier to learn the math because while you read some crazy linear algebra book you can think of how its useful in programming and these relations help you learn better.

my advice is to get a compiler, if you don’t have one already, and get to practicing. I wish i would have started in the 9th grade (i’m in my first semester at LSU now (3rd month of OpenGL ).

thats my 2 cents anyway.

[This message has been edited by grady (edited 10-03-2000).]

Its nice to know i’m not the youngest on this group , being a 10th grader.
As previous posts up the page, only linear algebra and matrix would be needed but for the 3d graphics mainly OpenGl will take care of the mathematical formulas. I remember from my BASIC programming days there was a formula for 3D graphics as shown:
Whereas (x,y) would represent a 3d point on a 2d screen according to the virtual (x,y,z) coordinates, zoom and the screen center.
As i said, you shouldnt’ need to know that for OpenGL.

I too am a beginner at OpenGL, but I am a late starter…in my Junior year at LSU. My biggest annoyance is that I don’t seem to be catching on to this very quickly, and I don’t know anyone else who has a background in OpenGL programming or a great desire to learn it. Therefore, if you, grady, can help, please contact me at I believe I’ve run into many of the same stumbling blocks that others have, and I could learn a thing or two from someone else. Thanks!

Not to worry guys…OpenGL has all the basics for the manipulation of Objects already defined for you. ie. glScalef(x,y,z); glRotatef(angle,x,y,z); and glTranslatef(x,y,z); soo you don’t really need to know much as a starter although knowing Algebra is very beneficial. To do basic stuff you don’t need to know a lot. To help you guys out, you may want to download Nate Robbins Tutorials…I believe there is a link from the OpenGL Main Page but I could be wrong. In this tutorial Mr. Robbins shows how these various transformations can be used! Enjoy guys and I hope this helps you guys out. It helped me! Cheers…and Good Luck…