quaternions and math

I’m implementing (or trying) an animation system for my models, but i’m beginning to lose my nerves and going to move to easier format (found a tutorial for ms3d).
While I was trying to implement the animation, I just used vectors and matrices, and i got close, but it didn’t work on every model (dont ask).
So, I have heard talking about quaternions (couldn’t even find that in finnish from a translation book), what are they?
And how are they used in animation techniques?

Secondly I would like to ask you, what kind of teching you have in other countries when talking about math? I mean, many peoples have said that they have learned matrix math in comprehensive school, when here in finland we are in the very basics of math.
That is annoying. I would like to learn those things now, but self studying is very difficult.

Don’t be scared of the math it is really not that hard.
I had some matrix stuff in school, forgot all and had to learn it again.
There are lots of tutorials on basic matrix/vector stuff just google your way through the net.
And you don’t have to care to much about localization of the math stuff (I know that it is sometimes not easy to find the math terms in your local language, but you just want to use the formulas so who cares?).
And for some info about matrices/quarternions in computer graphics try this link:


Thaks about that link, but I’m too lazy to read that one on my holiday, I could as well stab myself to death.
Secondly, I don’t understand a crap about it.
I thinks I’m going to go and borrow a math book in finnish. I do understand english, but i can’t say it wouldn’t be a pain in the ass when I should learn something.

That is actually a good link, in the end it was the formulas/algorithms from that link that got me what I wanted. I would suggest trying to understand what a quaternion is before you try implement stuff. I did it the other way around, I implemented at least 12 algorithms without understanding it, needless to say I didn’t get the rotational result I wanted. After about the 40th hour working with quaternions I actually understood what they were and how to use them–yes call me stupid it actually took about 40 hours. Then I used that link and hand picked the algorithm s I needed and combined it with some quaternion multiplication and finally got what I wanted.

Was it worth the time? Yes. I couldn’t see doing my model and camera rotations without them. And from what I’ve heard about animation its pretty much a necessity to use quaternions.