BRender Technical Reference Manual:3 Functions (Structured Reference):Miscellaneous
Input Device Support


Input Device Support

BRender has little support for 3D specific input devices, however, the following function may be useful in simulating a 3D input device using a 2D input device such as a mouse.


This function generates a matrix which provides an intuitive way of controlling the rotation of 3D objects with a mouse or other 2D pointing device. The mouse may be thought of as controlling a horizontal flat surface resting on top of a fixed sphere. As the surface is moved in any direction (but not rotated), so the sphere will rotate.

void BrMatrix34RollingBall(br_matrix34* mat, int dx, int dy, int radius)

br_matrix34 * mat

A pointer to the destination matrix.

int dx,dy

The amount the `top surface' has moved in each direction.

int radius

The radius of the imaginary ball.

This function calculates the tangent vector (dx,dy) to the sphere of radius radius. in 3D, and uses this to determine the axis of rotation normal to this tangent at the centre of the sphere, and the angle subtended by the tangent vector. From this, a transform matrix is created, describing the rotation.

The function is expected to be used with frequent samples of movements made with the 2D manipulator, i.e. a movement of 10cm in one go will produce a smaller rotation (no greater than 180xb0 ) whereas the same movement sampled at 100 intervals will cumulatively produce a larger rotation (possibly several revolutions). This is unlikely to be a problem in practice.

Note that using the 2D manipulator to describe small circles can rotate the 3D object about its vertical axis.

int mouse_x,mouse_y;
br_matrix34 mat;
See Also:
The book Graphics Gems III, edited by David Kirk, ISBN 0-12-409670-0, Ch.2, Pt.3, `The Rolling Ball', Andrew J. Hanson, p51.

Generated with
CERN WebMaker