# uses of trigonometry in graphics programming

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### #1 heyoman1

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# uses of trigonometry in graphics programming

Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:46 PM

I need to write an essay for my math class on the uses of trigonometry in a career field. I decided to write about the use of trigonometry in graphics programming, since this is the field I'm interested in, and also because it incorporated a lot of other math subjects too.

I took an Honors Level Trigonometry class last year, and learned about different formulas, for example, a steadily decreasing rate of something, triangles, graph functions, identities, statistics, series, etc. Well, how is this used in the field of graphic programming? Most of this stuff seemed useless when I learned it, but I'm probably way off.

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## Replies To: uses of trigonometry in graphics programming

### #2 stayscrisp

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## Re: uses of trigonometry in graphics programming

Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:00 AM

Trigonometry is used a lot in game development, from calculating the distance/angle between two objects to calculating the appropriate trajectory after a collision.

If you want to be more graphics specific then it's used in lighting calculations to determine the amount of light using the cosine of the angle between the normal and the light direction. It is used in bump mapping when calculating the angles between the eye vector, normal and light direction. In fact the more I think about it the more I realise it's used everywhere!

You already mentioned one possible use in the steadily decreasing rate of something, this could be used in a lot of different ways.

### #3 anonymous26

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## Re: uses of trigonometry in graphics programming

Posted 29 November 2011 - 02:38 PM

You should also look into game physics and address how trigonometry overlaps between graphics and physics in games, addressing their similarities and differences in application. You could look into rigid-body physics, as well as animation physics. That'll be an interesting and inspiring thing to write up about.

### #4 macosxnerd101

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## Re: uses of trigonometry in graphics programming

Posted 29 November 2011 - 02:40 PM

I have a good tutorial on 2D Collisions that is relevant here.