Vector functions

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See also: Math functions


There are many specialized functions to deal with a 3D game world. Variables that hold 3D coordinates are of a data type called Vector3.

In a 2D world, coordinates can be represented with X and Y coordinates. In a 3D world, the coordinates are X, Y, and Z. Imagine a character standing up with their back to you. The Y-axis is lined up with their spine. If they hold up their right arm and point straight out to their right, that's lined up with the X-axis. And the direction of their gaze straight ahead is the Z axis.

Usually the easiest way to think about these axes is with degrees. So a point in space that was 45 degrees above the horizon might be represented with coordinates of (0, 45, 1). Though we should use floating point values for these numbers: (0.0, 45.0, 1.0). Instead of (X, Y, Z), another way of referring to these values is: (PolarAngle, Azimuth, Distance).

HeroScript, however, doesn't deal with degrees. It deals with vectors, which are normalized to a value of 1. It's beyond the scope of this database to go into the details of 3D vectors, but if you would like to learn more, it is recommended that you do some Google searches for online tutorials on 3D Graphics. For example, this page has some simple definitions:

To convert degrees into vector3 values, the simplest method is to use one of the appropriate exposed functions.

Related functions

Convert Spherical coordinates to a Vector3

This exposed function converts X, Y, Z coordinates to a vector3 value. Client Only

Spherical2XYZ(polarAngle as float, azimuth as float, distance as float) as vector3

Convert a Vector3 to spherical coordinates

This exposed function takes a vector and converts it to XYZ coordinates. Client Only

XYZ2Spherical(polarAngle references float, azimuth references float, distance references float, currentVector as vector3)

Obtain the length of a vector

This function returns the square root of x*x + y*y + z*z, which is the length of a vector

function VectorLength( v as vector3) as float

Note: this is the function that you use to get the distance between two points.

point1 as Vector3 = vc.character_position
point2 as Vector3 = targVC.character_position
dist as float = VectorLength(point1 - point2)

Vector Length Square

This function returns the value of x*x + y*y + z*z. It is a bit faster than the function which takes the square root.

function VectorLengthSq( v as vector3) as float

Obtain the dotproduct of two vectors

function DotProduct( v1 as vector3, v2 as vector3) as float

Obtain the crossproduct of two vectors

function CrossProduct( v1 as vector3, v2 as vector3) as vector3


These functions modify the vector valueIn so that its length (the sum of the squares of its components) becomes 1. They also scale the vector, and return the result in valueOut.

Both of these functions do the exact same thing:

function NormalizeVector3(valueOut references Vector3, valueIn as Vector3)
function Normalize(valueOut references Vector3, valueIn as Vector3)

Calculate the angle between two vectors

function AngleBetween( v1 as vector3, v2 as vector3) as vector3

This functions gives you the desired heading for an object at v2 that is in the direction of v1. Examples: the heading a character at point v2 needs to travel in order to reach point v1; the rotation of a billboard at point v1 to face toward the camera at point v2.

See also


Suppose you wish to place a directional light which shines from a 45-degree angle off the horizon. To set the directional light, this angle must be converted into vector3 format. This is done with the Spherical2XYZ() exposed function:

function Spotlight(ambient, diffuse)
  LightDirection as vector3
  Spherical2XYZ(0.0, 45.0, 1.0, LightDirection)    // Convert the coordinates to the vector3
  StageSetDirectionalLight("Stage", ambient, diffuse, LightDirection)  // Turn on the light
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