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WebGL Beginner's Guide by Brandon Jones, Diego Cantor

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Vertex transformations

Objects in a WebGL scene go through different transformations before we can see them on our screen. Each transformation is encoded by a 4x4 matrix, as we will see later. How do we multiply vertices that have three components (x,y,z) by a 4x4 matrix? The short answer is that we need to augment the cardinality of our tuples by one dimension. Each vertex then will have a fourth component called the homogenous coordinate. Let's see what they are and why they are useful.

Homogeneous coordinates

Homogeneous coordinates are a key component of any computer graphics program. Thanks to them, it is possible to represent affine transformations (rotation, scaling, shear, and translation) and projective transformations as 4x4 matrices. ...

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