Fun with 2D particles using emitters and waypoints

I was thinking about playing with particle systems the other week after I’d been creating a Vec2 class to easily work with two-dimensional vectors, so I decided to make one. Check it out:

The basics are that:

  • The entire thing is a ParticleSet2D. You can create as many of these as you like.
  • Each ParticleSet2D has at least one (but as many as you want) ParticleEmitter2D objects, and at least one (but again, as many as you want) ParticleWaypoint2D objects.
  • A ParticleEmitter2D can be placed at any location, and emits a new Particle2D at a given time interval, for example 0.1 would give 10 new particles per second, 0.05 would give you 20 particles per second etc.
  • On creation, a particle heads towards the first waypoint in the vector (i.e. dynamically resizable array) of waypoints. When it reaches within a given distance of the waypoint its speed gets jumbled a bit and it then heads towards the next waypoint.
  • When it hits the last waypoint the particle is destroyed.

There’s lots more of course, like you can control how fast the particles move, how tightly they corner etc, and it’s all written in a completely framerate independent manner using delta-time values so it can run at 10fps and trace out the same patterns as at 120fps (which actually took quite a bit of doing).

Anyways, all for fun. I’ve also migrated it to 3D, but I’m not happy with the point-sprite size attenuation details matching the view frustum so I’ll rewrite it using quads soon and post it up also.

Fun & games =D

A C++ Camera Class for Simple OpenGL FPS Controls

This is the third post of three, where we finally get to create a Camera class which encapsulates all the important properties of a camera suitable for FPS controls. I could, and indeed did, have this written to just use three floats for the camera position, three for the rotation, three for the movement speed etc – but it makes more sense to use a vector class to encapsulate those values into a single item and provide methods for easy manipulation, so that’s what I’ve done.

The end result of this is that although the Camera class now depends on the Vec3 class, the Camera class itself is now more concise and easier to use. If you don’t like the coupling you can easily break it and return to individual values, but I think I prefer it this way. Oh, and this class is designed to work with GLFW, although it could be very easily modified to remove that requirement and be used with SDL or something instead. In fact, we only ever use the glfwSetMousePos(x, y) method to reset the mouse position to the centre of the screen each frame!

Anyways, let’s look at the header first to see the properties and methods of the class:

Camera.h Header

#ifndef CAMERA_H
#define CAMERA_H
#include <iostream>
#include <math.h>         // Used only for sin() and cos() functions
#include <GL/glfw.h>      // Include OpenGL Framework library for the GLFW_PRESS constant only!
#include "Vec3.hpp"       // Include our custom Vec3 class
class Camera
        // Camera position
        Vec3<double> position;
        // Camera rotation
        Vec3<double> rotation;
        // Camera movement speed. When we call the move() function on a camera, it moves using these speeds
        Vec3<double> speed;
        double movementSpeedFactor; // Controls how fast the camera moves
        double pitchSensitivity;    // Controls how sensitive mouse movements affect looking up and down
        double yawSensitivity;      // Controls how sensitive mouse movements affect looking left and right
        // Window size in pixels and where the midpoint of it falls
        int windowWidth;
        int windowHeight;
        int windowMidX;
        int windowMidY;
        // Method to set some reasonable default values. For internal use by the class only.
        void initCamera();
        static const double TO_RADS; // The value of 1 degree in radians
        // Holding any keys down?
        bool holdingForward;
        bool holdingBackward;
        bool holdingLeftStrafe;
        bool holdingRightStrafe;
        // Constructor
        Camera(float windowWidth, float windowHeight);
        // Destructor
        // Mouse movement handler to look around
        void handleMouseMove(int mouseX, int mouseY);
        // Method to convert an angle in degress to radians
        const double toRads(const double &angleInDegrees) const;
        // Method to move the camera based on the current direction
        void move(double deltaTime);
        // --------------------------------- Inline methods ----------------------------------------------
        // Setters to allow for change of vertical (pitch) and horizontal (yaw) mouse movement sensitivity
        float getPitchSensitivity()            { return pitchSensitivity;  }
        void  setPitchSensitivity(float value) { pitchSensitivity = value; }
        float getYawSensitivity()              { return yawSensitivity;    }
        void  setYawSensitivity(float value)   { yawSensitivity   = value; }
        // Position getters
        Vec3<double> getPosition() const { return position;        }
        double getXPos()           const { return position.getX(); }
        double getYPos()           const { return position.getY(); }
        double getZPos()           const { return position.getZ(); }
        // Rotation getters
        Vec3<double> getRotation() const { return rotation;        }
        double getXRot()           const { return rotation.getX(); }
        double getYRot()           const { return rotation.getY(); }
        double getZRot()           const { return rotation.getZ(); }
#endif // CAMERA_H

Now for the implementation:

Camera.cpp Class

#include "Camera.h"
const double Camera::TO_RADS = 3.141592654 / 180.0; // The value of 1 degree in radians
Camera::Camera(float theWindowWidth, float theWindowHeight)
	windowWidth  = theWindowWidth;
	windowHeight = theWindowHeight;
	// Calculate the middle of the window
	windowMidX = windowWidth  / 2.0f;
	windowMidY = windowHeight / 2.0f;
	glfwSetMousePos(windowMidX, windowMidY);
	// Nothing to do here - we don't need to free memory as all member variables
	// were declared on the stack.
void Camera::initCamera()
	// Set position, rotation and speed values to zero;;;
	// How fast we move (higher values mean we move and strafe faster)
	movementSpeedFactor = 100.0;
	pitchSensitivity = 0.2; // How sensitive mouse movements affect looking up and down
	yawSensitivity   = 0.2; // How sensitive mouse movements affect looking left and right
	// To begin with, we aren't holding down any keys
	holdingForward     = false;
	holdingBackward    = false;
	holdingLeftStrafe  = false;
	holdingRightStrafe = false;
// Function to convert degrees to radians
const double Camera::toRads(const double &theAngleInDegrees) const
	return theAngleInDegrees * TO_RADS;
// Function to deal with mouse position changes
void Camera::handleMouseMove(int mouseX, int mouseY)
	// Calculate our horizontal and vertical mouse movement from middle of the window
	double horizMovement = (mouseX - windowMidX+1) * yawSensitivity;
	double vertMovement  = (mouseY - windowMidY) * pitchSensitivity;
	std::cout << "Mid window values: " << windowMidX << "\t" << windowMidY << std::endl;
	std::cout << "Mouse values     : " << mouseX << "\t" << mouseY << std::endl;
	std::cout << horizMovement << "\t" << vertMovement << std::endl << std::endl;
	// Apply the mouse movement to our rotation vector. The vertical (look up and down)
	// movement is applied on the X axis, and the horizontal (look left and right)
	// movement is applied on the Y Axis
	// Limit loking up to vertically up
	if (rotation.getX() < -90)
	// Limit looking down to vertically down
	if (rotation.getX() > 90)
	// If you prefer to keep the angles in the range -180 to +180 use this code
	// and comment out the 0 to 360 code below.
	// Looking left and right. Keep the angles in the range -180.0f (anticlockwise turn looking behind) to 180.0f (clockwise turn looking behind)
	/*if (yRot < -180.0f)
	    yRot += 360.0f;
	if (yRot > 180.0f)
	    yRot -= 360.0f;
	// Looking left and right - keep angles in the range 0.0 to 360.0
	// 0 degrees is looking directly down the negative Z axis "North", 90 degrees is "East", 180 degrees is "South", 270 degrees is "West"
	// We can also do this so that our 360 degrees goes -180 through +180 and it works the same, but it's probably best to keep our
	// range to 0 through 360 instead of -180 through +180.
	if (rotation.getY() < 0)
	if (rotation.getY() > 360)
	// Reset the mouse position to the centre of the window each frame
	glfwSetMousePos(windowMidX, windowMidY);
// Function to calculate which direction we need to move the camera and by what amount
void Camera::move(double deltaTime)
	// Vector to break up our movement into components along the X, Y and Z axis
	Vec3<double> movement;
	// Get the sine and cosine of our X and Y axis rotation
	double sinXRot = sin( toRads( rotation.getX() ) );
	double cosXRot = cos( toRads( rotation.getX() ) );
	double sinYRot = sin( toRads( rotation.getY() ) );
	double cosYRot = cos( toRads( rotation.getY() ) );
	double pitchLimitFactor = cosXRot; // This cancels out moving on the Z axis when we're looking up or down
	if (holdingForward)
		movement.addX(sinYRot * pitchLimitFactor);
		movement.addZ(-cosYRot * pitchLimitFactor);
	if (holdingBackward)
		movement.addX(-sinYRot * pitchLimitFactor);
		movement.addZ(cosYRot * pitchLimitFactor);
	if (holdingLeftStrafe)
	if (holdingRightStrafe)
	// Normalise our movement vector
	// Calculate our value to keep the movement the same speed regardless of the framerate...
	double framerateIndependentFactor = movementSpeedFactor * deltaTime;
	// .. and then apply it to our movement vector.
	movement *= framerateIndependentFactor;
	// Finally, apply the movement to our position
	position += movement;

Rather than me explaining each individual piece of how to fit it together, here’s a worked example – it’s really quite easy to use:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <GL/glfw.h>      // Include OpenGL Framework library
#include "Camera.h"       // Include our Camera header so we can work with Camera objects
#include "FpsManager.hpp" // Include our FpsManager class
#include "Vec3.hpp"       // Include our Vec3 class
// Specify default namespace for commonly used elements
using std::string;
using std::cout;
using std::endl;
// Define a few constants for error conditions
const int GLFW_INIT_ERROR   = -1;
const int GLFW_WINDOW_ERROR = -2;
// Define a pointer to our camera object
Camera *cam;
// Define our window title to append the FPS stats to
string windowTitle = "FPS Controls Refactored | r3dux | Dec 2012";
// Create a FPS manager that locks to 60fps and updates the window title with stats every 3 seconds
FpsManager fpsManager(60.0, 3.0, windowTitle);
GLint windowWidth   = 800;              // Width of our window
GLint windowHeight  = 600;              // Heightof our window
GLint midWindowX    = windowWidth  / 2; // Middle of the window horizontally
GLint midWindowY    = windowHeight / 2; // Middle of the window vertically
GLfloat fieldOfView = 45.0f;            // Define our field of view (i.e. how quickly foreshortening occurs)
GLfloat near        = 2.0f;             // The near (Z Axis) point of our viewing frustum (default 2.0f)
GLfloat far         = 1500.0f;          // The far  (Z Axis) point of our viewing frustum (default 1500.0f)
// Callback function to handle keypresses
void handleKeypress(int theKey, int theAction)
	// If a key is pressed, toggle the relevant key-press flag
	if (theAction == GLFW_PRESS)
		switch (theKey)
		case 'W':
			cam->holdingForward = true;
		case 'S':
			cam->holdingBackward = true;
		case 'A':
			cam->holdingLeftStrafe = true;
		case 'D':
			cam->holdingRightStrafe = true;
		case '[':
			fpsManager.setTargetFps(fpsManager.getTargetFps() - 10);
		case ']':
			fpsManager.setTargetFps(fpsManager.getTargetFps() + 10);
			// Do nothing...
	else // If a key is released, toggle the relevant key-release flag
		switch (theKey)
		case 'W':
			cam->holdingForward = false;
		case 'S':
			cam->holdingBackward = false;
		case 'A':
			cam->holdingLeftStrafe = false;
		case 'D':
			cam->holdingRightStrafe = false;
			// Do nothing...
// Callback function to handle mouse movements
void handleMouseMove(int mouseX, int mouseY)
	cam->handleMouseMove(mouseX, mouseY);
void initGL()
	// ----- GLFW Settings -----
	glfwDisable(GLFW_MOUSE_CURSOR); // Hide the mouse cursor
	glfwSwapInterval(0);            // Disable vsync
	// ----- Window and Projection Settings -----
	// Set the window title
	glfwSetWindowTitle("Solar System FPS Controls Mk2| | Dec 2012");
	// Setup our viewport to be the entire size of the window
	glViewport(0, 0, (GLsizei)windowWidth, (GLsizei)windowHeight);
	// Change to the projection matrix, reset the matrix and set up our projection
	// The following code is a fancy bit of math that is eqivilant to calling:
	// gluPerspective(fieldOfView / 2.0f, width / height, near, far);
	// We do it this way simply to avoid requiring glu.h
	GLfloat aspectRatio = (windowWidth > windowHeight)? float(windowWidth)/float(windowHeight) : float(windowHeight)/float(windowWidth);
	GLfloat fH = tan( float(fieldOfView / 360.0f * 3.14159f) ) * near;
	GLfloat fW = fH * aspectRatio;
	glFrustum(-fW, fW, -fH, fH, near, far);
	// ----- OpenGL settings -----
	glClearColor(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f);              // Set out clear colour to black, full alpha
	glEnable(GL_DEPTH_TEST);                           // Enable the depth buffer
	glClearDepth(1.0f);                                // Clear the entire depth of the depth buffer
	glDepthFunc(GL_LEQUAL);		                       // Set our depth function to overwrite if new value less than or equal to current value
	glHint(GL_PERSPECTIVE_CORRECTION_HINT, GL_NICEST); // Ask for nicest perspective correction
	glLineWidth(2.0f);			                       // Set a 'chunky' line width
// Function to draw a grid of lines
void drawGround(float groundLevel)
	GLfloat extent      = 600.0f; // How far on the Z-Axis and X-Axis the ground extends
	GLfloat stepSize    = 20.0f;  // The size of the separation between points
	// Set colour to white
	glColor3ub(255, 255, 255);
	// Draw our ground grid
	for (GLint loop = -extent; loop < extent; loop += stepSize)
		// Draw lines along Z-Axis
		glVertex3f(loop, groundLevel,  extent);
		glVertex3f(loop, groundLevel, -extent);
		// Draw lines across X-Axis
		glVertex3f(-extent, groundLevel, loop);
		glVertex3f( extent, groundLevel, loop);
// Function to draw our scene
void drawScene()
	// Clear the screen and depth buffer
	// Reset the matrix
	// Move the camera to our location in space
	glRotatef(cam->getXRot(), 1.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f); // Rotate our camera on the x-axis (looking up and down)
	glRotatef(cam->getYRot(), 0.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f); // Rotate our camera on the  y-axis (looking left and right)
	// Translate the ModelView matrix to the position of our camera - everything should now be drawn relative
	// to this position!
	glTranslatef( -cam->getXPos(), -cam->getYPos(), -cam->getZPos() );
	drawGround(-100.0f); // Draw lower ground grid
	drawGround(100.0f);  // Draw upper ground grid
	// ----- Stop Drawing Stuff! ------
	glfwSwapBuffers(); // Swap the buffers to display the scene (so we don't have to watch it being drawn!)
// Fire it up...
int main(int argc, char **argv)
	cout << "Controls: Use WSAD and the mouse to move around!" << endl;
	// Frame counter and window settings variables
	int redBits    = 8, greenBits = 8,    blueBits    = 8;
	int alphaBits  = 8, depthBits = 24,   stencilBits = 0;
	// Flag to keep our main loop running
	bool running = true;
	// ----- Intialiase GLFW -----
	// Initialise GLFW
	if (!glfwInit() )
		std::cout << "Failed to initialise GLFW!" << endl;
	// Create a window
	if( !glfwOpenWindow(windowWidth, windowHeight, redBits, greenBits, blueBits, alphaBits, depthBits, stencilBits, GLFW_WINDOW))
		std::cout << "Failed to open window!" << std::endl;
	// Call our initGL function to set up our OpenGL options
	// Instantiate our pointer to a Camera object providing it the size of the window
	cam = new Camera(windowWidth, windowHeight);
	// Set the mouse cursor to the centre of our window
	glfwSetMousePos(midWindowX, midWindowY);
	// Specify the function which should execute when a key is pressed or released
	// Specify the function which should execute when the mouse is moved
	// The deltaTime variable keeps track of how much time has elapsed between one frame and the next.
	// This allows us to perform framerate independent movement i.e. the camera will move at the same
	// overall speed regardless of whether the app's running at (for example) 6fps, 60fps or 600fps!
	double deltaTime = 0.0;
	while (running)
		// Calculate our camera movement
		// Draw our scene
		// exit if ESC was pressed or window was closed
		running = !glfwGetKey(GLFW_KEY_ESC) && glfwGetWindowParam(GLFW_OPENED);
		// Call our fpsManager to limit the FPS and get the frame duration to pass to the cam->move method
		deltaTime = fpsManager.enforceFPS();
	// Clean up GLFW and exit
	delete cam; // Delete our pointer to the camera object
	return 0;

Finally! Done! You can see a video of the first version of the FPS controls here – this code works identically, it’s just that the Camera is now in its own class, we’re using our own little Vec3 class to keep group and manipulate some values, and the whole thing works in a framerate independent manner thanks to the FpsManager class. Phew!


Vec3: A Simple Vector Class in C++

This is really the second post of three updating an earlier post on how to write some simple FPS-type controls for OpenGL – last post we looked at a FpsManager class so we could get frame timings to implement framerate independent movement. This time, we’re looking at a simple Vec3 class which stores 3D coordinates and helps to perform some operations on them. This is going to form part of the Camera class in the final part, but I thought I’d put it here on its own so it can be re-used.

There’s probably about ten million different vector classes out there, but I really wanted to write my own so I understood exactly how it worked, and I’ve commented it pretty heavily in the process – so hopefully if you’re looking for a vector class you might be able to look at this one, see how it works and what it does, and take and modify it for your own work.

Before skipping to the code, let’s just take a quick look at what it does – it packages up 3 values called x, y and z, and allows us to easily manipulate them. Quite what you store in these values is up to you, it could be a vertex position, or a direction vector, or a RGB colour – anything that has three values, really.

If we were dealing with two vertexes, we can do stuff like this:

    // Define two initial vectors
    Vec3<double> vector1(1, 2, 3); // A coordinate +1 on the X axis (horiz), +2 on the Y axis (vert), and +3 on the Z axis (depth)
    Vec3<double> vector2(4, 5, 6); // A coordinate +4 on the X axis (horiz), +5 on the Y axis (vert), and +6 on the Z axis (depth)
    // Create a new vector which is the sum of these two vectors added together
    Vec3<double>result = vector1 + vector2;
    result.display();           // (5, 7, 9)
    // Add the first vector to our result vector
    result += vector1;
    result.display();           // 6, 9, 12
    // Subtract the second vector from our result vector
    result -= vector2;
    result.display();           // 2, 4, 6
    // Divide our result vector by the scalar value 2
    result /= 2;
    result.display();           // 1, 2, 3
    // Multiply both vectors together and assign to our result vector (this is a dot-product
    // operation, but we have specific dot product functions we can use, too)
    result = vector1 * vector2;
    result.display();           // 4, 10, 18
    // Multiply our result vector by 2
    result *= 2;
    result.display();           // 8, 20, 36
    // Normalise our result vector so that all values fall within the range -1 to +1
    result.display();           // 0.190693, 0.476731, 0.858116
     // Calculate the distance between two points in 3D space
    double distance = Vec3<double>::getDistance(vector1, vector2);
    cout << "Distance between points: " << distance << endl; // 5.19615
    // Dot products only work on normalised values (i.e. each x/y/z value in the vector must be in the range -1 to +1)
    // So remember to normalise your vectors before computing the dot product!
    double dotProduct = Vec3<double>::dotProduct(vector1, vector2);
    cout << "Dot product: " << dotProduct << endl;           // 0.974632
    // Define some vectors pointing up, down, left, and right
    Vec3<double> up(   0,  1, 0);
    Vec3<double> down( 0, -1, 0);
    Vec3<double> left(-1,  0, 0);
    Vec3<double> right(1,  0, 0);
    // ------------ Dot Product Tests ------------
    // The dot product of two vectors pointing the same direction is 1
    dotProduct = Vec3<double>::dotProduct(up, up);
    cout << "Dot product of up and up: " << dotProduct << endl;
    // The dot product of two vectors which are perpendicular to each other is is 0
    dotProduct = Vec3<double>::dotProduct(up, right);
    cout << "Dot product of up and right: " << dotProduct << endl;
    // The dot product of two vectors pointing in opposite directions is -1
    dotProduct = Vec3<double>::dotProduct(up, down);
    cout << "Dot product of up and down: " << dotProduct << endl;
    // ------------ Cross Product Tests ------------
    // The cross product of a vector is the vector which is perpendicular to the plane made
    // by the two vectors specified. Whether it points "up" or "down" depends on the
    // handedness of the coordinate system and/or the order of vectors provided.
    // Test 1
    Vec3<double> crossProduct = Vec3<double>::crossProduct(up, right);
    // x = 0, y = 0, z = -1 (i.e. the vector perpendicular to up and right points INTO the screen)
    // Test 2
    crossProduct = Vec3<double>::crossProduct(right, up);
    // x = 0, y = 0, z = 1 (i.e. the vector perpendicular to right and up points OUT from screen)

Seems pretty easy to work with to me…

Here’s the code for the Vec3 class itself as a templatised, header-only C++ .hpp file – just include the Vec3.hpp class and you’re good to go:

#ifndef VEC3_HPP
#define VEC3_HPP
#include <iostream>
template <class T> class Vec3
        // A Vec3 simply has three properties called x, y and z
        T x, y, z;
        // ------------ Constructors ------------
        // Default constructor
        Vec3() { x = y = z = 0; };
        // Three parameter constructor
        Vec3(T xValue, T yValue, T zValue)
            x = xValue;
            y = yValue;
            z = zValue;
        // ------------ Getters and setters ------------
        void set(const T &xValue, const T &yValue, const T &zValue)
            x = xValue;
            y = yValue;
            z = zValue;
        T getX() const { return x; }
        T getY() const { return y; }
        T getZ() const { return z; }
        void setX(const T &xValue) { x = xValue; }
        void setY(const T &yValue) { y = yValue; }
        void setZ(const T &zValue) { z = zValue; }
        // ------------ Helper methods ------------
        // Method to reset a vector to zero
        void zero()
            x = y = z = 0;
        // Method to normalise a vector
        void normalise()
            // Calculate the magnitude of our vector
            T magnitude = sqrt((x * x) + (y * y) + (z * z));
            // As long as the magnitude isn't zero, divide each element by the magnitude
            // to get the normalised value between -1 and +1
            if (magnitude != 0)
                x /= magnitude;
                y /= magnitude;
                z /= magnitude;
        // Static method to calculate and return the scalar dot product of two vectors
        // Note: The dot product of two vectors tell us things about the angle between
        // the vectors. That is, it tells us if they are pointing in the same direction
        // (i.e. are they parallel? If so, the dot product will be 1), or if they're
        // perpendicular (i.e. at 90 degrees to each other) the dot product will be 0,
        // or if they're pointing in opposite directions then the dot product will be -1.
        // Usage example: double foo = Vec3<double>::dotProduct(vectorA, vectorB);
        static T dotProduct(const Vec3 &vec1, const Vec3 &vec2)
            return vec1.x * vec2.x + vec1.y * vec2.y + vec1.z * vec2.z;
        // Non-static method to calculate and return the scalar dot product of this vector and another vector
        // Usage example: double foo = vectorA.dotProduct(vectorB);
        T dotProduct(const Vec3 &vec) const
            return x * vec.x + y * vec.y + z * vec.z;
        // Static method to calculate and return a vector which is the cross product of two vectors
        // Note: The cross product is simply a vector which is perpendicular to the plane formed by
        // the first two vectors. Think of a desk like the one your laptop or keyboard is sitting on.
        // If you put one pencil pointing directly away from you, and then another pencil pointing to the
        // right so they form a "L" shape, the vector perpendicular to the plane made by these two pencils
        // points directly upwards.
        // Whether the vector is perpendicularly pointing "up" or "down" depends on the "handedness" of the
        // coordinate system that you're using.
        // Further reading:
        // Usage example: Vec3<double> crossVect = Vec3<double>::crossProduct(vectorA, vectorB);
        static Vec3 crossProduct(const Vec3 &vec1, const Vec3 &vec2)
            return Vec3(vec1.y * vec2.z - vec1.z * vec2.y, vec1.z * vec2.x - vec1.x * vec2.z, vec1.x * vec2.y - vec1.y * vec2.x);
        // Easy adders
        void addX(T value) { x += value; }
        void addY(T value) { y += value; }
        void addZ(T value) { z += value; }
        // Method to return the distance between two vectors in 3D space
        // Note: This is accurate, but not especially fast - depending on your needs you might
        // like to use the Manhattan Distance instead:
        // There's a good discussion of it here:
        // The gist is, to find if we're within a given distance between two vectors you can use:
        // bool within3DManhattanDistance(Vec3 c1, Vec3 c2, float distance)
        // {
        //      float dx = abs(c2.x - c1.x);
        //      if (dx > distance) return false; // too far in x direction
        //      float dy = abs(c2.y - c1.y);
        //      if (dy > distance) return false; // too far in y direction
        //      float dz = abs(c2.z - c1.z);
        //      if (dz > distance) return false; // too far in z direction
        //      return true; // we're within the cube
        // }
        // Or to just calculate the straight Manhattan distance you could use:
        // float getManhattanDistance(Vec3 c1, Vec3 c2)
        // {
        //      float dx = abs(c2.x - c1.x);
        //      float dy = abs(c2.y - c1.y);
        //      float dz = abs(c2.z - c1.z);
        //      return dx+dy+dz;
        // }
        static T getDistance(const Vec3 &v1, const Vec3 &v2)
            T dx = v2.x - v1.x;
            T dy = v2.y - v1.y;
            T dz = v2.z - v1.z;
            return sqrt(dx * dx + dy * dy + dz * dz);
        // Method to display the vector so you can easily check the values
        void display()
            std::cout << "X: " << x << "\t Y: " << y << "\t Z: " << z << std::endl;
        // ------------ Overloaded operators ------------
        // Overloaded addition operator to add Vec3s together
        Vec3 operator+(const Vec3 &vector) const
            return Vec3<T>(x + vector.x, y + vector.y, z + vector.z);
        // Overloaded add and asssign operator to add Vec3s together
        void operator+=(const Vec3 &vector)
            x += vector.x;
            y += vector.y;
            z += vector.z;
        // Overloaded subtraction operator to subtract a Vec3 from another Vec3
        Vec3 operator-(const Vec3 &vector) const
            return Vec3<T>(x - vector.x, y - vector.y, z - vector.z);
        // Overloaded subtract and asssign operator to subtract a Vec3 from another Vec3
        void operator-=(const Vec3 &vector)
            x -= vector.x;
            y -= vector.y;
            z -= vector.z;
        // Overloaded multiplication operator to multiply two Vec3s together
        Vec3 operator*(const Vec3 &vector) const
            return Vec3<T>(x * vector.x, y * vector.y, z * vector.z);
        // Overloaded multiply operator to multiply a vector by a scalar
        Vec3 operator*(const T &value) const
            return Vec3<T>(x * value, y * value, z * value);
        // Overloaded multiply and assign operator to multiply a vector by a scalar
        void operator*=(const T &value)
            x *= value;
            y *= value;
            z *= value;
        // Overloaded multiply operator to multiply a vector by a scalar
        Vec3 operator/(const T &value) const
            return Vec3<T>(x / value, y / value, z / value);
        // Overloaded multiply and assign operator to multiply a vector by a scalar
        void operator/=(const T &value)
            x /= value;
            y /= value;
            z /= value;

Next post, we’re going to be implementing a FPS-style camera class using this Vec3 class to move around a 3D scene – and because of all our hard work in getting this vector class together, it’s going to make moving the camera around a doddle =D


How to: Convert an OpenCV cv::Mat to an OpenGL texture

I’m working on using OpenCV to get Kinect sensor data via OpenNI, and needed a way to get a matrix (cv::Mat) into an OpenGL texture – so I wrote a function to do just that – woo! Apologies in advance for the terrible juggling ;-)

The function used to perform the sensor data to texture conversion is:

// Function turn a cv::Mat into a texture, and return the texture ID as a GLuint for use
GLuint matToTexture(cv::Mat &mat, GLenum minFilter, GLenum magFilter, GLenum wrapFilter)
	// Generate a number for our textureID's unique handle
	GLuint textureID;
	glGenTextures(1, &textureID);
	// Bind to our texture handle
	glBindTexture(GL_TEXTURE_2D, textureID);
	// Catch silly-mistake texture interpolation method for magnification
	if (magFilter == GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR  ||
	    magFilter == GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST ||
	    magFilter == GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR ||
		cout << "You can't use MIPMAPs for magnification - setting filter to GL_LINEAR" << endl;
		magFilter = GL_LINEAR;
	// Set texture interpolation methods for minification and magnification
	glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_MIN_FILTER, minFilter);
	glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_MAG_FILTER, magFilter);
	// Set texture clamping method
	glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_WRAP_S, wrapFilter);
	glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_WRAP_T, wrapFilter);
	// Set incoming texture format to:
	// Work out other mappings as required ( there's a list in comments in main() )
	GLenum inputColourFormat = GL_BGR;
	if (mat.channels() == 1)
		inputColourFormat = GL_LUMINANCE;
	// Create the texture
	glTexImage2D(GL_TEXTURE_2D,     // Type of texture
	             0,                 // Pyramid level (for mip-mapping) - 0 is the top level
	             GL_RGB,            // Internal colour format to convert to
	             mat.cols,          // Image width  i.e. 640 for Kinect in standard mode
	             mat.rows,          // Image height i.e. 480 for Kinect in standard mode
	             0,                 // Border width in pixels (can either be 1 or 0)
	             inputColourFormat, // Input image format (i.e. GL_RGB, GL_RGBA, GL_BGR etc.)
	             GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE,  // Image data type
	             mat.ptr());        // The actual image data itself
	// If we're using mipmaps then generate them. Note: This requires OpenGL 3.0 or higher
	if (minFilter == GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR  ||
	    minFilter == GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST ||
	    minFilter == GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR ||
	return textureID;

You can then use the above function like this:

// Create our capture object
cv::VideoCapture capture( CV_CAP_OPENNI );
// Check that we have actually opened a connection to the sensor
if( !capture.isOpened() )
	cout << "Cannot open capture object." << endl;
// Create our cv::Mat object
cv::Mat camFrame;
	// *** loop ***
	// Grab the device
	// Retrieve desired sensor data (in this case the standard camera image)
	capture.retrieve(camFrame, CV_CAP_OPENNI_BGR_IMAGE);
	// Convert to texture
	GLuint tex = matToTexture(camFrame, GL_NEAREST, GL_NEAREST, GL_CLAMP);
	// Bind texture
	glBindTexture(GL_TEXTURE_2D, tex);
	// Do whatever you want with the texture here...
	// Free the texture memory
	glDeleteTextures(1, &tex);
	// *** End of loop ***
// Release the device

There’s one very important issue to watch out for when using OpenCV and OpenNI together which I’ve commented in the code, but I’ll place here as well as it can be a real deal breaker:

There appears to be a threading issue with the OpenCV grab() function where if you try to grab the device before it’s ready to provide the next frame it takes up to 2 seconds to provide the frame, which it might do for a little while before crashing the XnSensorServer process & then you can’t get any more frames without restarting the application. This results in horrible, stuttery framerates and garbled sensor data.

I’ve found that this can be worked around by playing an mp3 in the background. No, really. I’m guessing the threading of the mp3 player introduces some kind of latency which prevents the grab() function being called too soon. Try it if you don’t believe me!

So just be aware that if you’re using a Kinect you have to be careful with the grab() function… The source code used to create the above video is provided in full after the jump, if you’re interested.


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