3D Co-ordinate Geometry

2D-Cartesian Coordinate System

2D Cartesian co-ordinates are simply areas that can be located within the location of two axis(x and y).  These axis can be both positive and negative.  To locate an item, find its position by measuring the distance above and across from the origin/centre of both axis (o).

It is important to understand that when we are working with 3D technology, we are actually working with the illusion of 3D space in a 2D environment.  This accrues with the help of software application, making use a Cartesian co-ordinate system to create the illusion of working in 3D space.  This is the exact same system/process that is used for teaching algebra.

French mathematician Rene Descartes first developed the Cartesian coordinate system in 1637, in an effort to merge algebra and Euclidean geometry.  His work has played a very important part in the development of of geometry, calculus and cartography (the art and science of map making).


3D Cartesian coordinate system

In the early 19th century, a third dimension of measurement (z) was added.  This axis is known as the depth axis and runs at a right angle to the x/y planes.  This axis allows us to locate any point in a 3D environment.  An item is located in the same way as with 2D co-ordinates, although a three separate locations must be used.

 A simple way to remember the X, Y and Z co-ordinates can be done using the middle finger, index finger and thumb on either hand.  This has been demonstrated in the llustration below.


When using 3D Studio max these perspectives/co-ordinates can be recognised by four separate component screens/views.


(Top left=top viewport or x/y, top right=front viewport or x/z, bottom left=left viewport or y/z, bottom right=perspective viewport or x/y/z)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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