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# Is there a way to track/retrieve "global" position?

edited September 2015

I have something like this,

``````push(); // Start head placement.

push(); // Start Eye1 placement.
translate( eye1Position[0], eye1Position[1] );
image(imgEye, 0, 0);
pop(); // End Eye1 placement.

push(); // Start Eye2 placement.
translate( eye2Position[0], eye2Position[1] );
image(imgEye, 0, 0);
pop(); // End Eye2 placement.

``````

So basically using a chain of push/pop matrix to place layers in relation to each other. Is there an easy way to find my global position?

If you did something like this,

``````push()
translate(100, 100);
a = retrieveGlobalPosition();
push()
translate(150, -66);
push();
translate(-27, 50);
b = retrieveGlobalPosition();
pop();
c = retrieveGlobalPosition();
pop();
pop();
``````

then a should be [100, 100]. b should be [223, 84] and c should be [250, 34]. Or something along those lines. Hopefully that makes sense. So I want to be able to easily tell where an eye is located on the canvas and make calculations based on this position.

Is this possible? Or is there a better way to achieve this? Maybe using p5.Vector ?

This is fairly simple arithmetic when all you're doing is translating, and you could probably just keep track of your transforms via a variable. But once you start using rotate() as I did in my first example its going to get very complicated.

Eventually I think it would make sense to start parenting these objects to each other but my programming skills are not there yet.

Tagged:

• This is possible, but computationally heavy, dark magic, and generally frowned on. Use screenX() and screenY().

I've never used ThreeJS in the real world but it seems to support this kind of idea quite well. See here, http://stackoverflow.com/questions/21557341/three-js-get-world-rotation-from-matrixworld

• Just don't use push/pop matrix: instead do the rotation yourself via a helper function so you're storing the actual location in your position arrays. The maths is actually relatively straightforward and you're doing the calculation that would otherwise happen in push/pop matrix so you shouldn't take a performance hit...

• Thanks for your reply blindfish, sounds useful, but I admit I'm still relatively new to coding, so while I get the gist of what you're saying by adding a helper function, could you explain a bit further using pseudocode? Thanks, Marcus.

• This isn't pseudocode; it's actual code; but written for Processing:

``````  PVector rotatePoint(float x, float y, float rotation) {
PVector rotatedPoint = new PVector();
rotatedPoint.x = cos(angle) * x - sin(angle) * y;
rotatedPoint.y = cos(angle) * y + sin(angle) * x;
return rotatedPoint;
}
``````

I wrote this some time ago so won't claim it is optimal; but it demonstrates the concept.

• edited October 2015

AFAIK, p5.js already got a rotate() method for p5.Vector class:
http://p5js.org/reference/#/p5.Vector/rotate

Although I dunno whether it's equivalent to @blindfish's rotatePoint(). Check that out here:
https://GitHub.com/processing/p5.js/blob/master/src/math/p5.Vector.js#L609

Nonetheless I've rewritten rotatePoint() as rotateVector() for p5.js: :ar!

``````function rotateVector(vec, rad) {