Vectors in Python

This guide provides an overview of a RhinoScriptSytntax Vector Geometry in Python.

Vectors

Similar to 3d points, 3d vectors are stored as Vector3d structures. They conceptually can be thought as a zero-based, one-dimensional list that contain three numbers. These three number represent to the X, Y and Z coordinate direction of the vector. Note, unlike points, vectors define magnitude (length) and direction, not position.

vector3d contains [1.0, 2.0, 3.0]  

A Vector3d structure can be constructed in a number of different ways. Two common ways are:

import rhinoscriptsyntax as rs

vec = rs.CreateVector(1.0, 2.0, 3.0)

A Vector3d coordinates can be accessed like a simple python list, one element at a time:

import rhinoscriptsyntax as rs

vec = rs.CreateVector(1.0, 2.0, 3.0)

print(vec[0]) #Prints the X coordinate of the Vector3d
print(vec[1]) #Print the Y coordinate of the Vector3d
print(vec[2]) #Print the Z coordinate of the Vector3d

The coordinates of a Vector3d may also be accessed through its .X, .Y and .Z property.

import rhinoscriptsyntax as rs

vec = rs.CreateVector(1.0, 2.0, 3.0)

print(vec.X) # Prints the X coordinate of the Vector3d
print(vec.Y) # Print the Y coordinate of the Vector3d
print(vec.Z) # Print the Z coordinate of the Vector3d

To change an individual coordinate of a Vector3d simply assign a new value to the correct coordinate through the index location or coordinate property:

import rhinoscriptsyntax as rs

point1 = [1,2,3]
point2 = [4,6,7]
vec = rs.CreateVector(1.0, 2.0, 3.0)

vec[0] = 5.0 # Sets the X coordinate to 5.0
vec.Y = 45.0 # Sets the Y coordinate to 45.0

print(vec) #Print the new coordinates

A vector subtraction may also be used to find the vector between two points. This is a very cool method:

/images/image180.png

point1 = [1,2,3]
point2 = [4,5,6]

vec = point2 - point1

print(vec) #prints the new coordinates.

The key to understanding the vector is that this vector goes from point1 to point 2. It is common to get this reversed. Make sure the starting point is second in the subtract function.

Vectors can also be added to points to create new point locations. Here is an example of moving a point location by a vector:

/images/image172.png

#  A base point
point1 = [1,1,1]

# A vectore with a direction of 2 units in the X direction
vector1 = [2,0,0]

# Setting the coordinate of point1 to to units more in the X direction.
point1 = point1 + vector1
# point1 + vector1 = [1+2, 1+0, 1+0] = [3,1,1]

Using the Python for function it is quite easy to walk through each coordinate in succession:

for c in vec:
    print c # This will loop through each coordinate in the vector3d

Rhinoscriptsyntax contains a number of methods to manipulate vectors. See RhinoScript Points and Vectors Methods for details.