ActionScript 3Working with Geometry

Getting the angle between two points

Using vanilla mathematics:

var from:Point = new Point(100, 50);
var to:Point = new Point(80, 95);

var angle:Number = Math.atan2(to.y - from.y, to.x - from.x);

Using a new vector representing the difference between the first two:

var difference:Point = to.subtract(from);

var angle:Number = Math.atan2(difference.y, difference.x);

Note: atan2() returns radians, not degrees.

Getting the distance between two points

Using vanilla mathematics:

var from:Point = new Point(300, 10);
var to:Point = new Point(75, 40);

var a:Number = to.x - from.x;
var b:Number = to.y - from.y;

var distance:Number = Math.sqrt(a * a + b * b);

Using inbuilt functionality of Point:

var distance:Number = to.subtract(from).length; // or
var distance:Number = Point.distance(to, from);

Converting radians to degrees

var degrees:Number = radians * 180 / Math.PI;

Converting degrees to radians

var radians:Number = degrees / 180 * Math.PI;

The value of a circle in degrees and radians

  • A whole circle is 360 degrees or Math.PI * 2 radians.
  • Half of those values follows to be 180 degrees or Math.PI radians.
  • A quarter is then 90 degrees or Math.PI / 2 radians.

To get a segment as a percentage of a whole circle in radians:

function getSegment(percent:Number):Number {
    return Math.PI * 2 * percent;

var tenth:Number = getSegment(0.1); // One tenth of a circle in radians.

Moving a point along an angle

Assuming you have the angle you'd like to move in and an object with x and y values you want to move:

var position:Point = new Point(10, 10);
var angle:Number = 1.25;

You can move along the x axis with Math.cos:

position.x += Math.cos(angle);

And the y axis with Math.sin:

position.y += Math.sin(angle);

You can of course multiply the result of Math.cos and Math.sin by the distance you want to travel:

var distance:int = 20;

position.x += Math.cos(angle) * distance;
position.y += Math.sin(angle) * distance;

Note: The input angle must be in radians.

Determine if a point is inside a rectangle area

You can test whether a point is inside a rectangle using Rectangle.containsPoint():

var point:Point = new Point(5, 5);
var rectangle:Rectangle = new Rectangle(0, 0, 10, 10);

var contains:Boolean = rectangle.containsPoint(point); // true