# Rotate 3d plane

I have a plane in 3D space that formed from 3 poin $P_1=(x_1, y_1, z_1)$, $P_2=(x_2, y_2, z_2)$, $P_3=(x_3, y_3, z_3)$

I want to rotate and transform this points (equally related plane) into 2D space (Avoiding $z$ axis but save distance and relations in 2D plane).

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To clarify, you want to rotate the plane containing the points $P_1,\,P_2,\,P_3$ into the $xy$ plane. – Daryl Apr 29 '13 at 8:08

As a first step, I'd move $P_1$ to the origin, so that the points become $P_1=(0,0,0)$, $P_2=(x_2-x_1, y_2-y_1, z_2-z_1)$, $P_3=(x_3-x_1, y_3-y_1, z_3-z_1)$. From there it's just a question of applying a rotation matrix.

A rotation matrix $\mathbf{R}$ which preserves all distances and shapes etc is given by

$$\mathbf{R}=\left( \begin{array} [c]{ccc}% e_{1}^{x} & e_{2}^{x} & e_{3}^{x}\\ e_{1}^{y} & e_{2}^{y} & e_{3}^{y}\\ e_{1}^{z} & e_{2}^{z} & e_{3}^{z}% \end{array} \right)$$

where the vectors $\left( e_{1}^{\alpha},e_{2}^{\alpha},e_{3}^{\alpha }\right)$ for $\alpha\in\left\{ x,y,z\right\}$ are orthogonal and of unit length, i.e.

$$\sum_{i=1}^{3}e_{i}^{\alpha}e_{i}^{\beta}=\left\{ \begin{array} [c]{ccc}% 1 & & \alpha=\beta\\ 0 & & \alpha\neq\beta \end{array} \right. .%$$

Applying $\mathbf{R}$, your rotated points $P_{i}^{\prime}=\left( x_{i}^{\prime},y_{i}^{\prime},z_{i}^{\prime}\right)$ are given by

$$\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% x_{i}^{\prime}\\ y_{i}^{\prime}\\ z_{i}^{\prime}% \end{array} \right) =\mathbf{R}\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% x_{i}\\ y_{i}\\ z_{i}% \end{array} \right)$$

I suggest making the top row of $\mathbf{R}$ the unit vector in the direction from $P_{1}$ to $P_{2}$, i.e.

$$\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% e_{1}^{x}\\ e_{2}^{x}\\ e_{3}^{x}% \end{array} \right) =\frac{1}{\sqrt{\left( x_{1}-x_{2}\right) ^{2}+\left( y_{1}% -y_{2}\right) ^{2}+\left( z_{1}-z_{2}\right) ^{2}}}\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% x_{1}-x_{2}\\ y_{1}-y_{2}\\ z_{1}-z_{2}% \end{array} \right)$$

which would mean that the line from $P_{1}$ to $P_{2}$ gets mapped into the $x$-axis.

Working out what you could use for the second and third rows of $\mathbf{R}$ is now just a question of solving some simple linear equations, to make sure that the line from $P_{1}$ to $P_{3}$ has no z component.

To solve for $\left( e_{1}^{z},e_{2}^{z},e_{3}^{z}\right)$, the vector $e_{i}^{z}$ must have a zero dot-product with both $e_{i}^{x}$ and $\left( x_{3}-x_{1},y_{3}-y_{1},z_{3}-z_{1}\right)$, so the equations are

\begin{align*} e_{1}^{x}e_{1}^{z}+e_{2}^{x}e_{2}^{z}+e_{3}^{x}e_{3}^{z} & =0\\ \left( x_{3}-x_{1}\right) e_{1}^{z}+\left( y_{3}-y_{1}\right) e_{2}% ^{z}+\left( z_{3}-z_{1}\right) e_{3}^{z} & =0 \end{align*}

Hence

$$\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% e_{1}^{z}\\ e_{2}^{z}\\ e_{3}^{z}% \end{array} \right) =\lambda_{z}\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% \left( z_{3}-z_{1}\right) e_{2}^{x}-\left( y_{3}-y_{1}\right) e_{3}^{x}\\ \left( x_{3}-x_{1}\right) e_{3}^{x}-\left( z_{3}-z_{1}\right) e_{1}^{x}\\ \left( y_{3}-y_{1}\right) e_{1}^{x}-\left( x_{3}-x_{1}\right) e_{2}^{x}% \end{array} \right)$$

for some $\lambda_z$, which should be determined so that $e_{i}^{z}$ is a vector of unit length. Finally $e_{i}^{y}$ can be determined as the vector which is perpendicular to both $e_{i}^{x}$ and $e_{i}^{z}$, i.e.

$$\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% e_{1}^{y}\\ e_{2}^{y}\\ e_{3}^{y}% \end{array} \right) =\lambda_{y}\left( \begin{array} [c]{c}% e_{3}^{z}e_{2}^{x}-e_{2}^{z}e_{3}^{x}\\ e_{1}^{z}e_{3}^{x}-e_{3}^{z}e_{1}^{x}\\ e_{2}^{z}e_{1}^{x}-e_{1}^{z}e_{2}^{x}% \end{array} \right)$$

where again $\lambda_{y}$ is determined so that $e_{i}^{y}$ is a vector of unit length.

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