# How do you plot vectors between two start and end points along a sphere?

I have two Vectors on a sphere, and I am trying to figure out how to plot points along a curve between the two Vectors at an arbitrary distance between the two. I know the position of the start and end Vector, as well as the radius of the sphere. Can anyone help me formulate and come to an understanding of the equation I would or could use to achieve plotting these points? I looked into the great circle distance, but was unsure how to get more than just the distance from the equation, as I want to plot objects along this course. I have included an image for reference, of what I am trying to achieve. Thanks in advanced for any help and understanding that you may be able to provide! • Given two points $p_0$, $p_1$ which subtend an angle $\theta \in (0,\pi)$ in between, you can parameterize the arc joining them by a slerp: $$\verb/Slerp/(p_0,p_1;t) = \frac{\sin((1-t)\theta)}{\sin\theta} p_0 + \frac{\sin(t\theta)}{\sin(\theta)}p_1\quad\text{ with }\quad 0 \le t \le 1$$ Is this what you want? Aug 31 '17 at 1:40
• This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! Aug 31 '17 at 1:49
• An equivalent method is to get the normal to your two vectors, and then use the Rodrigues (axis-angle) rotation formula to interpolate between them. Aug 31 '17 at 4:18

Given two unit vectors $p_0$ and $p_1$, $|p_0|=|p_1|=1$, such that if $c:=p_0\cdot p_1$ then $|c|\ne 1$, compute $q:=p_1-c\:p_0$, and third point $p_2:=q/|q|$. We have now $p_0\cdot p_2=0$ and $|p_2|=1$. The circle passing through the three points is given by $p:=\cos(\theta)p_0+\sin(\theta)p_2$ where the angle $\theta=0$ for $p=p_0$, $\;\theta=\pi/2\;$ for $p=p_2,\;$ and $c=\cos(\theta)$ for $p=p_1$.
Another approach is to use linear interpolation and then normalize to a unit vector, similar to the comment about $\texttt{ Slerp()}$. Let $0\le t\le 1$, $q:=(1-t)p_0+tp_1$ and $p:=q/|q|$ is the new point.