# VTK/Examples/Cxx/GeometricObjects/OrientedArrow

< VTK‎ | Examples‎ | Cxx

This example illustrates how to create and display an arrow that passes through two points.

It demonstrates two different ways to apply the transform:

1. Use vtkTransformPolyDataFilter to create a new transformed polydata. This method is useful if the transformed polydata is needed later in the pipeline, e.g. vtkGlyph3DFilter.
2. Apply the transform directly to the actor using vtkProp3D's SetUserMatrix. No new data is produced.

Switch between the two methods by #defining USER_MATRIX or leaving out the #define.

NOTE: Compare this example with Oriented Cylinder . The transform is different because the cylinder height direction is along the y-axis and the arrow height is along the x axis.

## OrientedArrow.cxx

```#define USER_MATRIX
#include <vtkArrowSource.h>
#include <vtkPolyData.h>
#include <vtkSmartPointer.h>
#include <vtkPolyDataMapper.h>
#include <vtkActor.h>
#include <vtkRenderWindow.h>
#include <vtkRenderer.h>
#include <vtkRenderWindowInteractor.h>
#include <vtkMath.h>
#include <vtkSphereSource.h>
#include <vtkProperty.h>
#include <vtkTransform.h>
#include <vtkTransformPolyDataFilter.h>
#include <time.h>

int main(int, char *[])
{
//Create an arrow.
vtkSmartPointer<vtkArrowSource> arrowSource =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkArrowSource>::New();

// Generate a random start and end point
double startPoint[3], endPoint[3];
#ifndef main
vtkMath::RandomSeed(time(NULL));
#else
vtkMath::RandomSeed(8775070);
#endif
startPoint[0] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
startPoint[1] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
startPoint[2] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
endPoint[0] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
endPoint[1] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
endPoint[2] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);

// Compute a basis
double normalizedX[3];
double normalizedY[3];
double normalizedZ[3];

// The X axis is a vector from start to end
vtkMath::Subtract(endPoint, startPoint, normalizedX);
double length = vtkMath::Norm(normalizedX);
vtkMath::Normalize(normalizedX);

// The Z axis is an arbitrary vector cross X
double arbitrary[3];
arbitrary[0] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
arbitrary[1] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
arbitrary[2] = vtkMath::Random(-10,10);
vtkMath::Cross(normalizedX, arbitrary, normalizedZ);
vtkMath::Normalize(normalizedZ);

// The Y axis is Z cross X
vtkMath::Cross(normalizedZ, normalizedX, normalizedY);
vtkSmartPointer<vtkMatrix4x4> matrix =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkMatrix4x4>::New();

// Create the direction cosine matrix
matrix->Identity();
for (unsigned int i = 0; i < 3; i++)
{
matrix->SetElement(i, 0, normalizedX[i]);
matrix->SetElement(i, 1, normalizedY[i]);
matrix->SetElement(i, 2, normalizedZ[i]);
}

// Apply the transforms
vtkSmartPointer<vtkTransform> transform =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkTransform>::New();
transform->Translate(startPoint);
transform->Concatenate(matrix);
transform->Scale(length, length, length);

// Transform the polydata
vtkSmartPointer<vtkTransformPolyDataFilter> transformPD =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkTransformPolyDataFilter>::New();
transformPD->SetTransform(transform);
transformPD->SetInputConnection(arrowSource->GetOutputPort());

//Create a mapper and actor for the arrow
vtkSmartPointer<vtkPolyDataMapper> mapper =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkPolyDataMapper>::New();
vtkSmartPointer<vtkActor> actor =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkActor>::New();
#ifdef USER_MATRIX
mapper->SetInputConnection(arrowSource->GetOutputPort());
actor->SetUserMatrix(transform->GetMatrix());
#else
mapper->SetInputConnection(transformPD->GetOutputPort());
#endif
actor->SetMapper(mapper);

// Create spheres for start and end point
vtkSmartPointer<vtkSphereSource> sphereStartSource =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkSphereSource>::New();
sphereStartSource->SetCenter(startPoint);
vtkSmartPointer<vtkPolyDataMapper> sphereStartMapper =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkPolyDataMapper>::New();
sphereStartMapper->SetInputConnection(sphereStartSource->GetOutputPort());
vtkSmartPointer<vtkActor> sphereStart =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkActor>::New();
sphereStart->SetMapper(sphereStartMapper);
sphereStart->GetProperty()->SetColor(1.0, 1.0, .3);

vtkSmartPointer<vtkSphereSource> sphereEndSource =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkSphereSource>::New();
sphereEndSource->SetCenter(endPoint);
vtkSmartPointer<vtkPolyDataMapper> sphereEndMapper =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkPolyDataMapper>::New();
sphereEndMapper->SetInputConnection(sphereEndSource->GetOutputPort());
vtkSmartPointer<vtkActor> sphereEnd =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkActor>::New();
sphereEnd->SetMapper(sphereEndMapper);
sphereEnd->GetProperty()->SetColor(1.0, .3, .3);

//Create a renderer, render window, and interactor
vtkSmartPointer<vtkRenderer> renderer =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkRenderer>::New();
vtkSmartPointer<vtkRenderWindow> renderWindow =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkRenderWindow>::New();
vtkSmartPointer<vtkRenderWindowInteractor> renderWindowInteractor =
vtkSmartPointer<vtkRenderWindowInteractor>::New();
renderWindowInteractor->SetRenderWindow(renderWindow);

//Add the actor to the scene
renderer->SetBackground(.1, .2, .3); // Background color dark blue

//Render and interact
renderWindow->Render();
renderWindowInteractor->Start();

return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}
```

# Please try the new VTKExamples website.

## CMakeLists.txt

```cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8)

PROJECT(OrientedArrow)

find_package(VTK REQUIRED)
include(\${VTK_USE_FILE})

if(VTK_LIBRARIES)
else()
endif()
```

```cd OrientedArrow/build
```
• If VTK is installed:
```cmake ..
```
• If VTK is not installed but compiled on your system, you will need to specify the path to your VTK build:
```cmake -DVTK_DIR:PATH=/home/me/vtk_build ..
```

Build the project:

```make
```

and run it:

```./OrientedArrow
```

WINDOWS USERS PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to add the VTK bin directory to your path. This will resolve the VTK dll's at run time.