Brinevector3D: The Best Vector Library for Everyone


A simple vector lua library for everyone for 3D!

This is a fork of the brinevector (2D only)


I personally like brinevector, because it uses ffi to make structs for vectors instead of using tables, which makes it faster and more efficient, but I also need this for bump3dpd which needs x,y,z.


BrineVector3D was written for LOVE2D and is accelerated by the ffi module in luajit, but can be used for any luajit program.


Paste the brinevector3D.lua file and its accompanying BRINEVECTOR_LICENSE3D into your project.

Simply require the file in your projects and give the returned table a name

Vector3D = require "brinevector3D"


local Vector3D = require “brinevector3D”

You can replace Vector3D with any name you wish to use. Even V, for brevity. If you gave it any other name than Vector3D, in all code examples that follow, replace Vector3D with whatever name you gave it in the require call.


Here is an overview of all the features, properties, and methods of this library all in one place, and for most people, is everything they need to use this library.

For beginners, or for anyone who wants more details, read the sections down below.

Instantiating a vector

To create a new vector, just call the module directly

local myVec = Vector3D(3,4,5) --x = 3, y = 4, z = 5


  • the first argument will be the x-component of the new vector,
  • and the second argument will be the y-component of the new vector.

If no arguments are given, then it defaults to creating a zero-vector. (x component equals 0 and y component equals 0 and z component equals 0). Thus

local zVec = Vector3D()

is equivalent to

local zVec = Vector3D(0,0,0)

NOTE: You can also just use this for 2D Vectors like local myVector = Vector3D(32,32), but c'mon, use the original brinevector for that

Accessing a vector's components


Getting the x,y, and z components of a vector works as you expect.

If you have

local myVec = Vector3D(3,4,5)

then myVec.x and myVec.y and myVec.z will return the x,y, and z components of myVec, respectively. (3 and 4 and 5)

print ( myVec.x )   -- prints "3"
print ( myVec.y )   -- prints "4"
print ( myVec.z )   -- prints “5”


Assigning and modifying the x,y and z components is also straightforward

myVec.x = 10
myVec.y = 20
myVec.z = 30

will set the x component of myVec to 10 and the y component to 20 and z component to 30

Printing a vector

When using tostring or print on a vector, it will display in a readable format with 4 decimal places for each component. Thus,

local myVec = Vector3D(3,4,5)

Vector3D Arithmetic

Addition and Subtraction

You can add and subtract vectors using + and - If you have

local a = Vector3D(3,4,5)
local b = Vector3D(1,2,3)


a + b       -- returns a vector <4,6,8>
a - b       -- returns a vector <2,2,2>
b - a       -- returns a vector <-2,-2,-2>
a = a + b   -- a then becomes <4,6,8>

Multiplication with a scalar

There are a few different types of vector multiplication. The simplest is multiplication of a vector with a number.

local a = Vector3D(3,4,5)
a * 5           -- returns <15,20,25>
a * -1          -- returns <-3,-4,-5>
local c = a * 2 -- instantiates a new vector with values <6,8,10>

Multiplication with another vector

Multiplying two vectors together with the operator * performs the dot product, which returns a single number.

local a = Vector3D(1,2,3)
local b = Vector3D(3,4,5)
a * b   -- results with (a.x * b.x) + (a.y * b.y) + (a.z * b.z), which is 19

Hadamard product

In some cases, you might want to get a vector whose x component is the product of two other vectors' x components, and whose y component is the product of their y components. (ie. "Component-wise" or "Freshman" multiplication)

local a = Vector3D(3,4,5)
local b = Vector3D(1,-1,1)
local c = Vector3D(a.x * b.x, a.y * b.y, a.z * b.z)  -- c becomes <3,-4,5>

There really isn't a predefined mathematical symbol for this, so I chose the % operator, as it has no uses with vectors otherwise. Thus the above example can also be written more succinctly as

local c = a % b         -- c becomes <3,-4,5>

If that makes you uncomfortable because % to you can only mean modulo, then alternatively you can use

local c = a:hadamard(b) -- c becomes <3,-4,5>

Division with a scalar

Dividing a vector V with a scalar x, is exactly equivalent to multiplying V with 1/x. Thus,

local a = Vector3D(3,4,5)
a / 5   -- returns <0.6,0.8,1>

Division with a vector?

In mathematics, there is no rule for dividing a vector with another vector, and so trying

local a = Vector3D(1,1,1)
local b = Vector3D(5,5,1)
a / b

produces an error: must divide by a scalar


A vector preceded by the unary minus operation (like -v, where v is a vector) is exactly equivalent to v * -1

local a = Vector3D(3,4,5)
-a      -- returns <-3,-4,-5>
-a * 5  -- returns <-15,-20,-25>

Vector3D properties

For maximum convenience and ease of use, the most common properties of a vector are accessed just like any members of a table, without having to call any methods like in other libraries.

These are:

  • length
  • angle
  • normalized
  • length2


You can access the length of a vector with .length. Thus if you have

local myVec = Vector3D(3,4,5)



produces 5. Even if you edit the vector later on, accessing the length property automatically computes the new length. This makes code shorter and more understandable. This is true for all the other special properties. They are generated on the fly when you ask for them.

local myVec = Vector3D(3,4,5)
local a = myVec.length        -- a becomes '5'
myVec = myVec * 3             -- myVec is now <9,12>
local b = myVec.length        -- b becomes '15'

Notice how you don't need to use a method like a:length() or a:getLength(). You simply use a.length


Using .angle gives the angle of a vector in radians

local myVec = Vector3D(1,1)
myVec.angle     -- produces PI/4 radians, or 0.78539816339744828


Using .normalized gives the normalized vector of a given vector. That is, a vector with the same angle as the original, but whose length is 1.

local myVec = Vector3D(3,4)
local myVecN = myVec.normalized    -- myVecN becomes <0.6,0.8>
myVecN.length                      -- is '1'


For most purposes (like comparing the lengths of vectors) you only need to compare the squares of the lengths of the vectors. This is because to get the length, any library needs to call math.sqrt. This can be slow, and so if you're conscious about performance, you can use .length2, which returns the length of a vector squared

-- compare the lengths of two vectors
local bakery = Vector3D(3,4)
local restaurant = Vector3D(10,10)

if bakery.length2 < restaurant.length2 then
    print("The bakery is closer")
elseif bakery.length2 > restaurant.length2 then
    print("The restaurant is closer")
-- outputs “The bakery is closer”

Vector3D methods

Property methods

If you prefer getting the above properties with methods instead like in other libraries, you can always still use the following:

  • myVec:getLength() -- equivalent to myVec.length
  • myVec:getAngle() -- equivalent to myVec.angle
  • myVec:getNormalized() -- equivalent to myVec.normalized
  • myVec:getLengthSquared() -- equivalent to myVec.length2


myVec:angled( angle )

This returns a vector whose length is the same as myVec but whose angle is set to angle (in radians). For example,

local a = Vector3D(3,4)
local b = a:angled(0)

will set b to a vector with length 5 and whose angle is 0. ie. <5,0>

This is equivalent to

local a = Vector3D(3,4)
local b = Vector3D(a.length*math.cos(0), a.length*math.cos(0))


myVec:trim( length )

This returns a vector with the same angle as myVec, but whose length is "trimmed" down to length only if it is longer than length.

That is, if the length of myVec is greater than length, then the returned vector will have length length. If the length of myVec is less than length then it will return a vector identical to myVec

local a = myVec:trim( 10 )

is equivalent to the following code:

local a = Vector3D(myVec.x, myVec.y)
if a.length > 10 then
    a = a.normalized * 10

This is useful for applying max velocity to an accelerating object. For example if you're updating the velocity vel of an object with acceleration acc, and whose speed must be capped to MAXSPEED, you can write,

vel = (vel + acc):trim(MAXSPEED)

instead of

vel = vel + acc
if vel.length > MAXSPEED then
    vel = vel.normalized * MAXSPEED


myVec:hadamard( otherVec )

This returns a vector that is the result of a component-wise multiplication between myVec and otherVec. Thus a = b:hadamard(c) is equivalent to

a = Vector3D( b.x * c.x, b.y * c.y )

Alternatively, you can use a = b % c.


myVec:split( )

This returns two values: the x component of the vector, and the y component of the vector. Thus,

local x, y = myVec:split()

is equivalent to

local x, y = myVec.x, myVec.y

Method Shortcuts

Vector3Ds can also be directly modified through their length and angle properties. This makes for some very short code.

If you have

myVec = Vector3D(3,4)

, and you want to modify it such that it keeps its direction but its length changes to 20, then you can simply do

myVec.length = 20

And now if you inspect myVec,


This is equivalent to

myVec = myVec.normalized * 20

Similarly, if you have a vector

myUnitVec = Vector3D(1,0)

And you want it to point to an angle called someangle, but still have a length of 1, then simply do

myUnitVec.angle = someangle

This is equivalent to

myUnitVec = myUnitVec:angled(someangle)

Comparing vectors with ==

Vector3Ds can be compared with any other data using ==.

myVec == something will only return true if

  • something is another vector and
  • something.x == myVec.x and
  • something.y == myVec.y
  • something.z == myVec.z

Otherwise, it will return false

Checking if a variable is a vector

Use Vector3D.isVector3D(x) to check if x is a vector instantiated from the table returned by require "brinevector".


You can look at more functionalities in the original brinevector

Download Details:

Author: flamendless
Source Code: 

#lua #tools #vector 

Brinevector3D: The Best Vector Library for Everyone
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