Im learning libgdx and one of the things that really confuses me its raycasting. I read a tutorial of how to use it and I understand it but I really want to know what's in the back. I searched for the source code of this method.

public void rayCast (final RayCastCallback callback, float point1X, float point1Y, float point2X, float point2Y) {   // FIXME pool RayCastCallback?
    world.raycast(new org.jbox2d.callbacks.RayCastCallback() {
    public float reportFixture (org.jbox2d.dynamics.Fixture f, Vec2 p, Vec2 n, float fraction) {
        return callback.reportRayFixture(fixtures.get(f), point.set(p.x, p.y), normal.set(n.x, n.y), fraction);
}, this.point1.set(point1X, point1Y), this.point2.set(point2X, point2Y));

} How we can see this method calls itself recursively and returns a call to reportRayFixture of the callback variable. The thing that really confused me it's from where the code select the Fixture, and how its checks every fixture. Can someone explain me really how its works.

This its the source code page https://github.com/libgdx/libgdx/blob/master/extensions/gdx-box2d/gdx-box2d-gwt/src/com/badlogic/gdx/physics/box2d/gwt/emu/com/badlogic/gdx/physics/box2d/World.java

I will appreciate it!


1 Answer 1


Raycasting is when we draw an invisible line through space and see what it intersects with. A common use for this is to figure out what a player is clicking on- we draw a line from the camera in the direction that the player is clicking, and the first object our line touches is the line the player clicked on.

In Box2D, the RayCastCallback interface is used to allow you to write code that gets executed when your ray hits a Fixture (for example, you may want to ignore certain fixtures). I haven't used this personally, but I imagine you could use something like this in a shooter game to see if a wall-penetrating weapon could hit an object behind a wall (or something like that).

At a high level, what this lovely piece of code is doing is a little slight of hand- if you look at it really closely, what it's doing is taking in the libGDX RayCastCallback and wrapping it in a JBox2D RayCastCallback which has a slightly different API. It's more like it's overloading the method than calling it recursively.

What I don't know is why the author chose to create the Point1 and Point2 instance variables. I would think if you had multiple fixtures they would get overridden, so perhaps they are supposed to contain the last fixture hit by the ray? Even so, it looks like multiple raycasts would overwrite them.


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