I'm reading about projection matrix. Needs of perspective projection is obvious, but I'm not sure about orthogonal projection. Because orthogonal projection effect looks possible with only world transform.

What is main purpose of orthogonal project which make it different with world transform?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Take a look at: link. Scroll down for 'Display projections'. \$\endgroup\$
    – edin-m
    Oct 4, 2012 at 8:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I assume OpenGL performs some projection by default? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eonil
    Oct 4, 2012 at 9:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "Can I assume OpenGL performs some projection by default?" - yes. The default projection matrix is identity (as is the default modelview) which essentially equates to ortho in the [-1..1] range on both x and y axes. GL itself doesn't have any concept of "projection" - that's just a mathematical construct derived from MVP * position, but MVP can be any matrix and doesn't need to include any kind of projection. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2012 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


It is possible to skip the orthogonal projection entirely, you are correct. It is usefull however, since most of the time when doing 2D you want to be working with screen space coordinates and not the (-1,1) range. It's more intuitive and hides the implementation details from the user.

All OpenGL does is, it expects your vertex shader to output clip space coordinates so it can do the perspective divide. So if you leave the w coordinate as 1 then it's like OpenGL did nothing. OpenGL will certainly not perform any transformations unless you tell it to.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .