# Transformations

Learn how to apply translation, rotation, and scaling to 3D data.

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## Overview

A **transformation** is any function that we can apply to a set of geometric primitives, such as points or edges. Some examples of transformations include moving points by a scalar value, scaling them by a value, rotating, mirroring them across an axis, and more.

Translation, rotation, and scaling are three types of transformations with great importance in the world of 3D design. They belong to a special set of transformations called affine transformations. They’re essential in assembling 3D scenes, and nearly every major 3D design software has tools for these three transformations.

## The affine transformations

Any transformation that preserves parallel lines is said to be an **affine transformation**. When we apply transformations to an object, those transformations are said to be affine if parallel lines on the object remain parallel after the transformation.

Affine transformations preserve two properties:

**Collinearity:**When we transform an object, all points along a line must remain along that line, regardless of whether that line is rotated, translated, stretched, etc.**Ratios of distances:**All points must maintain the same relative distance from one another following the transform. For example, if a set of points in a line are all scaled by the same amount, then the relative distance between points should not change.

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