Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Rotation is combination of shearing and scaling

  1. Nov 14, 2011 #1
    I have read at a lot of places that in 2D transformations rotation is a combination of scaling and simultaneous shear?

    What exactly does this mean & what's the proof for this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2011 #2

    Stephen Tashi

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Are you familiar with how linear tranformations are represented (one might also say "implemented") by matrices? The statement appears to be a claim that a matrix which represents a rotation can be expressed as the product of a matrix representing scaling times a matrix representing shear.
  4. Nov 15, 2011 #3
    Yes, absolutely.

    For rotation of angle θ,
    you could use
    Scaling factors
    Sx = Sy = cosθ
    Shear factors
    Shx = -sinθ
    Shy = sinθ

    This would make rotation as a combination of scaling and shear.

    But I don't see what's the relevance of this. i.e. what's the point of mentioning this?

    As examples of different places where I read this statement



    etc etc
  5. Nov 15, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    [tex]A = \begin{bmatrix}\cos\theta&0\\0&\cos\theta \end{bmatrix}[/tex]

    is a scaling matrix (from a factor of 0 to 1).

    [tex]B = \begin{bmatrix}1&\tan\theta\\-\tan\theta&1\end{bmatrix}[/tex]

    is a (dual) shear matrix (with a distortion factor of 1 to ∞).

    AB is a rotation matrix.

    for some graphical applications of matrices (in computer games, for example), matrices are used to quickly manipulate objects in well-known ways (rotating, stretching to fit, shape distortion to accomodate perspective, etc.). the popular windows program "microsoft paint" illustrates how some of these are implemented (for 2-D operations, 2x2 matrices are often "block-embedded" in 3x3 matrices, so affine transformations (changing the origin), can be used as well, while maintaining linearity). the graphical "handles" or "hot spots" one sees in various kinds of graphics, are often keyed to specific linear (or affine) transformations.

    linear algebra is a computer programmer's friend, and the different ways of describing different operations often depend on what particular subroutines are available in the software package.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook