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A Crash Course in Understanding Quaternions

Learn how you can understand and implement quaternion rotations in your game projects

4.7 / 5.0
3578 students1 hours 29 minutes

Created by Penny de Byl, offered on Udemy

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Student feedback


To make sure that we score courses properly, we pay a lot of attention to the reviews students leave on courses and how many students are taking a course in the first place. This course has a total of 3578 students which left 79 reviews at an average rating of 4.7. Impressive!

Course length


We analyze course length to see if courses cover all important aspects of a topic, taking into account how long the course is compared to the category average. This course has a length of 1 hours 29 minutes, which is pretty short. This might not be a bad thing, but we've found that longer courses are often more detailed & comprehensive. The average course length for this entire category is 7 hours 6 minutes.

Overall score


This course currently has a bestcourses score of 7.1/10, which makes it a great course to learn from. On our entire platform, only 15% of courses achieve this rating!


Quaternions are like vegetables. You know they are good for you but you aren't sure why and if only you knew how to make them taste good. Okay so you aren't going to be eating quaternions, but you get the idea.  They are this really advanced topic in geometry and mathematics that anyone who designs or programs games has heard about, might have even used, but have no real understanding about what they are achieving and why they are better than other methods.

This short course will demystify the concept for you.  No, it won't give you the level of understanding of a postgraduate university mathematics major but it will provide you with the theory that will help you put quaternions and rotations in 3D space in context and give you the skills to use them with confidence in your game projects to overcome the limitations of other rotational methods.

Learn how to program and work with:

  • 4x4 Matrices to represent Euler angles.

  • Quaternion operations included in the Unity API.

  • Rotational controls for Slerp, RotateTowards, and LookAt.

Contents and Overview

In this short course, you will gain an understanding of the history of rotational mathematics and how quaternions came into existence.  It begins by examining Euler angles and how they are used to orient objects in 3D while then proceeding to explain how Euler angle multiplication breaks down into the issue known as 'gimbal lock'.

Following this, a conceptual examination of basic rotational geometry is extrapolated from 2D space into the quaternion 4D.  It is then explained how 4 dimensions can be applied to 3D by implementing axis-angle rotations.

The second half of the course provides some hands-on tutorials for applying quaternions to move and rotate 3D objects in the Unity Game Engine using C#.

What students are saying about Penny's courses:

  • Turns out, the hardest part of this course for me is finding the words to describe how glad I am to have enrolled in it.

  • I honestly love Hollistic's teaching approach and I've never learned so much within a few hours about coding effectively with such detailed explanations!

  • Penny is an excellent instructor and she does a great job of breaking down complex concepts into smaller, easy-to-understand topics.

What you will learn

  • A background overview of the mathematics that underpins quaternion rotations.
  • How gimbal lock occurs and why it is an issue with Euler angle rotation calculations.
  • Why quaternions provide a superior way of calculating rotations over Euler's formula.
  • How to use quaternions to rotate 3d objects in the Unity Game Engine with C#.


  • Be able to explain why quaternions are better than Euler angles for calculating rotations.
  • Be able to apply quaternion operations in Unity to orientate 3d objects.
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Frequently asked questions

  • Price: Free
  • Platform: Udemy
  • Language: English
  • 1 hours 29 minutes
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bestcourses score: 7.1/10

This course is better than many others in its category.