Please avoid confusion over World origin shifting/rebasing and floating origin

I know that for a long time threshold-based shifting of the World (along with player and camera) has often been confused with the “floating origin” algorithm.

Real floating origin does not move the player or camera from the origin at all and all motion is 100% relative (World moves around the player). The threshold shifting algorithms move the player and camera – the exact opposite!

Real floating origin avoids the use of absolute-valued coordinates and applies only relative values, again the opposite to what you do.

To avoid confusion and misleading people, can you please change all references to “floating origin” in your documentation and code to something that reflects the truth of the algorithm you actually use. Making such a change by refactoring code takes very little time because the editor does most of the work and replacing documentation text is just as easy.

If you do wish to continue using the term floating origin term, please at least acknowledge the original, and current, publisher and developer. e.g. the original paper published in 2005 is here:

It serves no good purpose to spread misleading information and not respect the work of others.


Dr Chris Thorne

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Tadej here, CTO at coherence.

Thank you for reaching out!

Unfortunately we didn’t know about your paper or your definition of the name “floating origin”.

We developed the feature to help our customers simulate larger worlds, and the fact that we happened to use the same name was not deliberate.

Of course we respect other people’s work and feedback and are in no way interested in spreading misleading information :).

I will talk to our team and see if that’s something we can address in one of our upcoming releases.

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Thanks Tadej for getting back to me.

The World-player shifting approach has been around since 2010 and was well publicised by the old (2010) Unity Wiki by Peter Stirling, also with the name “floating origin”. It was copied widely. It was shut down by Unity after I asked them to change the name to something else. There is still a copy in archive.

The other source of that method was from the popular Kerbal Space program. The developer described the shifting approach under the name “floating origin”, with direct quotes from my thesis, no attribution. He knew full well that he was being false.

The real floating origin has significant benefits that are not available from the false approaches and it is harmful to mislead people away from knowing how the real technique works, how it was developed and the theory behind it (most of publications on are developments of the idea)

Please also note that “floating origin” is part of the name of two of my Unity assets, and is referenced in all of them. It is protected by copyrights, DMCA, and a registered trademark. It is the name of my Web site and business.

I would greatly appreciate it if you change all occurrences of the term, in documentation and ocde, to something that reflects what your code actually does.


Dr Chris Thorne

Tadej, regarding your message:
“Just wanted to let you know that I added the name change to our backlog the first time you reached out :). We are a startup with limited resources but we’ll try to get to it asap.”
It takes less time to do a word replacement than it does to write the responses given.
Are infringement of trademark and other rights, misleading statements about your product, so unimportant that you put them on the backburner?