Crate bezier_nd[][src]

Expand description

Bezier curve library

This library provides linear, quadratic and cubic Bezier curves, using generic types for the scalar and vectors that they are made up of.

The underlying point type must conform to geo_nd::Vector trait as an N-dimensional vector of scalars, which must meet the geo_nd::Float trait.

The simplest such scalar is f32 or f64; the point can be a geo_nd::FArray<f32 (or f64),N> - for N dimensions (usually 2 or 3). Such a point class is a wrapper around an array around an array F[f32; N], for example, providing standard arithmetic and assignment etc.

Bezier types

A linear Bezier has two points, p0 and p1, and provides points along the line as:

  p(t,u=1-t) = u*p0 + t*p1

A quadratic Bezier has three points, p0, c and p1, and provides points along the curve as:

p(t,u=1-t) = u^2.p0 + 2.t.u.c + t^2.p1

or, viewing it is a linear Bezier between two linear Beziers:

p(t) = u(u.p0 + t.c) + t(u.c + t.p1)

Cubic Beziers go one step further, being effectively linear Bezier curves of two quadratic Beziers, but explicitly a point at parameter t is:

p(t,u=1-t) = u^3.p0 + 3.t.u^2.c0 + 3.u.t^2.c1 + t^3.p1

Overview of Bezier curve type

The Bezier type supports construction and interrogation of the type instance. The type utilizes a num_pts field, which is 2 for linear Beziers, 3 for quadratic, and 4 for cubic. The type includes an array of four control points for every Bezier - the first two points are the endpoints of the Bezier (p0 and p1, in notation). The third control point is not used for linear Beziers, and the fourth control point is only used for cubic Beziers.

The Bezier can be interrogated, to determine any point along the curve given the parameter t (from 0 to 1), as can its tangent (which is a simple linear combination of the control points - the derivative of the Bezier function with respect to t).

Any portion of a Bezier curve between two values of t is also a Bezier curve of the same type; hence a method is supplied to permit sectioning of a Bezier into another Bezier.

Straightness and Bisection

The Bezier curve can be bisected in to two Bezier curves of the same type (such as cubic); the two halves of a Bezier will be closer approximations to a straight line, and hence to render a Bezier it is common to bisect a Bezier recursively until the elements are ‘straight enough’. One can consider a cubic Bezier curve, for example being mapped to a list of linear Beziers which join end-to-end, which approximate the original Bezier to within a ‘straightness’ measure.

This concept can be used not only to render a Bezier as straight line segments, but also to approximate the length of a Bezier, or to find a value for the parameter t for a particular distance along the Bezier.

Methods are provided to generate iterators that will yield straight line segments or points, which approximate a Bezier curve to a particular straightness; further methods are supplied to calculate the length of a Bezier, or to find the value of t for s distance along the Bezier.

Circular arcs and rounding

Bezier curves cannot express circular arcs precisely; they are different mathematical beasts. However, a circular arc may be approximated quite closely with a cubic Bezier curve.

It can be useful, when using two-dimensional graphics, to generate rounded rectangles (or other polygons). For these case the corner points of the rectangles are known, and the directions of the lines into the corner are known, and it is useful to generate a Bezier that represents the arc which can replace this corner. This is another circular arc, but described by the corner, approach vectors, and rounding radius.


An example using 2-dimensional vectors of f32

use geo_nd::Vector;
type Point  = geo_nd::FArray<f32,2>;
type Bezier = bezier_nd::Bezier<f32, Point, 2>;

let dx = Point::from_array([1.,0.]);
let dy = Point::from_array([0.,1.]);
let line = Bezier::line( &dx, &dy );
assert!( line.is_line());
assert!( line.is_straight(0.));

// A 30-degree arc of radius 3; has length of PI/2,
// it is fairly close to being a straight line, subjectively...
let arc = Bezier::arc( 30.0f32.to_radians(), 3.0, &Point::from_array([3.,4.]), &dx, &dy, 0.);
assert!( arc.is_cubic());

// Breaking the arc with a large value of straightness yields only 3 points:
assert_eq!( arc.as_points(0.1).count(), 3);
// This is 1.5662874
println!( "Arc length when straightened to '0.1' is {}", arc.length(0.1) );

// Breaking the arc with a small value of straightness yields 33 points!
assert_eq!( arc.as_points(0.01).count(), 33);
// This is 1.5707505 - a lot closer to PI/2 = 1.57079632679
println!( "Arc length when straightened to '0.1' is {}", arc.length(0.1) );

for (a,b) in arc.as_lines(0.05) {
    println!("Line from {} to {}\n", a, b);

let q = Bezier::quadratic( &Point::from_array([2.,6.]),
assert_eq!( q.borrow_pt(0)[0], 2., "Start point X of Bezier" );
assert_eq!( q.borrow_pt(0)[1], 6., "Start point Y of Bezier" );
assert_eq!( q.borrow_pt(1)[0], 4., "End point X of Bezier" );
assert_eq!( q.borrow_pt(1)[1], 7., "End point Y of Bezier" );

An example using 3D vectors of f64

use geo_nd::Vector;
type Point  = geo_nd::FArray<f64,3>;
type Bezier = bezier_nd::Bezier<f64, Point, 3>;

let c = Bezier::cubic( &Point::from_array([1.,0.,0.]),
// This is just over 3.283
println!( "3D cubic length when straightened to '0.1' is {}", c.length(0.1) );
// But this is just over 3.29
println!( "3D cubic length when straightened to '0.01' is {}", c.length(0.01) );

Circular arc algorithm

There are many papers and articles on constructing Bezier curves that approximate circular arcs; from an academic perspective these provide analytical approximation generation. This library is more practical: it provides an implementation that is simple, fast, and works for all angles. Effectively it is table-based; in fact, it uses a quartic polynomial of the square of the sine of the angle of the arc, with the polynomial matching a table generated from experimental data.

The approach taken was to start with an analytical value for the coefficient (lambda) applied to the corner direction vectors to generate the two control points, and to determine the mean-square-error this generated, for a number of points along the Bezier curve, in the distance from the point to the centre of the arc compared to the radius of the arc. The value of ‘lambda’ was adjusted in small steps, to reach a minimum mean-square-error for the angle of the arc.

Numerous tables of values of best-lambda compared to different functions of the angle (such as sin(angle), sin(angle)^2, etc) were produced, along with reciprocal tables, and a best low-order polynomial match was sought which would yield a very high correlation to the table.

This polynomial is encoded in the Bezier function - currently not particularly well optimized, though. The accuracy of the Bezier curves produced is compared in regression testing to be within 0.1% (using the mean-square-error of a number of points along the Bezier).

This is not looking for the worst excursion; no visual comparisons have been done; the purpose is to provide something that is clean, works across the range, and is efficient. There is no perfect solution to this problem!



A Bezier is an implementation of a linear, quadratic or cubic Bezier curve using a parameter which has the Float trait, and consists of points that have the Vector trait.


An iterator with Item = (V, V) of straight lines that form a single Bezier curve


An iterator with Item = V of points that form a single Bezier curve where the steps between points would be lines that are ‘straight enough’.