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Figure 14.11 3 degree Bezier curve with its four control points
On the basis of this observation, we can define rational Bezier curves:
i = 0 B i , n ( u ) w i P i
C( u )
i = 0 B i , n ( u ) w i
where the P i (respectively the B i ) are the control points (respectively the Bernstein
polynomials). The w i are scalars called the weights of the control points. Their role is
attracting the curve towards or pushing it back from the control points.
Generally, using a smaller number of control points makes it difficult to easily
draw an appropriate shape. If the number of control points is increased, the degree
of polynomials increases consequently. This makes them less useful not only in digital
terms (digital instability, calculation costs), but also their interactive use (a control
point has an influence on the entire curve which restricts the possibilities of highly
localised modifications). We will thus create Bezier curves joined end to end, by adding
continuity constraints to them. For this purpose, we will use certain control points
several times.
Curve C ( u ) is then defined on u
[0, 1] and is made up of segments C i ( u ), 1
m .
These segments are joined at their ends u 0
1 with a certain
level of continuity. We say that curve C k is continuous at the end ui if C ( j )
0 < u 1 < u 2 < u 3 < u 4
C ( j )
( u i )
1 ( u i )
k , where C ( j )
for every 0
i represents the j -th derivative of C i . The following
definition is used to make the equations compatible with a computer installation:
C ( u )
N i , p P i
where the P i are the control points and N i , p are the basic B-spline functions of degree
p . Various approaches can be taken to define these basic B-spline functions.
We will only use the recurrent approach, which is well suitable for a computer
The B-spline has connecting control points between its segments which are
called nodes. A sequence of these nodes is called knot vector and is written as
( u 0 , ... , u m ). U is a non-decreasing sequence of real numbers. The basic B-spline
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