Bezier curve the maths of the “Pen Tool”

bezier-curve

The Bezier Curve is the mathematics behind the “Pen Tool” a graphic designer’s¬†primary drawing tool. A Bezier Curve is a curved line in which its shape is defined by a mathematical equation. ¬†They are used in vector applications such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as well as InDesign and Quark Express. It consists of two anchor points and levers that control the angle at which the curves leaves the end points. ¬†Without Bezier curves it would be almost impossible to produce the multitude of unique and beautiful designs.

 

sdw_straight_segments.png
Clicking the pen tool creates segments

 

They are named after the French mathematician Pierre Bezier who invented them, these are mathematically generated non-uniform curves. ¬†When used by a skilled designer they can create complex shapes with a smooth endpoint and they are particularly useful for creating the letterforms of logos, digital art and computer graphics. ¬†However the “Pen Tool,” is not exactly intuitive, and they are difficult to control and take some time to learn. ¬†I remember at Design College the frustration of practising with the “Pen Tool” by tracing the unreasonable curves of the Coke Cola logo. I was in a constant state of anxiety and a lack of concentration meant pulling stray lines and arcs across my artboard.

Vector Graphics – are primarily designed by using the “Pen Tool”. ¬†The vector image is a representation of Bezier curves. ¬†The vector image has no fixed point a line can have endpoints at any position within the image. ¬†Vector graphics are images that basically describe shapes and lines that may be easily altered in size and shape using geometric transformations. ¬† Because the objects within a vector image are described by equation the file size is very small and it is perfect for creating computer-generated images.

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teamSimon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment

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