question/problem: how to make precise and smooth lines and other bezier path troubles

i am having difficulty making precise smooth lines based on bezier paths. even drawing a straight bezier path and pressing apple-K introduces additional curvature/kinks in the line. i was not able to find the source of the randomization to turn it off. 


here is a video illustrating the problem:


also, breaking a line with a control point also breaks the curvature of the two segments. is there a way to preserve the original curvature of the line. 


how does one break a path exactly at the control point (instead of near it). holding [ and clicking on a path only works on the line but not on a control point.


there is a typo in the manual. to delete a point i have to press apple-option, not just option.


is there a keyboard shortcut to switch quickly between bezier draw and bezier edit. what is the difference between 'smooth' and 'independent'


is there a way to import paths from say illustrator or as raw data (say x,y, cx1, cy1, cx2, cy2)

similarly to the way one does with importing text. if not, please consider this a feature request. the idea is to be able to do say data visualization by creating a csv list of points that can either be imported or copied to the clipboard and pasted as a path (or brush stroke data for that matter).



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The raw data input idea is an interesting one, we'll consider that in the future. it would be great to add eps import, but if you've ever looked inside of an illustrator generated eps file you might get an idea why we haven't supported that feature. we do support svg input now that gets converted to a raster image, so adding svg as a vector input option is another thing we've considered adding in the future.

it  would also be very useful to be able to import svg to bezier path in addition to raster image.

what i am trying to do right now is make a tween animation between very specific and complex paths (done in illustrator). i can import as image and then 'generate paths from source edges' but that process introduces a lot of points and makes the lines very imprecise (as show in the video). then i tried rebuilding my paths directly in studio artist but when i draw them (with apple-K) i get the problems described in the video that seem to have to do with how the bezier paths in SA interpolate between control points along the path.

I noticed you were using freestyle pen mode at one point in your video. Freestyle pen mode draws a point path that then gets filled in (as opposed to a bezier path or a rigid straight line). The Bezier Curve pen mode is probably more what you are looking for if you want a pen mode that draws a smooth curve that then gets painted in when you release the mouse button (or lift the pen).


As far as the vector painting you were working with using the Vector output control panel. If you use Spheres on Path for the Vector Stroke Type, it's going to draw multiple vector spheres along the path (spaced using the Path Application control panel Spacing setting). Since the path gets rasterized before the spheres are applied to it, you can get the jitter you see for the paint stroke.

The example below shows 2 paths drawing with Bezier Curve pen mode using the Vector (solid color) main Render Technqiue. The left one uses a Bezier Path option for the Vector Stroke Type, the right one uses the Spheres on Path option.

You can see the positional variability with the spheres on path drawing, along with some color paint nib modulation as well.


You can also work with the AntiAlias Solid Brush Type for making precise smooth lines, using the Spline option for the vector type. You want to set the Path Application Spacing really high, like 400 or 800, so that you get long spline lengths being drawn (as opposed to really short spline lengths).

hmm, i still have the same problem with the bezier curve pen. the problem is that the lines are wavy even for a straight line. attached is the preset and snapshot. the paths here were made with line to and bezier curve:


I was thinking we had a LineTo hotkey option for Bezier Curve pen mode, but i'm not seeing it, so i'll add that to our 'to-do' list.


I split up my replies to your post. I think one of my later ones addresses the wavy comment.

When in Bezier Draw operation mode, the Freestyle DrawType options draw a freestyle point by point path that is then converted to a bezier path when you finish drawing it. If you want to draw straight line segments, use the LineTo Path option, which lets you draw individual straight line segments. You hold down the command key and move the mouse to end a line segment and start a new one on the bezier path you are drawing.

The example below shows 2 zig-zag bezier paths. The top was drawn using Freestyle Path, the bottom was drawn using LineTo Path.

You can see that LineTo path gives much better results if you want straight line segments.


Cmnd 5 lets you flip between where ever you are in the interface back and forth to Bezier operation mode.

There's not an explicit hotkey option to switch between bezier draw and bezier edit right now. We can add that in the future.

I'll look into the path breaking issue you brought up.  Agree that it should be better.


The best way to understand the different between smooth or independent control point editing is to work with them both on a simple bezier path and watch what happens when you move control points.


Independent (Edit Mode) lets you move a control point that is not on the curve without affecting the position of the associated control point on the curve. Or if you move the control point on the curve, the 2 associated cotnrol points off of the curve will not move along with it.


Smooth will also move the associated control point on the curve (which prevents kinks in the curve). Or if you move the control point on the curve, you will see the 2 associate control points off of the curve(the handles) move along with the point on the curve.

thanks, i think i understand what is weird about the path. here are three lineTo paths zoomed in a little bit. 

looks like the there are extra points (one at the beginning that makes it look like a question mark) and segments along the path. this is normal in line drawing algorithms, but when drawing with vector mode, the vector line seems to be made to pass not just through the end points of the line but also through all the segments. there is maybe some rounding error with the tangents so they don't point along the line, hence the waviness. 

When you run command k, the individual bezier paths in the bezier path frame are converted into point paths, and then drawn. So even if you are using a vector painting method, it's building it's vector painting by working with the converted raster point path as a source. So this can introduce some kinks. 


I'll look into adding an option so that this conversion step can be avoided if you are using something like a Bezier Path option for the Vector Stroke Type with vector paint presets.


Historically, the paint synthesizer did not directly support vector painting. But the bezier path frame and cmnd k painting off of the bezier path frame have been around since the original Studio Artist release. So converting the bezier path into a raster point path for painting makes perfect sense when you are doing raster painting. But if you want to directly do a vector path draw off of the bezier path, the conversion from vector path to point path back to vector path can introduce some variability (kinks).

thanks, it is making sense now... then is there any alternative to apple-K? for example can i generate bezier paths with MSG?

Like i said, for what you are trying to do i think the best solution is to provide a way to directly use the original bezier paths when working with cmnd k if the paint synthesizer is configured to paint with a vector paint technique that actually draws a vector paths (as opposed to dumping vector paint nib shapes on a path).



There's all kinds of bezier effects that can be generated with MSG.


You can't explicitly generate bezier paths in the bezier path frame from running MSG effects.


If you have MSG effects in a PASeq that generate vector drawing internal to them, that will output as svg vectors when you generate svg output based on the PASeq. In our future development code you can also output the MSG vector drawing as eps.


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