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The Good Anchor Point and Path

To demonstrate the good, the bad, and the ugly as those qualities apply to anchor points and paths, I’ve selected an ornament design that contains only one straight line and depends mainly on the use of Bézier curves to form its overall shape.

First, however, it’s important to understand the difference between corner anchor points and smooth anchor points. A corner anchor point is placed anywhere there’s an apex that comes to a point. It can be used with or without Bézier curve handles pulled out from one or both sides when the transition between two paths doesn’t need to be smooth or continuous.

A smooth anchor point is placed anywhere there’s a curve that transitions elegantly from one path into the next smoothly. This sort of anchor point always uses Bézier curve handles pulled out from both sides to control the shape of the curved path.

The anchor points controlling the Bézier curves that form the main vine in the motif shown in FIGURE 4.1 bend smoothly from one side to the other, creating graceful curves.

The handles are parallel with one another and aren’t pulled out too far, ensuring smooth continuity throughout the art. The other anchor point handles that form the remaining Bézier curves are also not overextended; they are pulled out only as far as needed to form each of the various bends in the path.

The end result of good anchor points and paths is elegant final artwork.

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