Different types of Bezierpoints? Need explanation, plz

(9) #1

Hi guys!
This is a beziers circle after some editing (rotating the whole thing, moving points…). Could you enlight me about that:
http://9kraftwerk.free.fr/misc/origin.jpg http://9kraftwerk.free.fr/misc/selected.jpg http://9kraftwerk.free.fr/misc/subdiv.jpg

I never noticed before, but there seems to be two types of bezierpoints. Their color are different (first image: unselected; second: selected both :stuck_out_tongue: ) and behave differently.

Needing to add a new point between them, I subdivided the segment: the adding of a point modifies the upper point, but not the lower.

Why? What are those different types? Can I switch one to another? (actually I need to transform the upper one into the “unsensitive” type)

(ilac) #2


There are four different types of Bezier Handles. Each point has 2 handles(Bezier points are the same in the curves, in ipos, in paths etc)

Handle 1:
Colour: Green
Key: V
this type of handle points towards the next point along the curve

Handle 2:
Key: H
Colour: Black (with yellow point)
this type of handle is static - you place it and it stays.

Handle 3:
Key: H
Colour: Pink+yellow
this type of handle remains in line with the handle on the other side of the point it belongs to. (when the handle on the other side is Handle 2, 3 or 4 but not 1)

Handle 4:
Key: Shift+H
Colour: Yellow
This is the ‘automatic calculation’ handle. Tries to fit the best/smoothest curve

press H to cycle between 2 & 3

Note that the 2 handles on the same point don’t have to be of the same kind. Select and press the necessary key to change.

Experiment a bit. It’ll soon all make sense and you’ll learn how to make the best of them by using different handles in combination.


ps. In your pictures you have handles 3 & 4.

(Koryo) #3

Hello g,

ilac is correct. I just thought I’d add this in case it helps. (also because I
didn’t know ilac already replied and I didn’t want this to go to waste :slight_smile:
First, here’s a picture to illustrate what ilac already said:

Also the names of the handles are:

  • Handle 2 (HKEY) = Free Handle
  • Handle 3 (HKEY) = Aligned Handle
  • Handle 1 (VKEY) = Vector Handle
  • Handle 4 (SHIFT+H) = Auto Handle

I find that the following helps me pick the right handle when I am modelling:

  • An aligned handle keeps the slope of the curve continuous at the point
    of contact.
  • A free handle allows me to introduce cusps into the curve.
  • A vector handle usually provides a good starting point for free handles.
  • An auto handle is used when I don’t specifically need one of the above.
  • KISS: The fewer handles I use in a curve, the easier it is to model and edit.

I like the cusp and continuity concepts just because I am falimiar with
them in math; but I hope they help you too. Also, the last three tips above
are mainly personal preferences and do not have solid grounding.

I hope this helps,

(ilac) #4

Oops! :-? Sorry Koryo! :stuck_out_tongue:

:smiley: :wink:

(Koryo) #5

ilac, I’m sure I do this to people fairly often too :slight_smile: Since there’s no way of
telling if someone’s already answering the question unlike IRC, it’s bound to
happen. :stuck_out_tongue:


(Atomike) #6

I came up with a little device to remember these keyframes a while ago. Remember those commercials for V-8 juice? When I’m working with bezier curves, I just think “Dang, I coulda had a V H” and there you go, both letters in my head. Sorry, I know it’s dumb, but works for me.

(9) #7


Thank you very much Ilac and Koryo, your explanations were both very clear and helpful.
And no problem for the 2 response, considering 2 are better than none!
Atomic, I do not know the ad you are referring to, so…

…Well it’s so clear that I’m gonna save the page for reminder! :wink:

thanks again and c-ya’ll