- Bézier surface
**Bézier surfaces**are a species of mathematical spline used incomputer graphics ,computer-aided design , andfinite element modelling. As with theBézier curve , a Bézier surface is defined by a set of control points. Similar to interpolation in many respects, a key difference is that the surface does not, in general pass through the central controls points, rather it is "stretched" toward them as though each were an attractive force. They are visually intuitive, and for many applications, mathematically convenient.**History**Bézier surfaces were first described in

1972 by the French engineerPierre Bézier who used them to designautomobile bodies. Bézier surfaces can be of any degree, but bicubic Bézier surfaces generally provide enough degrees of freedom for most applications.**Equation**A given Bézier surface of order ("n", "m") is defined by a set of ("n" + 1)("m" + 1) control points

**k**_{"i,j"}. It maps theunit square into a smooth-continuous surface embedded within a space of the samedimensionality as {**k**_{"i,j"}}. For example, if**k**are all points in a four-dimensional space, then the surface will be within a four-dimensional space.A two-dimensional Bézier surface can be defined as a

parametric surface where the position of a point**p**as a function of the parametric coordinates "u", "v" is given by::$mathbf\{p\}(u,\; v)\; =\; sum\_\{i=0\}^n\; sum\_\{j=0\}^m\; B\_i^n(u)\; ;\; B\_j^m(v)\; ;\; mathbf\{k\}\_\{i,j\}$

evaluated over the

unit square , where:$B\_i^n(u)\; =\; \{n\; choose\; i\}\; ;\; u^i\; (1-u)^\{n-i\}$

is a

Bernstein polynomial , and:$\{n\; choose\; i\}\; =\; frac\{n!\}\{i!\; (n-i)!\}$

is the

binomial coefficient .Some properties of Bézier surfaces:

* A Bézier surface will transform in the same way as its control points under alllinear transformation s andtranslation s.

* All "u" = constant and "v" = constant lines in the ("u", "v") space, and, in particular, all four edges of the deformed ("u", "v") unit square are Bézier curves.

* A Bézier surface will lie completely within theconvex hull of its control points, and therefore also completely within thebounding box of its control points in any givenCartesian coordinate system .

* The points in the patch corresponding to the corners of the deformed unit square coincide with four of the control points.

* However, a Bézier surface does not generally pass through its other control points.Generally, the most common use of Bézier surfaces is as nets of

**bicubic patches**(where "m" = "n" = 3). The geometry of a single bicubic patch is thus completely defined by a set of 16 control points. These are typically linked up to form aB-spline surface in a similar way to the way Bézier curves are linked up to form aB-spline curve.**Bézier surfaces in computer graphics**Bézier patch meshes are superior to meshes of triangles as a representation of smooth surfaces, since they are much more compact, easier to manipulate, and have much better continuity properties. In addition, other common parametric surfaces such as

sphere s and cylinders can be well approximated by relatively small numbers of cubic Bézier patches.However, Bézier patch meshes are difficult to render directly. One problem with Bézier patches is that calculating their intersections with lines is difficult, making them awkward for pure

ray tracing or other direct geometric techniques which do not use subdivision or successive approximation techniques.They are also difficult to combine directly with perspective projection algorithms.For this reason, Bézier patch meshes are in general eventually decomposed into meshes of triangles by 3D

rendering pipeline s. In high-quality rendering, the subdivision is adjusted to be so fine that the individual triangle boundaries cannot be seen. To avoid a "blobby" look, fine detail is usually applied to Bézier surfaces at this stage usingtexture map s,bump map s and otherpixel shader techniques.A Bézier patch of degree ("m", "n") may be constructed out of two

Bézier triangle s of degree m+n, or out of a single Bézier triangle of degree m+n, with the input domain as a square instead of as a triangle.A Bézier triangle of degree m may also be constructed out of a Bézier surface of degree (m, m), with the control points so that one edge is squashed to a point, or with the input domain as a triangle instead of as a square.

**See also***

NURBS

*Computational geometry

*Bicubic interpolation

*Bézier triangle **Bibliography*** Gerald Farin. "Curves and Surfaces for CAGD", 5th ed. published by Academic Press. ISBN 1558607374.

**External links*** [

*http://www.mizuno.org/gl/bs/ Bézier Surface*] AnOpenGL based "Bézier Surface" program and itssource code (open source ) for educational material.

* http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke/surfaces/bezier/

* http://home.scarlet.be/piet.verplancken3/bezier/node15.html

*Wikimedia Foundation.
2010.*

### Look at other dictionaries:

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