How to explicitly find the control point $C_0(x_0,y_0)$ of quadratic Bezier curve if I have only its end-points $C_1(x_1,y_1)$ and $C_2(x_2,y_2)$?


This should be done using the fact that the tangent passing through $C_1$ and $C_2$ meets at $C_0$. So, from $$y=m_1x+b_1~~ {\rm and}~~ y=m_2x+b_2, $$ with $$ m_1=\frac{y_0-y_1}{x_0-x_1},~~ m_2=\frac{y_0-y_2}{x_0-x_2},~~ b_1=y_1-m_1x_1,~~ b_2=y_2-m_2x_2. $$ Therefore $$ m_1x_0+b_1=m_2x_0+b_2~~ {\rm or}~~ x_0=\frac{b_2-b_1}{m_1-m_2}, $$ which is nothing else but identity. Am I doing something wrong?


The end-points are located in an ellipse.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a parametric description such as $x= a t^3+..., y= c t^3+...$ ? $\endgroup$ – Jean Marie Feb 21 '16 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ curve end point tangents meet at cp. $\endgroup$ – Narasimham Feb 21 '16 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ From tangents I have $x_c=\frac{b_2-b_1}{m_1-m_2}$ and $y_c=m_1x_c+b_2$ with $m_1=\frac{y_c-y_1}{x_c-x_1}$ and $m_2=\frac{y_c-y_2}{x_c-x_2}$. How to find $b_1$ and $b_2$?? $\endgroup$ – Asatur Khurshudyan Feb 21 '16 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ Are they $b_1=y_1-m_1x_1$ and $b_2=y_2-m_2x_2$, correspondingly, or I will arrive at identity? $\endgroup$ – Asatur Khurshudyan Feb 21 '16 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ if you want the Bezier curve to match the ellipse, then you should get the tangent vectors from the ellipse. If you are willing to use a rational quadratic, rather than a regular polynomial quadratic, then you can match the ellipse exactly. $\endgroup$ – bubba Feb 23 '16 at 13:52

As Joriki says, you can't get the other control point with no other information.

However, if you know a point on the line you can work it out. The formula for a quadratic Bezier function taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bezier_curve is:

$P(t) = (1-t)^2P0 + 2(1-t)tP1 + t^2P2$

If you know any two control points, and a separate point on the line at a known time you can calculate the third control point. Say you know the start and end points P0 and P2, and know the curve passes through P(0.5) at t=0.5:

$$ P(0.5) = (1-0.5)^2P0 + 2(1-0.5)0.5P1+0.5^2P2\\ P(0.5) = 0.25P0 + 0.5P1 + 0.25P2\\ P1 = 2P(0.5)-0.5P0 - 0.5P2 $$

For a cubic Bezier if you know the start and end points you can find the middle two control points using the method described here: https://web.archive.org/web/20131225210855/http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/html/bezier_interpolation.html

That requires you to know the points that the curve goes through at t=1/3 and t=2/3. I'm afraid I haven't tried generalising it to any points in time.


You can't get the control point from the end points. A quadratic Bézier curve is defined by all three points. If you have only the end points, you can arbitrarily choose a control point to define a quadratic Bézier curve.


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