Edit Bezier control points

The methods used to adjust Bezier shapes are similar to those used by many other applications. Bezier control points are widely used to modify curves, and allow you to easily draw any mask shape you may need. Each point in a Bezier shape can be converted between a linear (corner) point and a smooth (Bezier) point at any time. For more information about smooth and linear points, see Complex masks overview.

Convert control points between corners and curves

On a mask in the Viewer, do any of the following:

  • Command-click a smooth (Bezier) point to turn it into a linear (corner) point.

  • Command-drag a linear (corner) point to turn it into a smooth (Bezier) point, creating adjustable tangent handles.

  • Control-click selected points, then choose Linear, Smooth, or Very Smooth (for B-Splines) from the shortcut menu to change the control point type.

Adjust a Bezier curve using a control point’s tangent handles

Bezier control points have two tangent handles that you use to adjust the curvature of the shape on either side of the control point. These handles can be adjusted in various ways to create symmetrical and asymmetrical curves. By default, these tangent handles are locked to one another at an angle of 180 degrees, but you can override this restriction to adjust each tangent handle independently.

  • To adjust the length of a tangent handle: Drag the handle. You can adjust the length of each tangent handle independently even when the tangent handles are locked to 180 degrees.

    Viewer showing tangent handle being lengthened independently of its opposing tangent handle
  • To break the relationship between opposing tangent handles: Option-drag either tangent handle. After this relationship is broken, adjustments to one tangent handle have no effect on the other, and you can rotate both tangent handles freely.

    Viewer showing one tangent handle being rotated independently of its opposing tangent handle

    You can also Control-click a tangent handle point and choose Break Handle from the shortcut menu.

    Viewer showing shortcut menu on control point
  • To lock the angle of the tangent handles together again: Option-drag a broken tangent handle, or Control-click a handle point and choose Link Handle from the shortcut menu. The tangent handles now maintain their relationship when moved and rotated.

  • To align the tangent handles to a 180-degree angle: Control-click a handle point and choose Align Handles from the shortcut menu.

Press Shift while you adjust a tangent handle to constrain its movement to 45-degree angles. To simultaneously modify the handles for more than one control point, Shift-select the points (on the same spline) and then adjust the tangent handles.