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If a node has no handles it's awkward and not intuitive to add a handle to it.

As far I can make out, I have to select the node using the Node Tool, then switch to the Pen Tool to drag out a new handle. Worse, if I want just one handle on the 'wrong' side of the node, I have to add two handles using the pen tool, then switch back to the Node Tool to delete the one I don't need.

Could you not arrange it so that option-dragging (or ctrl-dragging) from a node when using the Node Tool adds a new handle?

(It would be nice if the pointer changed in some way to show this new behaviour, too.)

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Martin,

If you control + click (on a Mac sorry I'm not sure about the Windows version) on a node with no handles using the Node tool it will add the handles for you. I'm sure there are other shortcuts too. Or you could use the little menu at the top of the screen when you are using the Node tool. I hope that helps. 

Hokusai

Convert.png

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Thanks Hokusai. I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. If a node has no handles, it's hard to add one handle to it. You can, of course, add two handles, and then remove one of them by opt-click.

What's a real pain, though, is if a node has one handle and you wish to add a second without disturbing the first – or moving the node itself. That's something I occasionally want to do, and can't do using the node tool, nor, I think, in any other way. It would be easy to arrange it so that opt-drag using the node tool 'dragged out' a second handle from the node.

Martin

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Martin,

Sorry I misunderstood what you were requesting but I understand now. That's a good suggestion. I wouldn't be surprised if it is already in there hidden somewhere, if not it would be a welcomed addition. 

Hokusai

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How can a node have only one control point?

There might be one with both handles on top of each other so that there only appears to be one, but as far as I can tell there is no way to get a node with a single control point in the Affinity products - with only one you would have a different type of curve altogether than a bezier...

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How can a node have only one control point?

There might be one with both handles on top of each other so that there only appears to be one, but as far as I can tell there is no way to get a node with a single control point in the Affinity products - with only one you would have a different type of curve altogether than a bezier...

 

Make a regular, two-handled node, then option-click on one of the handles. See the picture.

Martin

Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 15.51.58.png

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10 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

Make a regular, two-handled node, then option-click on one of the handles.

All that’s happening there is that you’re setting the node-to-handle distance to zero.


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12 minutes ago, Alfred said:

All that’s happening there is that you’re setting the node-to-handle distance to zero.

The distinction between a) deleting a handle and b) reducing its length to zero without deleting it is a bit subtle for me.

If I change a node from a regular smooth node to a sharp point, would you say that the node now has no handles or that it still has two handles but you've reduced the node-to-handle distance to zero? How can you tell? Is there any meaningful difference?

Martin

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20 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

Is there any meaningful difference?

I can’t think of a better answer than this:

1 hour ago, fde101 said:

How can a node have only one control point?

There might be one with both handles on top of each other so that there only appears to be one, but as far as I can tell there is no way to get a node with a single control point in the Affinity products - with only one you would have a different type of curve altogether than a bezier...

It seems to me that the same argument applies to a node having no control points instead of one.


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34 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

If I change a node from a regular smooth node to a sharp point, would you say that the node now has no handles

Sharp points do not have control point handles, I will grant you that.  They may still have control points behind the scenes depending on how Serif implemented them, but they do not have handles representing the positions of those control points.

 

34 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

The distinction between a) deleting a handle and b) reducing its length to zero without deleting it is a bit subtle for me.

I'm not sure what is meant by "reducing its length to zero" but when you option+click on a node it turns it into a sharp point, leaving NO handles for control points.  If an adjacent node is still a smooth point you may still see the handle for a control point of the adjacent node to the one which is selected; if you drag on that you will see the other appear while you are dragging it, which makes it a little more clear what actually happened.

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28 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Sharp points do not have control point handles, I will grant you that.  They may still have control points behind the scenes depending on how Serif implemented them, but they do not have handles representing the positions of those control points.

I'm not sure what is meant by "reducing its length to zero" but when you option+click on a node it turns it into a sharp point, leaving NO handles for control points.  If an adjacent node is still a smooth point you may still see the handle for a control point of the adjacent node to the one which is selected; if you drag on that you will see the other appear while you are dragging it, which makes it a little more clear what actually happened.

I can draw a shape so that a node has one handle which I can manipulate. Just take a regular, smooth, two-handled node and use the Node Tool to option-click on one of its handles. That handle disappears and the other does not. This is the situation I illustrated in the picture that I posted about an hour ago. The node at the bottom right is selected, using the node tool, and there is one handle visible and manipulable. I cannot see a second handle or make a second handle visible.

I have always considered that this is a node with one handle, which seems a reasonable way of looking at it. However, Alfred says

Quote

All that’s happening there is that you’re setting the node-to-handle distance to zero.

I don't care how it's implemented. I don't care if the handle has been deleted, or if I've "set the node-to-handle distance to zero". I'd just like some way of getting hold of a second handle without disturbing the position of the visible handle or the node itself.

Martin

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33 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

I don't care how it's implemented. I don't care if the handle has been deleted, or if I've "set the node-to-handle distance to zero". I'd just like some way of getting hold of a second handle without disturbing the position of the visible handle or the node itself.

If you have a sharp node, regardless of whether it has one control handle or two visible, I don’t think there’s any way to show another handle without disturbing anything. When you move that handle you’re going to change the appearance of the curve anyway, so it’s no use worrying about it, and if you’re not going to move the handle there’s not much point in being able to see it in the first place.


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8 minutes ago, Alfred said:

If you have a sharp node, regardless of whether it has one control handle or two visible, I don’t think there’s any way to show another handle without disturbing anything.

Exactly. I'd like one, please. Hokusai seems to agree with me.

Quote

When you move that handle you’re going to change the appearance of the curve anyway, so it’s no use worrying about it, and if you’re not going to move the handle there’s not much point in being able to see it in the first place.

I don't understand what you mean. I want a new handle which I can move, so that I can alter the appearance of the curve on one side of the node. I don't want to alter the appearance of the curve on the other side of the node, so I want the original, visible, handle to stay where it is.

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11 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

I want a new handle which I can move, so that I can alter the appearance of the curve on one side of the node.

Thanks for the clarification, Martin. In that case, simply drag on that side of the curve to alter its appearance: the other handle should appear when you do this.


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3 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Thanks for the clarification, Martin. In that case, simply drag on that side of the curve to alter its appearance: the other handle should appear when you do this.

We're almost there, aren't we? The problem with your solution is that it disturbs the handle(s) at the other end of the curve-segment. Again, I don't want to do this.

 

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25 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

We're almost there, aren't we? The problem with your solution is that it disturbs the handle(s) at the other end of the curve-segment. Again, I don't want to do this.

Again, if you had a handle that you could drag you’d also disturb the other end of the curve segment. Short of creating cusp nodes at each end, I can’t see any way around this.


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Alfred,

I'm guessing that Martin is thinking of like how it works in Photoshop (sorry I don't have a copy of Illustrator that is easily to get to right now). When you are drawing with the pen tool (even vector paths) you can Alt+Click and it will delete one handle, leaving you with a handle on only one side leaving you free to adjust only one side of the path. I thought Illustrator could do this too but I can't remember but I do know that Photoshop does this. It is sometimes helpful.

Hokusai

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On 6/29/2020 at 3:39 PM, Martin S Taylor said:

If a node has no handles it's awkward and not intuitive to add a handle to it.

As far I can make out, I have to select the node using the Node Tool, then switch to the Pen Tool to drag out a new handle. Worse, if I want just one handle on the 'wrong' side of the node, I have to add two handles using the pen tool, then switch back to the Node Tool to delete the one I don't need.

 

Select the node and then opt-drag it with Pen Tool to drag out a new handle on only the outgoing side of the node. You'll need to reverse the curve direction before opt-dragging if it's the other handle you want.

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24 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Again, if you had a handle that you could drag you’d also disturb the other end of the curve segment.

But, as Martin said, dragging a handle wouldn't disturb any handle of the node at the other end of the segment.

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2 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Again, if you had a handle that you could drag you’d also disturb the other end of the curve segment. Short of creating cusp nodes at each end, I can’t see any way around this.

Let's give this one more shot, shall we? Have a look at this diagram:

 

645244473_Screenshot2020-07-01at19_23_06.jpg.6a28f144da2f2b423ba90cb38416a24b.jpg

 

I want a second handle which extends from point A, so that the line C will bulge upwards some more. I don't want to move point A, point B, or any of the handles you can see in the diagram at the moment. (Please don't anybody tell me that's not what I want. I do want it. That should be enough.)

If I click on A with either the Node Tool or the Pen Tool, with or without modifier keys held down, I either smooth A (which I don't want) or move A or its existing handle. If I drag the line at point C (which, I think, is what Alfred is suggesting) it will disturb the handles at B. Again, I don't want this.

All I'm asking for is that I can use the Node Tool together with an unused modifier key (eg. option-drag) in order to 'pull out' a second extended handle from point A. Point A will then be a sharp node with two handles: the existing handle (which will not be moved by my proposal) and a new handle which will affect the shape of curve C but will not affect the handles at B.

I hope this is all clear – people seem to be making such heavy weather of it.

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6 minutes ago, Martin S Taylor said:

people seem to be making such heavy weather of it.

I told you how to do it by (optionally reversing the curve direction and then) opt/alt-dragging on the selected node with the Pen Tool, and that definitely works on my machine. Obviously, if you aren't otherwise using the Pen Tool, then activating it is slightly inconvenient.

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Coming from the CorelDRAW world, the confusion and disagreement about terms in this thread bothers me a little bit.

Speaking mathematicallly, not in reference to any particular drawing program 's UI, the handles at a node define the tangent to the curve at the node.  The distance of the handle from the node also affects how Bezier curves are shaped, but as long as the handle is in the same direction, the tangent at the node is the same.  As the handle-to-node distance decreases to zero, the contribution of the tangent to the resulting curve gets less and less, so that you cannot distinguish a such a handle from a missing handle.  So it doesn't matter to the resulting curve whether your drawing program's UI treats it as a missing handle or an explicit handle at distance zero.  In both cases, you can draw exactly the same shapes.  So this is literally a distinction without a difference.

If you have a curve segment with missing handles on both end, the result is a straight line segment.  If the curve segment has a handle on one end, and the handle is not colinear with the two endpoints, then the direction at the other end is a type of natural end condition for a Bezier curve.  Now draw out a handle from the other end, keeping it on the same tangent line as the natural end condition.  As you increase the handle distance, the shape of the Bezier curve will change, while keeping the tangents at both ends unchanged.  One of the consequences is that if you remove a handle at non-zero distance, you necessarily change the shape of the curve unless you were starting with a straight line segment, in which case you could remove the handles at both ends.

Martin's request seems perfectly reasonable to me.

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1 hour ago, anon2 said:

I told you how to do it by (optionally reversing the curve direction and then) opt/alt-dragging on the selected node with the Pen Tool, and that definitely works on my machine. Obviously, if you aren't otherwise using the Pen Tool, then activating it is slightly inconvenient.

Yes, and thank you anon2. That, at least, is a way to do it.

But you first have to use the Node Tool (to select the node), then go the Pen Tool, then possibly reverse the direction of the curve (is there an easy way to see which way round the curve goes?) then opt-drag out the selected node, then (very likely) go back to the Node Tool to make some fine adjustments.

The other awkwardness is that if the node currently has no handles, you have to add two handles and then delete one of them, which seems a bit ridiculous.

I'd simply like a way of using the Node Tool to add one handle, and since opt-drag doesn't currently do anything different from ordinary dragging, it's available for this purpose.

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1 hour ago, Martin S Taylor said:

The other awkwardness is that if the node currently has no handles, you have to add two handles and then delete one of them, which seems a bit ridiculous.

No you don't! I've told you twice already to opt/alt-drag so that only one handle is extended. If it didn't work, I'd not be telling you to do it. I don't know why it fails for you.

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