** Overview**

The Bézier patch is the surface extension of the Bézier curve. The definition of the patch follows directly the definition of the curve, with the primary differences being the use of an array of control points and the bivariate Bernstein Polynomials. The edge curves of the patch are Bézier curves and the ``corner'' control points are always on the curve.

In these notes we show that a patch can be treated as a continuous set of Bézier curves. That is, for any fixed parameter or we can define a Bézier curve that lies directly on the surface of the patch. This is a very valuable tool for calculations on the patch.

To get a pdf version of these notes look here.

** Calculating Bézier Curves on Bézier Patches**

In the development of the Bézier patch, we have shown that the boundary curves of the patch are Bézier curves - that is, and are Bézier curves lying on the boundary of the patch.

If we examine the definition of a Bézier patch closely, and group factors appropriately,

If we define to be the value

Therefore, given , we can calculate the quantities , , ..., , giving control points to utilize for the curve

First the point is calculated as a point on the Bézier curve defined by the control points , , and .

next the point is calculated as a point on the Bézier curve defined by the control points , , and .

then the point is calculated as a point on the Bézier curve defined by the control points , , and .

and finally, the point is calculated as a point on the Bézier curve defined by the control points , , and .

The point , on the patch, is calculated as a point on the Bézier curve defined by the control points , , and ,

** Calculating with the Other Parameter**

If we reverse the order of the sums in the defining equation and regroup, we find that

Thus, we can either do this procedure by fixing first, or fixing first, and we obtain the same result.

** Summary**

The Bézier patch is a direct extension of Bézier curves to surfaces. The definition of the patch follows directly the definition of the curve, with the primary differences being the use of an array of control points and the bivariate Bernstein Polynomials. However, the patch can be treated as a continuous set of Bézier curves, and the calculations to find a point on the patch can be reduced to finding several points on curves. The calculations are parameter independent in that it does not matter whether we start with the or parameter.

2000-11-28