In this lecture, author Stephen Mann presents Bezier and B-spline curves and surfaces, mathematical representations for free-form curves and surfaces that are common in CAD systems. They are used to design aircraft and automobiles, as well as having uses in modeling packages used by the computer animation industry. Bezier/B-splines represent polynomials and piecewise polynomials in a geometric manner using sets of control points that define the shape of the surface.
The primary analysis tool used in this lecture is blossoming, which gives an elegant labeling of the control points that allow us to analyze their properties geometrically. Blossoming is used to explore both Bezier and B-spline curves, and in particular to investigate continuity properties, change of basis algorithms, forward differencing, B-spline knot multiplicity, and knot insertion algorithms. We also look at triangle diagrams (which are closely related to blossoming), direct manipulation of B-spline curves, NURBS curves, and triangular and tensor product surfaces.