html5-canvas Length of a Cubic Bezier Curve (a close approximation)


Example

Given the 4 points of a cubic Bezier curve the following function returns its length.


Method: The length of a cubic Bezier curve does not have a direct mathematical calculation. This "brute force" method finds a sampling of points along the curve and calculates the total distance spanned by those points.

Accuracy: The approximate length is 99+% accurate using the default sampling size of 40.

// Return: Close approximation of the length of a Cubic Bezier curve
//
// Ax,Ay,Bx,By,Cx,Cy,Dx,Dy: the 4 control points of the curve
// sampleCount [optional, default=40]: how many intervals to calculate
// Requires: cubicQxy (included below)
//
function cubicBezierLength(Ax,Ay,Bx,By,Cx,Cy,Dx,Dy,sampleCount){
    var ptCount=sampleCount||40;
    var totDist=0;
    var lastX=Ax;
    var lastY=Ay;
    var dx,dy;
    for(var i=1;i<ptCount;i++){
        var pt=cubicQxy(i/ptCount,Ax,Ay,Bx,By,Cx,Cy,Dx,Dy);
        dx=pt.x-lastX;
        dy=pt.y-lastY;
        totDist+=Math.sqrt(dx*dx+dy*dy);
        lastX=pt.x;
        lastY=pt.y;
    }
    dx=Dx-lastX;
    dy=Dy-lastY;
    totDist+=Math.sqrt(dx*dx+dy*dy);
    return(parseInt(totDist));
}


// Return: an [x,y] point along a cubic Bezier curve at interval T
//
// Attribution: Stackoverflow's @Blindman67
// Cite: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/36637211/drawing-a-curved-line-in-css-or-canvas-and-moving-circle-along-it/36827074#36827074
// As modified from the above citation
// 
// t: an interval along the curve (0<=t<=1)
// ax,ay,bx,by,cx,cy,dx,dy: control points defining the curve
//
function cubicQxy(t,ax,ay,bx,by,cx,cy,dx,dy) {
    ax += (bx - ax) * t;
    bx += (cx - bx) * t;
    cx += (dx - cx) * t;
    ax += (bx - ax) * t;
    bx += (cx - bx) * t;
    ay += (by - ay) * t;
    by += (cy - by) * t;
    cy += (dy - cy) * t;
    ay += (by - ay) * t;
    by += (cy - by) * t;
    return({
        x:ax +(bx - ax) * t,
        y:ay +(by - ay) * t     
    });
}