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Chapter 4. Creating Paths > What Paths Are Made Of

What Paths Are Made Of

Illustrator is a vector drawing application in which objects are made up of points and paths rather than pixels, as in a raster painting program. The vectors used in Illustrator are Bézier curves, a compact mathematical way of describing path segments based on the locations of their endpoints and the positions of imaginary direction lines that control the angles of the curves (see Figure 4.1). Invented by an automotive designer, Bézier curves describe objects without reference to their absolute size, so they can be scaled larger or smaller and remain the same quality.

Figure 4.1. Dragging an anchor point's direction lines adjusts the curves of the adjacent path segments.



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