Curvy Component Connections

Above is a representation of the component graph used to generate the procedural texture in the previous blog entry (click image for full size version). The components are created with the NetBeans Visual Library, which seems very well suited for component based graphs.

I implemented a custom Bezier spline based connection path. I feel that it is easier to read and understand than one with straight lines, or non-overlapping connectors automatically routed in a manhattan grid (axis aligned, only right angles). The curvature of the connection adds some extra information; it is easier to see if a connection is going backwards or forwards, or spanning a long distance or a short one.

Researching splines took a surprising amount of time again, there was no simple cut-and-paste Java code available either. I found the Unraveling Beizer Splines article on informative and simple (despite some typos in the code), the Wikipedia article on Bezier curves has nice animated graphs, but was a bit too theoretical to base a quick implementation on.

The resulting Java spline code is available, if you want to use it.

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