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I think the two basic opinions are that class of surface either refers to location or quality (or maybe both) For example: LOCATION - all surfaces that a consumer normally sees can be considered class A surface. The outside of a an automotive floor console would be class A, but the inside surfaces which normally include manufacturing flanges and attaching surfaces would be class B. QUALITY - refers to surface topology. Position, tangency, and curvature across surface boundaries, and internal patch structure. Some opinions are that position continuity is class C, tangency continuity is class B, and curvature continuity is class A. But I think that these are more appropriately defined as C0, C1, and C2 condition referring to the B-spline curve equation and its 1st derivative (tangency=C1) and its 2nd derivative (curvature=C2). So I think a class A surface can be discontinuous in curvature if that is the intention of the design (highlight reflection, or other reasons) and even discontinuous in tangency if the intention is a crease or sharp edge (but usually molding or stamping requires no sharp edges so Class A must be tangent continuous (C1)). Second Thought Hear is a further understanding of Class-A surfacing based on experiences with two automotive companies and whites goods Manufacturers. They independently have the same definition for the classification. The physical meaning: Class A refers to those surfaces, which are CURVATURE continuous to each other at their respective boundaries. Curvature continuity means that at each "point" of each surface along the common boundary has the same radius of curvature. This is different to surfaces having: Tangent continuity - which is directional continuity without radius continuity - like fillets. Point continuity - only touching without directional (tangent) or curvature equivalence. In fact, tangent and point continuity is the entire basis most industries (aerospace, shipbuilding, BIW etc.). For these applications, there is generally no need for curvature. By definition: Class A surface refers to those surfaces which are VISIBLE and abide to the physical meaning, in a product. This classification is primarily used in the automotive and increasingly in consumer goods (toothbrushes, PalmPC's, mobile phones, washing machines, toilet lids etc.). It is a requirement where aesthetics has a significant contribution. For this reason the exterior of automobiles are deemed Class-A. BIW is NOT Class-A. The exterior of you sexy toothbrush is Class-A, the interior with ribs and inserts etc. is NOT Class-A. The consequence: The consequence of these surfaces apart from visually and physically aesthetic shapes is the way they reflect the real world. What would one expect to see across the boundary of pairs of point continuity, tangent continuity and curvature continuity surfaces when reflecting a straight and dry tree stump in the desert? * Point Continuity (also known as G0 continuity) - will produce a reflection on one surface, then at the boundary disappear and re-appear at a location slightly different on the other surface. The same reflective phenomenon will show when there is a gap between the surfaces (the line markers on a road reflecting across the gap between the doors of a car). * Tangent Continuity (also known as G1 continuity) - will produce a reflection on one surface, then at the boundary have a kink and continue. Unlike Point continuity the reflection (repeat REFLECTION) is continuos but has a tangent discontinuity in it. In analogy, it is "like" a greater than symbol. * Curvature Continuity (also known as G2 continuity, Alias can do G3!) - this will produce the unbroken and smooth reflection across the boundary. Please do not believe me! This is the real physical world. Look at your cars rounded hood reflecting lines on the road or trees. Look

at ripples of water that are not turbulent, reflection is everywhere but all blend into each other, as there is also curvature continuity everywhere. Still not convinced - For an analytical approach, you may simply prove this point using any rendering package (e.g. CATIA V4 VST), Neon textures in 4D Navigator or DMU Navigator (V5), using the traditional CURVE1+REFLECT or /ANADIA in V4 CATIA and of course the neon-tray dynamic reflect curve facility in V5. What about CATIA? Traditionally CATIA has been used to create the "engineering" side of most designs, rather then the exterior "aesthetic" shell (I.e. Class-A). These traditional yet awesome tools (like SURF2) are geared for this kind of engineering work. The best example being BIW in the automotive industry. Functions like SURF2 and FORMTOOL carve up even the most difficult inner panel structures into reality. This is why, historically, CATIA took an early strangle hold (amongst other reasons like a great capacity in all aspects of DMU and integration across disciplines). CATIA comes from the aerospace industry. The exterior of airplanes (whose panels buckle between frames and expand with every land-takeoff cycle) has very little "need" for curvature continuity and has 100% engineering factors driving its design (Aerodynamics and structures). That is, there is zero styling in the design of an aircraft body. The fact that airplanes looks good and "smooth" is by virtue of its operation (streamlined as possible), their general cleanliness and most importantly the distance that one generally views them. If one was to look carefully down the fuselage of an aircraft on the ground, there is nothing smooth about it! Having the capability to cater for these industries in an engineering and process capacity with existing function and not requiring the ability to create Class-A, has made CATIA the de-facto standard for the aerospace and automotive industries. As for Class-A, automotive manufacturers have utilized either or combinations of Alias and/or ICEM Surf (or others) to achieve these goals in a productive manner (remember the word productive). Alias has the ability cover the entire industrial design process from Sketches TO Surfaces on sketches TO Surface manipulation and build and further onto rendering and animation. In retrospect, CATIA V4 can create ClassA surfaces with (1) compromise (e.g. this deviation is OK, because it can be polished by the toolmaker) and (2) an idiosyncratic approach by the CATIA operator - i.e., it can be done but not as easily as with Alias or ICEM Surf. Historically, its been "difficult" of Dassault to create software in V4 to easily create Class-A surfaces due to the use of Bezier (polynomial) based mathematics. There is nothing against Bezier based surfaces though. They are excellent for creating the engineering surfaces we have all come to love (BIW etc.) utilizing intelligent use of multi-patch surface methodology. In fact, I doubt NURBS surfaces could do a better job. And without a doubt, V5, with its new architecture and use of Bezier and NURBS surfaces will go along way in being able to confidently and more importantly competently producing these Class-A surfaces for an ever growing aesthetic minded world. And what about V4 CATIA? CATIA V4 currently has the ability to create curvature continuous surfaces in two categories. Surfaces: a. Using SURF2 and SKIN (GSM) functions to sweep and loft as "long" a surface as possible. This will generally produce a curvature continuous surface with minimum deviation. b. Intelligent use of SPINES and LIMIT curves when using SURF2 and SKIN to closely match curvature across boundaries. c. Utilizing conic surfaces and conic curve approximations to mimic curvature conditions. d. For parts with large variations within its shape cause techniques a and b to struggle. For this reason, we may take three approaches. d1. Create "unstressed" surfaces to the point of struggle and fill in the blank with blend surfaces and curvature continuity. This is very much situation dependent. d2. Use ARC’s and PATCHES's - ARC's and PATCHES have the peculiar yet great ability to ? not go through all their constraints (good for the styling end of the design process) * the ability to deform a arc or patch to a point ? The ability to deform the boundary of a patch to an arc whilst maintaining the opposing continuity. ? Most importantly - the ability to reduce or increase degrees of arcs and patches to maximize or localize deformations. I have found these

face or skin. It is not the expected shape in the blend. The surface comes off one with curvature continuity. . OR automatically creating BI-rail curves along two surfaces at particular "radii" and placing a point/tangent/curvature continuous blend between them. when comparing it to the curves created using CURVE2+CONNECT with curvature from the isoparametric curves of each surface. Tensions and connectivity locations are also adjustable. mathematical and isoparametric curvature is required. one issue with Blensurf is its inability to blend around a large angle. surface. Utilize NURBSCRV and NURBSSRF when and arc or patch refuses to go close enough to the constraints of interest. The result is very surprising. this is possible using GSM's SKIN function blend and V5 GSD blends. e. which allows a point/tangent/curvature continuos blend between any two curves on any part of any plane. Dassault are already on the ball. For instance. The reason for this is that Blensurf creates purely mathematical curvature. Guess what my friends. For the correct shape. Blends: These are a curious family of surfaces. takes the shortest route to the other and then blends with curvature again.most useful. The first is the ubiquitous BLENSURF functions. Although it is a great tool. RSUR. FSUR. One can utilize two functions within CATIA V4. if one constructs two segment surfaces to each other at right angles with a gap between them and then placing a curvature continuos surface to connect them.

Position.refers to surface topology. Second Thought Hear is a further understanding of Class-A surfacing based on experiences with two automotive companies and whites goods Manufacturers. Some opinions are that position continuity is class C. But I think that these are more appropriately defined as C0. I think the two basic opinions are that class of surface either refers to location or quality (or maybe both) For example: LOCATION .like fillets. For these applications. So I think a class A surface can be discontinuous in curvature if that is the intention of the design (highlight reflection. By definition: Class A surface refers to those surfaces which are VISIBLE and abide to the physical meaning. mobile phones. or other reasons) and even discontinuous in tangency if the intention is a crease or sharp edge (but usually molding or stamping requires no sharp edges so Class A must be tangent continuous (C1)). tangency. This classification is primarily used in the automotive and increasingly in consumer goods (toothbrushes. but the inside surfaces which normally include manufacturing flanges and attaching surfaces would be class B. BIW is NOT . and C2 condition referring to the B-spline curve equation and its 1st derivative (tangency=C1) and it's 2nd derivative (curvature=C2). It is a requirement where aesthetics has a significant contribution. tangency continuity is class B.only touching without directional (tangent) or curvature equivalence. BIW etc. C1. and curvature across surface boundaries. QUALITY . which are CURVATURE continuous to each other at their respective boundaries. there is generally no need for curvature. This is different to surfaces having: Tangent continuity . and curvature continuity is class A. Curvature continuity means that at each "point" of each surface along the common boundary has the same radius of curvature. The outside of a an automotive floor console would be class A. the answer depends on who you ask. The physical meaning: Class A refers to those surfaces.). They independently have the same definition for the classification.which is directional continuity without radius continuity .). Point continuity . PalmPC's. shipbuilding. and internal patch structure. In fact. For this reason the exterior of automobiles are deemed Class-A. toilet lids etc. tangent and point continuity is the entire basis most industries (aerospace.CLASS A SURFACES -----------------------------------------------------------Regarding A-class surfaces.all surfaces that a consumer normally sees can be considered class A surface. in a product. washing machines.

the interior with ribs and inserts etc. In analogy. . Functions like SURF2 and FORMTOOL carve up even the most difficult inner panel structures into reality. it is "like" a greater than symbol. Look at ripples of water that are not turbulent.will produce a reflection on one surface. The same reflective phenomenon will show when there is a gap between the surfaces (the line markers on a road reflecting across the gap between the doors of a car). historically. CATIA comes from the aerospace industry. Please do not believe me! This is the real physical world.e.this will produce the unbroken and smooth reflection across the boundary.will produce a reflection on one surface. What would one expect to see across the boundary of pairs of point continuity. Class-A). The best example being BIW in the automotive industry. * Curvature Continuity (also known as G2 continuity. These traditional yet awesome tools (like SURF2) are geared for this kind of engineering work. Still not convinced .g. * Tangent Continuity (also known as G1 continuity) . Look at your cars rounded hood reflecting lines on the road or trees. CATIA took an early strangle hold (amongst other reasons like a great capacity in all aspects of DMU and integration across disciplines). as there is also curvature continuity everywhere. reflection is everywhere but all blend into each other. rather then the exterior "aesthetic" shell (I. then at the boundary have a kink and continue.For an analytical approach. What about CATIA? Traditionally CATIA has been used to create the "engineering" side of most designs. The exterior of you sexy toothbrush is Class-A. The exterior of airplanes (whose panels buckle between frames and expand with every land-takeoff cycle) has very little "need" for curvature continuity and has 100% engineering factors driving its design (Aerodynamics and structures).Class-A. Unlike Point continuity the reflection (repeat REFLECTION) is continuos but has a tangent discontinuity in it. then at the boundary disappear and re-appear at a location slightly different on the other surface. tangent continuity and curvature continuity surfaces when reflecting a straight and dry tree stump in the desert? * Point Continuity (also known as G0 continuity) . is NOT Class-A. Neon textures in 4D Navigator or DMU Navigator (V5). The consequence: The consequence of these surfaces apart from visually and physically aesthetic shapes is the way they reflect the real world. CATIA V4 VST). using the traditional CURVE1+REFLECT or /ANADIA in V4 CATIA and of course the neon-tray dynamic reflect curve facility in V5. you may simply prove this point using any rendering package (e. Alias can do G3!) . This is why.

b.. with its new architecture and use of Bezier and NURBS surfaces will go along way in being able to confidently and more importantly competently producing these Class-A surfaces for an ever growing aesthetic minded world. And what about V4 CATIA? CATIA V4 currently has the ability to create curvature continuous surfaces in two categories.g. it can be done but not as easily as with Alias or ICEM Surf. d1.e. As for Class-A.i. Alias has the ability cover the entire industrial design process from Sketches TO Surfaces on sketches TO Surface manipulation and build and further onto rendering and animation. In fact. The fact that airplanes looks good and "smooth" is by virtue of its operation (streamlined as possible). their general cleanliness and most importantly the distance that one generally views them. its been "difficult" of Dassault to create software in V4 to easily create Class-A surfaces due to the use of Bezier (polynomial) based mathematics. V5. Utilizing conic surfaces and conic curve approximations to mimic curvature conditions. we may take three approaches. This is very much situation dependent.) utilizing intelligent use of multi-patch surface methodology. there is nothing smooth about it! Having the capability to cater for these industries in an engineering and process capacity with existing function and not requiring the ability to create Class-A. They are excellent for creating the engineering surfaces we have all come to love (BIW etc. this deviation is OK. . If one was to look carefully down the fuselage of an aircraft on the ground. automotive manufacturers have utilized either or combinations of Alias and/or ICEM Surf (or others) to achieve these goals in a productive manner (remember the word productive).That is. Historically. Using SURF2 and SKIN (GSM) functions to sweep and loft as "long" a surface as possible. CATIA V4 can create Class-A surfaces with (1) compromise (e. This will generally produce a curvature continuous surface with minimum deviation. For this reason. Intelligent use of SPINES and LIMIT curves when using SURF2 and SKIN to closely match curvature across boundaries. Surfaces: a. Create "unstressed" surfaces to the point of struggle and fill in the blank with blend surfaces and curvature continuity. d. I doubt NURBS surfaces could do a better job. There is nothing against Bezier based surfaces though. In retrospect. And without a doubt. there is zero styling in the design of an aircraft body. has made CATIA the de-facto standard for the aerospace and automotive industries. For parts with large variations within its shape cause techniques a and b to struggle. because it can be polished by the toolmaker) and (2) an idiosyncratic approach by the CATIA operator . c.

One can utilize two functions within CATIA V4. Utilize NURBSCRV and NURBSSRF when and arc or patch refuses to go close enough to the constraints of interest. OR automatically creating BI-rail curves along two surfaces at particular "radii" and placing a point/tangent/curvature continuous blend between them. Although it is a great tool. Use ARC’s and PATCHES's . takes the shortest route to the other and then blends with curvature again. The result is very surprising. The reason for this is that Blensurf creates purely mathematical curvature. The first is the ubiquitous BLENSURF functions. mathematical and isoparametric curvature is required. which allows a point/tangent/curvature continuos blend between any two curves on any part of any plane. Blends: These are a curious family of surfaces. It is not the expected shape in the blend.d2. e. The surface comes off one with curvature continuity. surface. I have found these most useful. face or skin.ARC's and PATCHES have the peculiar yet great ability to ? not go through all their constraints (good for the styling end of the design process) * the ability to deform a arc or patch to a point ? The ability to deform the boundary of a patch to an arc whilst maintaining the opposing continuity. one issue with Blensurf is its inability to blend around a large angle. ? Most importantly . when comparing it to the curves created using CURVE2+CONNECT with curvature from the isoparametric curves of each surface. if one constructs two segment surfaces to each other at right angles with a gap between them and then placing a curvature continuos surface to connect them.the ability to reduce or increase degrees of arcs and patches to maximize or localize deformations. For the correct shape. FSUR. this is possible using GSM's SKIN function blend and V5 GSD blends. RSUR. For instance. . Dassault are already on the ball. Tensions and connectivity locations are also adjustable. Guess what my friends.

More on this later. Draw curve that is G1 continuous. Find location of a particular point on curve.Define continuity: G = geometric (i. Simple question. In many cases. not today. Find location of "all" points on curve (with "all" perhaps being discretized) .x = f(u). Continuity . c) Prove/mandate certain properties: . b) Modeling: ..for a line through space .etc.g.Parametric Curves ================= Motivation ---------How do we represent a curve? . this is (surprisingly) equivalent to a parametric representation.y) = 0 Disadvantage: hard to evaluate c) Parametric: x = f1(u).. Allow user to intuitively *modifying* a curve.e.For example.for some value f(t) used in an animation . direction of derivative) C = mathematical (i. y = f2(u) Disadvantage: u does not have obvious geometric meaning. easy to find for particular u. We will mostly use parametric form. direction and magnitude of derivative) [more later on the G/C distinction] 0 = position 1 = derivative 2 = 2nd derivative . is the derivative of the curve continuous? Draw curve that is not G1 continuous.how this is specified depends on representation . .. Allow user to specify a desired curve (where they are likely working in 'visual' space) . What might we want to do with curves? ------------------------------------a) Evaluation: .e. Basic strategies ---------------a) Function: e. in 2D: y = f(x) Disadvantage: can't represent some curves b) Implicit: f(x. d) Subdivision: points plus algorithmic rules. . complicated answers..

Higher degrees are possible too (and allow better control over higher orders of continuity).. But higher order polynomials are also harder to control.long strips of metal or wood .often we want something better. For example.put weights on them .cubic #2 --->|<--. .easy to control derivative properties .but can't do better than G0 continuity . Example: |<--..coefficients do *not* behave intuitively (but.allows guarantees on frequency content .) Cubic polynomials ----------------f(u) = Ax^3 + Bx^2 + Cx + D Cubic is minimum degree that allows both position and first derivatives at endpoints to be independently controlled.cubic #1 --->|<--. more details later..cubic #3 --->| . b) Sum of sinusoids ... More complex curves (more wiggles -> use splines) ------------------------------------------------We create more complex curves with piecewise cubic functions. What did people do before computers? ----------------------------------.etc.hard to control other properties like continuity or lack thereof particularly if piecing together several pieces c) Polynomials . particularly if we don't know precision at which we want to evaluate curve yet. . they tend to want to oscillate. we can work around this. In particular. is the frequency content bandlimited? (normally we don't insist on this) Some of these things are harder to do in certain representations than in others..note: this usually gives G2 continuity Some possible mathematical representations -----------------------------------------a) Line segments . modelling can be quite tricky.behave poorly if order of polynomial gets too high . We typically use cubic polynomials in computer graphics. Several ways to do this.

p1.. so now we see that it is possible to use a different basis for specifying the polynomal. Can we come up with some other parameterization (really basis) of the cubic function that has more meaning??? Specifying position and slope of endpoints -----------------------------------------This one is called a Hermite Curve. Modelling ---------Suppose we specify each cubic completely independently. and even derivatives.. s1 How could I specify slope in a graphical modeling tool? (tangent line) Specifying position of endpoints plus two other points -----------------------------------------------------could do this leave as an exercise for the reader. we refer to these points as *control points* Intuitive example: * * . D Basis #2: p0. How the heck do we choose the coefficients to get the curve we want? A0 = ? A1 = ? In theory we can make positions match up. But not at all intuitive to do so. you get more interesting curves by with full plot of (x(u).. s0.(remember that we are plotting f(u) here.. Basis #1: A. C. A(0)^3 + B(0)^2 + C(0) + D = p0 A(1)^3 + B(1)^2 + C(1) + D = p1 3A(0)^2 + 2B(0) + C = s0 3A(1)^2 + 2B(1) + C = s1 OK. B. y(u))). left endpoint (u=0): position = p0 slope = s0 right endpoint (u=1): position = p1 slope = s1 Plug and chug.

It turns out to be useful (for reasons to come soon. right side] Note that b0(u) + b1(u) + b2(u) + b3(u) = 1 A curve constructed using the Bernstein polynomials is called a Bezier curve. Intuitive example: * * * * | | | | note equidistant spacing of u coordinates How do we do this mathematically? What we're going to do is to use a basis that consists of four different cubic curves. pg. Note: The plots so far have been of the form f(u). But for a 2D spatial curve. [Figure from Watt. we have what are called "interpolating" control points.* * | | | | note equidistant spacing of u coordinates Approximating control points ---------------------------So far we have "directly" manipulated points and slopes on the curve. i. By specifying four positions..e. The weight for each one is specified by one of the control points.C.B. you have fx(u) and fy(u). except for the original A.) to be able to control the curve with points that *influence* it. . 72.. using approximating (non-interpolating) control points.D basis. This is just going to be using a different basis.. The four curves are the Berstein polynomials: b0(u) = (1-u)^3 b1(u) = 3u(1-u)^2 b2(u) = 3u^2(1-u) b3(u) = u^3 Show polynomials. but do not actually lie *on* it..

the control points look like (x.1] range) . but this rapidly causes the whole curve manipulation to get geometrically non-intuitive. Defintely G0. just like before. Uniform B-splines ----------------Four control vertices. Piecewise cubic curves ---------------------We said earlier that if we wanted to build more complex curves. See Watt pg. we'd do it with piecewise cubic curves. Usually G1. One simple form of this is uniform B-splines. See examples from Watt. pg. We could impose additional rules to try to force continuity. But basis functions are somewhat different. In this form. 81 for the 4-wide cubic curve.cubic #1 --->|<--. but not G1 or G2.. The key insight: if we want the nearby cubics to share many of their properties (such as derviatives at endpoints). again. 72. then it makes sense for them to share control points. That way. We get G0 continuity. left side and pg 73. leaving 'u' invisible.cubic #3 --->| . Sometimes G2. We are going to use a single 4-unit-wide cubic curve. The four shifted versions of the curve (truncated to [0.cubic #2 --->|<--. Reason: we typically want to insure some amount of continuity between the adjacent curves.And you usually plot fx(u) and fy(u) on the x/y axes. a change to one control point makes a change to two (or more) cubics. So instead we need to rethink how our control points work. plotting f(u): |<--. things get more complicated. But we typically want at least G1 continuity. You still have four of them.y).. But once we decide to do this. but then shift it for each control point. Consider what happens for Bezier curves.

----fw(u) fw(u)) Advantages: . 82. Control points are just the weights for the four functions. * Rational splines (e. PARAMETRIC CONTINUITY =================================== (details of this can be skipped if necessary) G0 = curve segments join together G1 = directions of tangent vectors two curves are equal (but not necessarily the magnitudes of the tangent vectors) tangent_vector_1 = k * tangent_vector_2 k>0 C1 = directions *AND* magnitudes of tangent vectors are equal.invariance properties under perspective projection . pg.1] Show figure from Watt. Other things you will hear about -------------------------------* Non-uniform B-splines: With *uniform* B-splines.exact representation of conic sections GEOMETRIC VS. NURBS -. Not the case for *non-uniform* B-splines. the control points are located at uniform intervals in u.g. With this sceme. at bottom. none of the control points are interpolated. B-splines have C2 continuity!! But do not interpolate *any* of their control points.6u^2 + 4) B3(u) = 1/6 (1-u)^3 defined for u=[0.non-uniform *RATIONAL* B-splines) f(u) = fx(u) ---fw(u) f(u) = (fx(u) fy(u)) -----. .are: B0(u) = 1/6 u^3 B1(u) = 1/6 (-3u^3 + 3u^2 + 3u + 1) B2(u) = 1/6 (3u^3 .

the tangent vectors are indeed equal.1) in the first case. Amit . .2) in the second case.. but (2.. In both cases the tangent vector has a normalized direction of (0.. But the magnitudes of the directions are different: (1.5).This is 'parametric continuity'. . There is a special case in which C1 continuity does *not* imply G1 continuity: When both segments' tangent vectors are [0 0 0] at the join point. This is not my Paper. I found on google.. 0. In general. --------Example of G1 continuity but not C1 continuity: curve #1: x(u) = u y(u) = u curve #2: x(u) = 2u y(u) = 2u with a join point at u=0. but their (geometric) directions can be different.5... The tanget vector Q'(t) is the velocity of a point on the curve with respect to the parameter 't'. Cn = directions *AND* magnitudes d^n/dt^n [Q(t)] for all derivatives through 'n'th derivative are equal. In this case.. but the converse is generally not true.Just Sharing. C1 continuity implies G1 continuity..

The outside of a an automotive floor console would be class A. and C2 condition refering to the B-spline curve equation and its 1st derivative (tangency=C1) and it's 2nd derivative (curvature=C2). Point continuity . which are CURVATURE continuous to each other at their respective boundaries. BIW etc etc). there is generally no need for curvature. QUALITY . C1. and curvature across surface boundries. shipbuilding. or other reasons) and even discontiuous in tangency if the intention is a crease or sharp edge( but usually molding or stamping requires no sharp edges so Class A must be tangent continuous (C1)).like fillets. and internal patch structure.which is directional continuity without radius continuity . tangency continuity is class B. So I think a class A surface can be discontinuous in curvature if that is the intention of the design (highlight reflection.only touching without directional (tangent) or curvature equivalence. Some opinions are that position continuity is class C.all surfaces that a consumer normally sees can be considered class A surface. By definition: Class A surface refers to those surfaces which are VISIBLE and abide to the physical . the answer depends on who you ask. I think the two basic opinions are that class of surface either refers to location or quality (or maybe both) For example: LOCATION . For these applications. In fact. tangency. tangent and point continuity is the entire basis most industries (aerospace. Position. The physical meaning: Class A refers to those surfaces. This is different to surfaces having. Tangent continuity . They independently have the same definition for the classification. and curvature continuity is class A.Regarding A-class surfaces. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Second Thought Hear is a further understanding of Class-A surfacing based on experiences with two automotive companies and whites goods manufacturers. but the inside surfaces which normally include manufacturing flanges and attaching surfaces would be class B. Curvature continuity means that at each "point" of each surface along the common boundary has the same radius of curvature. But I think that these are more appropriately defined as C0.refers to surface topology.

The best example .this will produce the unbroken and smooth reflection across the boundary. reflection is everywhere but all blend into each other. The same reflective phenomenon will show when there is a gap between the surfaces (the line markers on a road reflecting across the gap between the doors of a car). washing machines. BIW is NOT Class-A.will produce a reflection on one surface. For this reason the exterior of automobiles are deemed Class-A. toilet lids etc etc etc). The exterior of you sexy toothbrush is Class-A.will produce a reflection on one surface. tangent continuity and curvature continuity surfaces when reflecting a straight and dry tree stump in the desert???? * Point Continuity (also known as G0 continuity) . Still not convinced . Look at your cars rounded hood reflecting lines on the road or trees. * Tangent Continuity (also known as G1 continuity) .For an analytical approach. * Curvature Continuity (also known as G2 continuity.meaning. It is a requirement where aesthetics has a significant contribution. Alias can do G3!) . In analogy. Look at ripples of water that are not turbulent. as there is also curvature continuity everywhere. The consequence: The consequence of these surfaces apart from visually and physically aesthetic shapes is the way they reflect the real world. you may simply prove this point using any rendering package (eg. What would one expect to see across the boundary of pairs of point continuity. What about CATIA?? Traditionally CATIA has been used to create the "engineering" side of most designs. Neon textures in 4D Navigator or DMU Navigator (V5). Please do not believe me! This is the real physical world. PalmPC's. the interior with ribs and inserts etc is NOT Class-A. using the traditional CURVE1+REFLECT or /ANADIA in V4 CATIA and of course the neon-tray dynamic reflect curve facility in V5. in a product. This classification is primarily used in the automotive and increasingly in consumer goods (toothbrushes. Unlike Point continuity the reflection (repeat REFLECTION) is continuos but has a tangent discontinuity in it. These traditional yet awesome tools (like SURF2) are geared for this kind of engineering work. mobile phones. then at the boundary have a kink and continue. then at the boundary disappear and re-appear at a location slightly different on the other surface. CATIA V4 VST). rather then the exterior "aesthetic" shell (ie Class-A). it is "like" a greater than symbol.

This is why. it can be done but not as easily as with Alias or ICEM Surf. If one was to look carefully down the fuselage of an aircraft on the ground. its been "difficult" of Dassault to create software in V4 to easily create Class-A surfaces due to the use of Bezier (polynomial) based mathematics. CATIA took an early strangle hold (amongst other reasons like a great capacity in all aspects of DMU and integration across disciplines). CATIA comes from the aerospace industry. There is nothing against Bezier based surfaces though.being BIW in the automotive industry. their general cleanliness and most importantly the distance that one generally views them. has made CATIA the de-facto standard for the aerospace and automotive industries. . V5. Functions like SURF2 and FORMTOOL carve up even the most difficult inner panel structures into reality. They are excellent for creating the engineering surfaces we have all come to love (BIW etc) utilising intelligent use of multipatch surface methodology. because it can be polished by the toolmaker) and (2) an idiosyncratic approach by the CATIA operator . with its new architecture and use of Bezier and NURBS surfaces will go along way in being able to confidently and more importantly competently producing these Class-A surfaces for an ever growing aesthetic minded world. there is nothing smooth about it! Having the capability to cater for these industries in an engineering and process capacity with existing function and not requiring the ability to create Class-A. this deviation is OK.ie. Alias has the ability cover the entire industrial design process from Sketches TO Surfaces on sketches TO Surface manipulation and build and further onto rendering and animation. I doubt NURBS surfaces could do a better job. The fact that aeroplanes looks good and "smooth" is by virtue of its operation (streamlined as possible). As for Class-A. CATIA V4 can create Class-A surfaces with (1) compromise (eg. automotive manufacturers have utilised either or combinations of Alias and/or ICEM Surf (or others) to achieve these goals in a productive manner (remember the word productive). historically. there is zero styling in the design of an aircraft body. The exterior of aeroplanes (whose panels buckle between frames and expand with every land-takeoff cycle) has very little "need" for curvature continuity and has 100% engineering factors driving its design (aerodynamics and structures). In fact. Historically. And without a doubt. That is. In retrospect.

b. Use ARC's and PATCHES's . which allows a point/tangent/curvature continuos blend between any two curves on any part of any plane. This is very much situation dependant. c. face or skin. Intelligent use of SPINES and LIMIT curves when using SURF2 and SKIN to closely match curvature across boundaries. Surfaces: a. This will generally produce a curvature continuous surface with minimum deviation. Tensions and connectivity locations are also adjustable.And what about V4 CATIA?? CATIA V4 currently has the ability to create curvature continuous surfaces in two categories. One can utilise two functions within CATIA V4. we may take three approaches. surface. * most importantly the ability to reduce or increase degrees of arcs and patches to maximise or localise deformations. Create "unstressed" surfaces to the point of struggle and fill in the blank with blend surfaces and curvature continuity. Using SURF2 and SKIN (GSM) functions to sweep and loft as "long" a surface as possible. I have found these most useful.ARC's and PATCHES have the peculiar yet great ability to * not go through all their constraints (good for the styling end of the design process) * the ability to deform a arc or patch to a point * the ability to deform the boundary of a patch to an arc whilst maintaining the opposing continuity. Utilise NURBSCRV and NURBSSRF when and arc or patch refuses to go close enough to the constraints of interest. Blends: These are a curious family of surfaces. Utilising conic surfaces and conic curve approximations to mimic curvature conditions. The first is the ubiquitous BLENSURF functions. RSUR. For this reason. For parts with large variations within its shape cause techniques a and b to struggle. . FSUR. OR automatically creating bi-rail curves along two surfaces at particular "radii" and placing a point/tangent/curvature continuous blend between them. e. d2. d. d1.

if one constructs two segment surfaces to each other at right angles with a gap between them and then placing a curvature continuos surface to connect them. Guess what my friends. this is possible using GSM's SKIN function blend and V5 GSD blends. takes the shortest route to the other and then blends with curvature again. The reason for this is that Blensurf creates purely mathematical curvature. . The result is very suprising. when comparing it to the curves created using CURVE2+CONNECT with curvature from the isoparametric curves of each surface.Although it is a great tool. The surface comes off one with curvature continuity. one issue with Blensurf is its inability to blend around a large angle. For the correct shape. Dassault are already on the ball. It is not the expected shape in the blend. mathematical and isoparametric curvature is required. For instance.

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