# Length of a Cubic Bezier Curve a close approximation

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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
//
// 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
});
}``````