Draw an Xspline

These functions create and draw an xspline, a curve drawn relative to control points.

xsplineGrob(x = c(0, 0.5, 1, 0.5), y = c(0.5, 1, 0.5, 0),
            id = NULL, id.lengths = NULL,
            default.units = "npc",
            shape = 0, open = TRUE, arrow = NULL, repEnds = TRUE,
            name = NULL, gp = gpar(), vp = NULL)

A numeric vector or unit object specifying x-locations of spline control points.


A numeric vector or unit object specifying y-locations of spline control points.


A numeric vector used to separate locations in x and y into multiple xsplines. All locations with the same id belong to the same xspline.


A numeric vector used to separate locations in x and y into multiple xspline. Specifies consecutive blocks of locations which make up separate xsplines.


A string indicating the default units to use if x or y are only given as numeric vectors.


A numeric vector of values between -1 and 1, which control the shape of the spline relative to the control points.


A logical value indicating whether the spline is a line or a closed shape.


A list describing arrow heads to place at either end of the xspline, as produced by the arrow function.


A logical value indicating whether the first and last control points should be replicated for drawing the curve (see Details below).


A character identifier.


An object of class gpar, typically the output from a call to the function gpar. This is basically a list of graphical parameter settings.


A Grid viewport object (or NULL).

Arguments to be passed to xsplineGrob.


Both functions create an xspline grob (a graphical object describing an xspline), but only grid.xspline draws the xspline.

An xspline is a line drawn relative to control points. For each control point, the line may pass through (interpolate) the control point or it may only approach (approximate) the control point; the behaviour is determined by a shape parameter for each control point.

If the shape parameter is greater than zero, the spline approximates the control points (and is very similar to a cubic B-spline when the shape is 1). If the shape parameter is less than zero, the spline interpolates the control points (and is very similar to a Catmull-Rom spline when the shape is -1). If the shape parameter is 0, the spline forms a sharp corner at that control point.

For open xsplines, the start and end control points must have a shape of 0 (and non-zero values are silently converted to zero without warning).

For open xsplines, by default the start and end control points are actually replicated before the curve is drawn. A curve is drawn between (interpolating or approximating) the second and third of each set of four control points, so this default behaviour ensures that the resulting curve starts at the first control point you have specified and ends at the last control point. The default behaviour can be turned off via the repEnds argument, in which case the curve that is drawn starts (approximately) at the second control point and ends (approximately) at the first and second-to-last control point.

The repEnds argument is ignored for closed xsplines.

Missing values are not allowed for x and y (i.e., it is not valid for a control point to be missing).

For closed xsplines, a curve is automatically drawn between the final control point and the initial control point.


A grob object.


Blanc, C. and Schlick, C. (1995), "X-splines : A Spline Model Designed for the End User", in Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 95, pp.377--386.

See Also

Grid, viewport, arrow.


  • grid.xspline
  • xsplineGrob
library(grid) x <- c(0.25, 0.25, 0.75, 0.75) y <- c(0.25, 0.75, 0.75, 0.25) xsplineTest <- function(s, i, j, open) { pushViewport(viewport(layout.pos.col=j, layout.pos.row=i)) grid.points(x, y, default.units="npc", pch=16, size=unit(2, "mm")) grid.xspline(x, y, shape=s, open=open, gp=gpar(fill="grey")) grid.text(s, gp=gpar(col="grey"), x=unit(x, "npc") + unit(c(-1, -1, 1, 1), "mm"), y=unit(y, "npc") + unit(c(-1, 1, 1, -1), "mm"), hjust=c(1, 1, 0, 0), vjust=c(1, 0, 0, 1)) popViewport() } pushViewport(viewport(width=.5, x=0, just="left", layout=grid.layout(3, 3, respect=TRUE))) pushViewport(viewport(layout.pos.row=1)) grid.text("Open Splines", y=1, just="bottom") popViewport() xsplineTest(c(0, -1, -1, 0), 1, 1, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, -1, 0, 0), 1, 2, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, -1, 1, 0), 1, 3, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, 0, -1, 0), 2, 1, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, 0, 0, 0), 2, 2, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, 0, 1, 0), 2, 3, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, 1, -1, 0), 3, 1, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, 1, 0, 0), 3, 2, TRUE) xsplineTest(c(0, 1, 1, 0), 3, 3, TRUE) popViewport() pushViewport(viewport(width=.5, x=1, just="right", layout=grid.layout(3, 3, respect=TRUE))) pushViewport(viewport(layout.pos.row=1)) grid.text("Closed Splines", y=1, just="bottom") popViewport() xsplineTest(c(-1, -1, -1, -1), 1, 1, FALSE) xsplineTest(c(-1, -1, 0, -1), 1, 2, FALSE) xsplineTest(c(-1, -1, 1, -1), 1, 3, FALSE) xsplineTest(c( 0, 0, -1, 0), 2, 1, FALSE) xsplineTest(c( 0, 0, 0, 0), 2, 2, FALSE) xsplineTest(c( 0, 0, 1, 0), 2, 3, FALSE) xsplineTest(c( 1, 1, -1, 1), 3, 1, FALSE) xsplineTest(c( 1, 1, 0, 1), 3, 2, FALSE) xsplineTest(c( 1, 1, 1, 1), 3, 3, FALSE) popViewport()
Documentation reproduced from package grid, version 3.4.1, License: Part of R 3.4.1

Community examples

Looks like there are no examples yet.