Super Ellipses

Super Ellipses

Super ellipses are geometric primitives similar to ellipses, but with an extra property called the degree, controlling the curvature of the shape. Super ellipses can be used as object shapes, or building blocks for more complex shapes. Super ellipses of degree 2.0 are regular ellipses.

The properties of a super ellipse shape can be edited using the Node tool or the Shape panel.

Super ellipses with different degree: (A) degree is 4.0, (B) degree is 3.0, (C) degree is 1.0, (D) degree is 0.5.

Drawing Super Ellipses

Super ellipses can be drawn using the Super Ellipse tool from the application toolbox. To draw a super ellipse:

  • Select the Super Ellipse tool from the toolbox.
  • Press the mouse on a starting location on the canvas.
  • Drag the mouse to set the super ellipse size.
  • Hold the Control key to draw the super ellipse centered to the starting location.
  • Hold the Shift key to draw the super ellipse with equal with and height.
  • Release the mouse to create a super ellipse with the selected radius and rotation.

When the document view is rotated, the super ellipse shape will be drawn with the opposite rotation angle to the view.

The default super ellipse options can be set by double clicking on the Super Ellipse tool icon in the toolbox. For example: the degree of the super ellipse can be set before drawing the shape.

To create a super ellipse by setting the numeric properties of the shape, click at a point on the canvas. This will open the Super Ellipse view (described below) that contains all the super ellipse shape properties. Set the required values and press Ok to create a new object with a super ellipse shape.

Editing Super Ellipses

The Node tool can be used to interactively edit super ellipse shapes:

  • Select the object with a super ellipse shape.
  • Select the Node tool from the application toolbox.
  • A single handle is shown that can be used to control the degree of the shape.
  • Adjust the degree by dragging the handle in (small degree) or out (larger degree).

Super Ellipse Properties

The Super Ellipse view.

The properties of a super ellipse shape can be edited in the Shape panel when the shape is selected, or in the Super Ellipse view, either from the shape panel, or when editing a shape style.

The following properties can be modified for a super ellipse shape:

  • Size - Edit the horizontal and vertical extent of the shape.
  • Degree - Edit the degree of the super ellipse, controlling the curvature of the sides.
  • Scaling - Edit the ratio between the horizontal and vertical degree if different.
  • Clockwise - Sets the super ellipse shape direction to clockwise or counter-clockwise. The shape direction can be observed with the Node tool after converting the super ellipse to curves.