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Edit Nodes tool

Video Tutorial #2: Node Editing

The Edit Nodes tool allows you to edit the nodes, lines, and curves that make up a shape in LightBurn. Note that built-in primitives in LightBurn, like Text, Ellipses and Rectangles, cannot be edited without converting them to a generic path object first using Convert to Path.

  • Allows you to move the vertices of a selected shape. You can select multiple nodes with the mouse.
  • Pressing the S key when hovering over a node will convert it to a smooth node, and if required, creates tangent handles that can be manipulated from it.
  • Pressing S while hovering over a line will convert the line to a smooth curve, with tangent handles, but leaves the shape of the original line intact.
  • Pressing L while hovering over a smooth curve will convert it back to a straight line.
  • Pressing C while hovering over a node will convert it to a corner, allowing the two handles to be manipulated independently of each other.
  • Pressing D when hovering over a node will delete it and connect the lines on either side together.
  • Pressing D when hovering over a line will delete it and open or split the shape.
  • Pressing I when hovering over a line or curve will insert a new node at that point along the line
  • Pressing M when hovering over a line or curve will insert a new node at the midpoint of the line
  • Pressing B when hovering over a point will break the curve at that point
  • Pressing T when hovering over a line will trim the line under the mouse at the next intersection with another line.
  • Pressing E when hovering over a point will extend the line from the point under the mouse to the next intersection with another shape.

Snapping

Note that in all of the above tools, when creating a new shape, you will occasionally see the cursor change if you hover over a point on an existing shape. This means LightBurn is going to snap what you're about to make to that point. You can bypass this behavior by pressing the Ctrl key (Command on MacOS). LightBurn will snap to object centers, end points of lines or curves, or center point of lines or curves, in addition to just snapping to the grid.

Paths and Shapes - Convert to Path

In LightBurn, all vector objects are stored as paths - a series of points connected by lines or curves. If you use the Draw Lines tool, you are directly creating what LightBurn calls a Path shape. Path shapes are the "lowest level" thing you can make in LightBurn.

Rectangles, Circles, Polygons, and Text shapes are different - They store the information used to build the path, and if any of that information changes, the path is discarded an re-built from scratch.

For example, Rectangle shapes know their Width, Height, and whether the corners have a radius. If you edit the 'Corner Radius' property on a rectangle shape, the path that LightBurn has built is thrown away, and a new one with the new radius is created. Similarly, if you change the font applied to a text shape, the old version of it is discarded and a new one is built using the new font.

If you want to node edit a shape, it has to be a path shape - using the Convert to Path function in LightBurn on a built-in shape type tells LightBurn to turn it into an editable thing that is just points and curves, and that it's ok to throw away the information about the original type of thing it was.