# How to build a trail of nodes from a path?

What I want:

where the yellow line is the path to be transformed. The points inside the yelow line are the nodes after processing.

The only way I found to do this is the intersection between a path and itself. But it is an expensive solution in terms of processing and time. The code to generate the above image is here:

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}

\usetikzlibrary{intersections}

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}

\clip (-2.1, -1.1) rectangle (2.1, 1.1);
\draw [yellow, ultra thick, name path = curve 1] (-2,-1) .. controls (8,-1) and (-8,1) .. (2,1);

\path [name intersections = {%
of = curve 1 and curve 1
, name = i
, total=\t
, sort by = curve 1
}] node {\xdef\totalone{\t}};

\foreach \k in {1, ..., \totalone}
{
\node [
circle
, fill
, inner sep = 0.25pt
, minimum size = 0pt
] at (i-\k) {};
}

\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


Someone suggests another way of doing this?

-
 If you just want a black line through those nodes you can do: \draw [dotteddecoration = black, yellow, ultra thick][postaction={draw,black,thin}] (-2,-1) .. controls (8,-1) and (-8,1) .. (2,1); I am not quite sure, I know what your “big” goal is. – Qrrbrbirlbel Oct 5 '12 at 6:42 My goal is to find optimized ways to create addressable points along paths. I really liked your proposal! I wonder if there are other ways to do this. – tecepe Oct 5 '12 at 6:49 Given the four control points you can express the Bezier curve as a parameterized curve. Then for each value of the parameter you can plot a point on the curve. I don't know exactly how to do it with TikZ but it must be doable :) – Dror Oct 5 '12 at 7:10

You might want to check out the decorations.markins library.
(Adjust the step between dots (.5mm) and the radius of the dots (.25pt) as you wish.

# Update

With this update you have the nodes (node0) to (node203), \themynodes gives you 204.
(It can start from 1 and end with 204, if you put \stepcounter{mynodes} before the \node command.)

## Code

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}

\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{decorations.markings}

\newcounter{mynodes}

\tikzset{dotteddecoration/.style={
postaction={
decorate,
decoration={
markings,
mark=between positions 0 and 1 step .5mm with {
\node[text=black,font=\fontsize{5}{5}\selectfont] (node\themynodes) at (0,0) {\themynodes};\stepcounter{mynodes}}
}}}}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}[]
\clip (-2.1, -1.1) rectangle (2.1, 1.1);
\draw [dotteddecoration, yellow, ultra thick] (-2,-1) .. controls (8,-1) and (-8,1) .. (2,1);
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


# Old solution

## Code

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}

\usetikzlibrary{decorations.markings}

\tikzset{dotteddecoration/.style={
postaction={
decorate,
decoration={
markings,
mark=between positions 0 and 1 step .5mm with {
\fill[#1] (0,0) circle (.25pt);}}}}}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}[]
\clip (-2.1, -1.1) rectangle (2.1, 1.1);
\draw [dotteddecoration=black, yellow, ultra thick] (-2,-1) .. controls (8,-1) and (-8,1) .. (2,1);
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


## Output

-
I thought the OP wanted to get a list of nodes that correspond to points on the path -- perhaps I misunderstood. – Peter Grill Oct 5 '12 at 5:45
It's a much more optimized way of doing what I was trying to do. I'll edit my question with an adapted version of this response and wait a bit to see if someone has another good suggestion. Thanks @Qrrbrbirlbel. – tecepe Oct 5 '12 at 6:06
@PeterGrill He can still do … I'll update the answer. – Qrrbrbirlbel Oct 5 '12 at 6:13