Controlling the direction of curve extrusion

Is there an easy way to control how the extruded width of a curve object is oriented, for example like this

or this

The curve in the images above has only two control points, and I got the effect by rotating one of the points. However, for a curve with lots of control points it would be somewhat difficult or at least tedious to achieve this. Is there a simpler way?

• Consider changing the Tilt, In Edit Mode of the curve, N for properties, you will see a tilt angle which you can change:

• Consider a lattice modifier. Animate the strength of the modifier if that suits you

• Consider a simple deform modifier

Yes, this is called Tilt. You can control the tilt of a given segment with ⎈ CtrlT:

• Thanks. I think both answers are equally good, and I chose the other one simply because you already have enough rep... ;-) – user7952 Jun 3 '15 at 15:43