Representation | Grasshopper

2C / 5 A short diary of five introductory software sessions, covering Rhino (two parts), ArcGIS, 3D Scanning and Adobe After Effects. Delivered via The University of Greenwich as part of the Landscape Representation module within the Master of Landscape Architecture program.

The Task

<1 hour practical workshop delivered as a rapid introduction to Grasshopper, described as a visual programming language and environment that runs within Rhino. Programs are created by dragging components onto a canvas. The outputs to these components are then connected to the inputs of subsequent components.

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Key Notes

Start with a 4 corner surface and Command > Rebuild to 6×6 grid, and manipulate with GumBall into to a typical organic landscape topography. At this point Command > Grasshopper.

Some steps I remember!

  1. Parameters > Geometry > Surface > drag into workspace > right click > Set One Surface (click on the Surface you have just created in Rhino)
  2. Surface > Utilities > Divide Surface > drag into workspace > connect Srf box to S (surface?) > U and V are effectively X and Y axis and need a numerical value
  3. Parameters > Input > Number Slider > drag into workspace > right click to Edit > Rounding N > change Min and Max (we used 1 and 15)…. have now created lots of points on the single surface
  4. Vector > Plane Normal > drag into workspace > connect P to O and N to Z (don’t know why!)…. each point now has a separate plane, directly parallel to the surface
  5. Surface > Primitive > Centre Box > add a Number Slider and connect to X, Y, Z axis (or could have 3 separate Sliders)…. now have boxes that are all the same size
  6. Parameters > Geometry > Point > right click > Set One Point (click on the Point that you will have gone back and plotted in Rhino, which sits somewhere above the surface)…. forgot to screengrab instructions for this part onwards 
  7. Vector > Point > Distance…. so instead of linking the Number Slider to directly to Box we connected it through Point (I think); see the resulting screengrab
  8. Right click > Bake > select Layer you want to place it on > will now be in Rhino!

In short, this tutorial was far too quick and I haven’t actually figured out the main benefits of why you would you this software. However, the Grasshopper website has a link to 13 free intro tutorials hosted on Vimeo.


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