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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

Representation | VRay for Rhino

2B / 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 spent adding materials and render effects to a train station built earlier in the session. The software used was VRay for Rhino.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key Notes

In Rhino, select Render > Current Renderer > VRay for Rhino > Asset Editor

In the Asset Editor, it defaults first to material selection (but you can continue to toggle between this and other options) Add Material > Generic > Quick Settings (to create your own by picking colours, reflection etc.)

Add Material > Generic > Quick Settings (to create your own by picking colours, reflection etc.)

OR click on the small arrow on the left-hand side to access Materials Library > drag and drop > right click > Apply Material to Layer (can check the status in the Layers panel).

If a Material Library surface is looking strange e.g. concrete is very stretched, then alter the Diffuse Colour and Bump settings under UVW, to 100 and 100 (will be just 1 as default).

To provide better context through a typical background, select Setting > Environment > Background > Blue Checker Box > List (top left corner icon) > Sky.

Use Interactive Render with your chosen Perspective. N.B. don’t alter the Resolution size at this point as it will be too time intensive. Play with adjustments to Materials, Sun, Camera, Background. e.g. Sky (Setting > Environment > Background > Blue Checker Box > List (top left corner icon) > Sky).

Representation | Rhino Intro II

2A / 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 spent building a train station, in order to be able to explore VRay for Rhino (B) and Grasshopper (C) software. The individual build components comprised of rail tracks and sleepers, an elevated platform on concrete legs, glass roof and framework plus indoor bar.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key Basic Commands Used

Polyline, Splice

Split, Trim, Offset, Join, Group, Copy, Move

ExtrudeCrv, Scale, Rotate, Rebuild

Gumball, SmartObject (on/off), Project, Near

5 New Commands I Didn’t Know Yesterday

  1. Array| an excellent shortcut that will save me a lot of time Cut and Pasting! Allows you to quickly duplicate an object in any direction and preview a draft version in pink. See example: rails duplicated on y-axis, where x = 1, y = 150, distance = 0.75m, z = 1. 
  2. ExtractWireframe | Useful new trick to quickly duplicate a wireframe onto a new layer to build skeletal forms or frameworks. See example: wireframe of the roof. 
  3. OffsetSrf | Using this wireframe layer, we next applied ExtrudeCrv then OffsetSrf to create a 3D framework. See example: creating a solid ‘space frame’ to support the roof. 
  4. Fillet | I’d used this before but never really understood it. Now I can clearly see the benefit of creating a clean curve from two straight lines. See example: base of train platforms.
  5. Sweep1 | Interesting command although I haven’t fully grasped how I would use it, as there doesn’t feel to be enough control. Sweep1 connects one rail curve with one cross section curve; Sweep2 connects 2 rail curves. See example: mushroom-like form of the station bar. 

Representation | Rhino Intro I

1 / 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

3 hour practical workshop, creating 3D shapes in Rhino. The final output was to build a pier, lighthouse, terrain, path and contours, that could be further modelled in Rhino as well as taken into Adobe Illustrator for digital enhancement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key Basic Commands Used

Creating 2D and 3D shapes: Polyline, Spline, Extrude, Circle, Pipe, PlanarSrf

Progressing from individual objects: Split, Join, Rotate

Shortcuts to save time: Copy, Paste, Move, Offset (ThroughPoint)

Developing digital images: Make2D

5 New Commands I Didn’t Know Yesterday

  1. Loft | Really easy way to fill a space between two joined curves to create a surface. Previously I’d been doing this manually with the 4-point surface command button. See example: base to the top of the lighthouse.
  2. Project Curve | Quick command used to draw a shape on one plane and then accurately project it onto another existing object, particularly useful when that object has curved sides. See example: the path which was drawn on C Plane then projected onto the varied terrain.
  3. ExtractSrf | I didn’t realise the strange geometric effect I often created was an error sign showing that two surfaces were meeting, and wouldn’t be accepted by a 3D printer. Extract Surface is a useful command to quickly delete specific sides. I had been using the Explode command previously, which creates extra work. See example: removal of the base at the lighthouse door.  
  4. Rebuild | A flat ground plane for the terrain was created with a 4 point surface. Rebuild command (with points visible) provides a default grid of an extra 10×10 points to manipulate. See example: dark green terrain with rolling hills.
  5. Project (a mode not a command) | Hadn’t been aware of this useful option (checkbox) to assure that you are always drawing all points on the C Plane. Switch off, and then work again in perspective to move the correct shape to the required location.