4 / 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.
2.5 hour demonstration workshop of how a 3D scanner works. There are two components to the result: firstly a scan of the physical geometry, and secondly a scan of the colour information i.e. a photo of the space, taken in full panoramic.
A 3D scanner:
- Scans what you can see…. that is to say, it travels through glass, but can’t see through objects. Always do more than one scan of any space for this reason. The best place to hide is behind a wall, or under the scanner!
- Requires at least three scans, with correct setup needing to be able to see scan site #1 from #2, then needing to be able to see #2 from #3, etc.
- Set at the maximum resolution it will take about 2 hours per scan and it’s highly unlikely a computer will be able to process multiple files: so reduce the settings. Low scan in comparison will take about 5 minutes and the capture is still very high resolution. Only use the highest settings on very small spaces.
Scene software allows you to:
- Make either a point cloud model (which you can’t edit in 3D software), OR make a Mesh (which is really easy, and means you can then manipulate the file further).
- Follow a clear workflow bar that sits across the top of the software program. The ambition is to make all 3 boxes in ‘Project’ (tab 1) turn green, and at that stage, the process is finished.
- Select the ‘Registration’ tab (see pic), where you can stitch all of the scans together. Here there are 3 options, being ‘Auto’ – which may or may not work; ‘Manual’ – which is very easy: matching viewable elements; ‘Visual’ – which is organising parts. We tested ‘Manual’.
- In the ‘Manual’ option, pick the top image from each scan > mark targets (see pic) > mark a point or a plane > keep marking > the top button goes green. Points and corners of things tend to work better than planes.
- Navigate around a rough model in the ‘Explore’ tab, which will be a lower resolution on screen than what is actually captured. Use an auto-clipping box to quickly tidy up the file: move and rotate this to fit. You can use as many clipping boxes as needed.
- Finalise your master image via the last option on the ‘Create’ tab. Typically keep the settings on the default options, then this stitches all the scans together.
Export considerations include:
- File types are typically .stl – for 3D printing; .ply – not very commonly used; .obj – the universal file, can be used in any software (obj = object)
- Point cloud is good for background fills. In last ‘Export’ tab, export project point cloud. Studio Max doesn’t work with .pts (point cloud) file, but export this then open up Recap, scan project, open and save as .rcs (Revision Control System) file.
- Point cloud option can’t be used in Rhino, but can be used in other 3D software like Studio Max (Autodesk 3ds Max) and Blender.
- The settings when making a Mesh have the option to make it watertight, which would then be suitable for 3D printing…. But remember it’s 1:1 and will likely morph some of the shapes. Mesh turns your scan into lines and triangular faces. Mesh Selection > mesh clipping boxes > will turn yellow. Meshes > right click > export > save.
- A Mesh should import into Rhino easily, however, don’t apply lighting as this is already baked in from the photographs. When viewing the model in Rhino Render mode, it will retain the photo information. Note: this is if you have scanned with colour. You can turn colour on/off, and without it will give whitey grey overall finish. Turn Mesh Wires on/off in display settings of Rhino.
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.
<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.
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!
- Parameters > Geometry > Surface > drag into workspace > right click > Set One Surface (click on the Surface you have just created in Rhino)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Key Basic Commands Used
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.