Summary:Related Projects: Gemayzee
Often we use grasshopper to experiment with different formal possibilities based on a set of paramters conditioned by the limitations of the project. This fluid process is then than inscribed into a series of final presentation drawings and renderings. Is there a way to represent the fluidity of this process? Can this mode of representation be used to inform the design process in ways that a static drawing could not? Looking for an opportunities to explore these issues, I decided to experiment with ways to render out animations with Grasshopper as both a presentation and a design tool. See below for some of the methods available for both creating and rendering animations with grasshopper.
Software & Plugin’s Used:
|Rhino 5||Grasshopper||Centipede||Excel Link||Excel||3dsMax 2013||coord4.ms||objloader.ms|
Animation Method 1: Using Excel as a dope sheet
Using excel it is possible to create a primitive dope sheet using some named cell values and a simple formula. I used this method to control the dimensions of the paneling in the Gemayzee project. The orange values are the key frames, the tweened values inbetween are driven by the formula. You can add as many frames inbetween using the insert row feature. Using excel’s autofill feature you can quickly fill the Interpolation Value column by selecting a few sequential numbers and dragging the plus sign down. When adding values or more key frames, be sure to create new named cells. You can copy the formula from one column or key frame to anouther and then use the find and replace tool to replace the necessary values, for example change all the value C cells to value D.
|Sample Definition||Sample Excel Sheet|
Animation Method 2: Exporting animation values from 3dsMax
The excel sheet works well when you have a set of know values that you want to explore. If you are looking to to explore formal possibilities without an excel sheet, the best option is to use 3dsMax’s powersull set of animation tools and then export that data back into rhino to be reconstructed. For the Gemayzee animation I used 3dsMax’s morph feature to create a simple animated surface. Using the link position constraint I attached a set of point helpers on the surface. Using the coord4.ms max script and the GH Excel Link I exported the animation values from max and imported them into grasshopper. The animated points were used to rebuild the surface in rhino.
|Surface Animation||Export Point Data MaxScript||Grasshopper Definition||Exported CSV File|
Rendering:Once we have the animation in grasshopper you can render directly with Vray for rhino or rhino’s native render engine with Giulio Piacentino Render Animation tool. If you prefer to render in max you can use Centipede to export an object sequence from grasshopper, and then the objloader script to import that object back into max. The latter method works well only for smaller files, although the objloader script can handle large obj sequences without crashing, it will becomes cumbersome to scrub and work with the animation in max.
|Render Animation||Export Obj||Load Obj Sequence as Animation|
Although I rendered out the Gemayzee animation in 3dsMax, I would highly recommend avoiding exporting and importing an obj sequence. The process adds another time consuming step and the final animation is difficult to work with in 3dsMax. Rendering natively in Grasshopper is a far better option.
Some possible uses for this technique would be to explore how a responsive facade responds to changes to various environmental factors, or to diagram how a performative facades final form came about. A similar technique could be used to create a link between 3de Max’s animation capabilities and grasshopper many tools. For example, animated objects representing site forces for example could be used to influence a vector field.