Friday, January 21, 2011

Complex Rigging pt.2 - Skin That Sucker!

In the last post, i created a fairly complex parametric mass to use as a rig.  This week I'll look at using that rig to generate a changeable and (hopefully) graceful skin.

First i take my mass family that i generated last week:

Next I'll select a one of the vertically oriented faces and divide the surface.  I TURN OFF THE HORIZONTAL LINES because they will only trip me up on the next couple of steps.


Now my surface has a nice node at the top and bottom edge of every division.  This is the part that won't work right if horizontal lines are still on.

After giving the same treatment to the inside surface, I start linking the points using the curve tool in 3D Snapping mode.

Working my way around and then hiding the rig form, I end up with all these reference lines:

Which i can start stitching together.  For some reason REVIT wouldn't let me make half the form at one shot.  I used a quarter of the form in this example, but you can go as far as ONE LESS THAN HALF the shape...i don't get it...

Applying a surface patterns to the new skin gives me:

Neat!  And now, I have curvy skin that will respond to the parameters of my rig:
I used a pretty benign skin pattern here, but these are some examples of flexing different CURTAIN PANEL PATTERNS on the skin:
Some great comments on last weeks post.  I love it when readers sound off!

On the topic of accuracy, I want to point to this Wikipedia page on "Accuracy" and "Precision".  Its a fun semantic argument indeed.

Just as well, I think its worth noting that we are dealing with the CONCEPTUAL Massing Environment, not the FINISHED FORM, CONSTRUCTION & MANUFACTURING ACCURATE Massing Environment.  There is a pretty wide distance between the 2 and REVIT, on the whole, can arguably cover alot of that ground, but I haven't found a tool yet that can cover ALL of it.
There's more in the pipeline on this....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Complex Rigging and Built Up Forms pt.1

I just love talking with people at AU who want to give me their sob story about some young hot-rod architecture intern who came in and made a bunch of great forms in Rhino, and then sent them into 3dMAX and morphed them, and now they need to recreate these forms in Revit and can't figure out how to do it and waahh waahh...U CAN"T DO THAT IN REVIT.

There's certainly a deeper question of 'Why haven't the tools in the conceptual massing editor been picked up by students' but that's way far beyond the scope of my blog.  What i am interested in is seeing how far I can push form generation with the tools i have.

There is a fellow i work with.  Very talented young man.  He is working in Digital Projects.  And just from looking over his shoulder occasionally, i see his process involves a lot of stacking and interlinking of parametric elements.  Its like a pyramid that slowly builds upwards.  It doesn't seem too different from how i think about form generation in Revit.

With that in mind, I wanted to start looking at how I could build some interesting forms by creating more complex rigs, and then building upon them.

I want to start here:

Ambitious?  Maybe.  However, I am not interested in recreating the Bird's Nest.  Hell no....though it is a very compelling form, one of these white elephants is enough....I am after the underlying geometry that makes this form possible...which is an oval shaped cone with a saddle shaped top...or at least that's where the affair starts!

So where to begin?  How about a pair of ovals like these.  I'll link the dimensions of the top oval to the bottom by sticking in a variable to control the incline angle.

To get the saddle shape at the top, I'll have to generate a void form to cut the initial oval-cone.  It won't quite be a toroid, but the cutting surface will come close.  First i have to develop a curve for the void form to sweep along.

The lengths of this curve are linked to the dimensions of the oval-cone.

Next I'll generate the void form using a bunch of dimensioned reference points placed at the ends of my sweeping curve.

And then i have 2 masses that look like this

change the cutting mass to a void, add an oval to cut a hole in the middle and bang!

With a little adjusting of the parameters, it gets pretty close to the basic mass of the bird's nest.

This is the list of the parameters:

This is the mass file:


This ought to be fun to play with until the NDA on the new release expires...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stair Planning Tool Version 2.0

Lets face it, the stair tool in REVIT is quite cool, but when it comes to actually planning stairs it a bit less helpful than we would hope.

I did a post last year lamenting the situation and how i got around the problem by making a silly little 2d/3d rig to help me plan stairs....see it here.

In November, i had the honor of joining Kelly Cone and Jason Grant to put on a rockin' class at AU called FUZZY MATH ESSENTIALS. If you missed it...well...don't be a putz and come to AU next year.

During the class, Jason proved exactly what kind of over-achiever he is by presenting an insanely detailed stair family that was used on a project in his an extension of that presentation, Jason has offered up a REALLY AWESOME FULLY 3d STAIR PLANNING FAMILY!

Revit Stair Planning Family from Jason Grant on Vimeo.

Go see his post on the topic and download that sucker if you want it!