Instead of the classical and modern reliance on ideal (hermetic, rigid) geometrical figures (…) the new primitives of parametricism are animate (dynamic, adaptive, interactive) geometrical entities - Patrik Schumacher
In contrary to the explicit models, parametric models are innately animatable. In this article we will be introducing you to the common animation techniques in Grasshopper (GH).
When parametric modeling is used in design process, you create a series of approximate solutions to the design problems from which you find new possibilities and select the best design option through setting parameters. By establishing the relationship among parts of your design elements, your design gears up with the power of malleability and becomes more adaptive in accordance to internal to external design factors.
Such design process becomes more common these days along the prevalence of parametric software. Although in architectural practice the design result is mostly in a form of static element at many projects, the skill of creating animation can help you to communicate either a story, logic, or a whole possible solution set of your design.
Method 1: Use of GH default component SLIDER
Method 2: Method 1 with GH Add-On “Animation”
Method 3: Method 1 with GH Add-On “Horster”
Method 4: Use of V-Ray for grasshopper
The easiest way is the Method 1, using the GH default component SLIDER. By just right-clicking the SLIDER component on GH canvas, you would find a menu “Anmiate…” from which GH allows you to export an array of images as frames of your animation. This method does not automatically create a video file for you, instead, you need to use some graphic software like Photoshop to generate it out of those frame images.
As you could easily imagine, any geometry set to be controlled by SLIDER is animatable. If you would like to add a camera work to it, then you could go with Method 2 or Method 3 where you need to use GH Add-Ons “animation” or “Horster” with SLIDER, Method 1. They both dependent on the animate… function of SLIDER for creation of frame images. The difference between them is with or without the feature of lens length. You could choose Method 3 with “Horster” if you would like to manipulate the camera lens length.
While, in Method 1-3, we could only make an animation on rhino view port, Method 4 the use of V-Ray for GH is capable of rendering an animation, including materials and the feature of scatter object.
This lightweight plug-in helps designers to make better animations with less effort. What it can achieve: Control viewport. By giving a camera position and a target point, you can easily control the viewport thus moving the camera, or even zoom in zoom out in your video/gif. Assign material.
horster camera Control for Grasshopper
horster cameraControl tools make it easy to control camera in Rhino viewport via Grasshopper. for now it consists of three components: getCamera - gets the location, target, lens length and 'up' vector of current viewport camera. setCamera - sets the current viewport camera. (taking as inputs location and target point, lens length (optional) and 'up' vector (optional).
In this tutorial, we will be introducing you to the Method 1 and 3, the latter of which we think is the most handy yet powerful enough to quickly create an interesting animated shot of your design. We kept the geometry used here very simple for the purpose of this tutorial.
1 Create a parametric model
The target parametric model is a four-cornered pyramid using POLYGON and EXTRUDE POINT components to allow changes in its extrusion height through SLIDER.
2. SLIDER animation creation
Let's use GH default SLIDER and Photoshop to create the first animation for the previously-made model.
This step is optional, if you already know the process, skip this step.
As mentioned, right-clicking the SLIDER component allows you to export the animation frame images and PS will compile it as an animation file. Its whole creation process is available in the following video.
3 Incorporate camera works with use of Horster
Horster allows us to incorporate the location and the lens length of the camera. In this example, we only use SET CAMERA component.
The key in this step is to organize the data into one stream so that a single SLIDER can control all parameters required to be modified simultaneously. In the previous step, there was only one animated element, EXTRUDE POINT, but now we have multiple elements, that needs to be translated together over time. So we first set the range of the SLIDER as 0.00 to 1.00, reparametrizing manually. Then we use REMAP component to rearrange data suitable to the target content of animation.
No matter how the range of SLIDER is set, the overall length of animation can be controlled by the frame count.
Then, we can finalize our GH definition with Horster. We take the building center as the target point of the camera, so that the camera moves around the center point along the circle.
Using the same process, you can develop more advanced animation as follows:
For example, you can change height of building, window’s position and size and number.
Lastly if you would like to add better control of the speed of your animation, for example through lens length and position, you can use GRAPH MAPPER.