Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a method of visual programming, there isn’t really any text involved. In grasshopper you visually design algorithms that carry out actions inside the Rhino environment in real time. It is a plugin for Rhino that can be termed as generative algorithmic modelling

I found a better description than I could give one lynda.com:

Grasshopper is a plug-in for Rhinoceros 3D modeling software. It gives us a visual interface forbuilding algorithms that generate geometry in Rhino. Now, as powerful as Rhino’s 3D modeling tools are on their own, there comes a point, especially when you’re dealing with complex models, where a user might want even more flexibility. For example, the ability to quickly change fundamental attributes of a complicated model or the ability to make complex formations through repetitions of simple forms. Or maybe a user would like to use mathematical functions to control or generate shapes.

Now, some of this flexibility can be accessed from within Rhino by using the built in support for scripting languages like Rhinoscript or Python. These scripting tools offer powerful control over Rhino’s modelling commands, including some that are not available through the graphic interface.Using scripting languages, though, requires a fairly in depth knowledge of computer programming techniques, which, of course, many artists, designers or other creative users don’t have. Grasshopper combines the mostly graphical approach of working in Rhino with the powerful algorithmic techniques found in scripting.

The benefit of using Grasshopper is that you don’t need to have a high level of scripting or programming experience to jump right in and start generating interesting models.

Running the Grasshopper command in Rhino opens Grasshopper in a new window which is viewed alongside the Rhino window. Grasshopper also has a different file format than Rhino although the two are totally compatible. So things made in grasshopper are saved separately through the Grasshopper Save Option in the drop-down File menu.

Grasshopper 01

These are the blocks or components, composed in a left to right order of working that create and influence the object in real time and can be seen in the Rhino window open alongside it.

Grasshopper 02 Grasshopper 03 Grasshopper 04 Grasshopper 05 Grasshopper 06 Grasshopper 07 Grasshopper 08 Grasshopper 09 Grasshopper 010

I am currently following basic tutorials on the official Grasshopper tutorial page, these tutorial videos are by David Rutten . I spent the day getting to know the absolute basics and am tomorrow after a quick recap I shall attempt to produce some interesting forms that I could begin bringing into physicality. With Grasshopper I hope to see my work take on a new complexity and quality, Grasshopper is a powerful tool in the hands of the designer maker, I have a lot to learn however (A VAST AMOUNT) before I am anywhere near proficient. I am investigating online tutorial series such as the ones on lynda.com, although I would prefer not to pay…

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