Generative Design Variations M.3.4.2 Multiple grid sections

I start with quoting the Generative Design book: ‘A second way to dissolve the grid is to generate a number of grids but only display them in sections on the mesh’s surface. In the following example, six instances of the mesh class are generated using the sphere formula. A mesh would generate an entire sphere if the value range for u and v extended from -Pi to Pi. If smaller random value ranges are now selected for each mesh, a kind of patchwork is generated as the overall shape. it is relatively easy to implement this in the program. Here, again, it is convenient that the entire functionality for the calculation and drawing of the mesh is encapsulated in the mesh class. The shape of the mesh class is no longer drawn in one piece but results from a large number of grid sections that can also overlap with each other.’ Until so far the generative Design book introduction. Here is the code I worked with:

I did not find it useful to put my code online because I did not change much about the original code. But I did prepare a Flickr Album which contains all the images I have made during this assignment. You can find that album clicking this link:

From here on I will link this text to the specific object image on Flickr. Again I imported my light settings from the earlier examples. And I did some small changes in the program itself. Such as a zoom function and I reserved the s-key for making screendumps. I will just go through all twenty-two meshes to let you know what I did. I started with the plane mesh. Which gives you (obviously) a plane. Except I changed the amount of planes to 2000. But during that session it seemed to be no problem to raise that amount to 20.000 planes. Oh… and I used the meshDitortion property to get some distance between them. Otherwise you get a flat plane which doesn’t look very interesting.

I changed the plane for a tube mesh. Completely unexpectedly it changed the planes also in the z-axis. What I mean is that they are not all on the same angle. All planes are now on different angles. But I lost the tube mesh. I lowered the mesh distortion and mesh count to 10.0. Coming back on my earlier examples in ‘Deconstructing the mesh’ I did not use the mesh distortion function much. I think there will be more distortion in these upcoming examples. Setting mesh distortion to a level of 0.01 gives an interesting patterns.

While working on the sphere mesh I wondered why we have no shadows in Processing 3D. Processing is using OpenGL. But it seems it does not support ray tracing. But for ray tracing, you need to trace the secondary rays and test for intersection with the geometry. That might be a bit too much to ask. But when I could export the geometry as a dxf-file than I could import the model into a 3D program which does support ray tracing. Alas the export dxf function gives me an error. I mentioned it to the guys of Generative Design. Hopefully they can solve the problem. Anyway for the time being I continue without shadows.

The torus mesh is a very compact mesh. But still it had some qualities which I did not see before.

The paraboloid mesh looks interesting from the top and from the bottom. It think that is true for a lot of meshes. It might have something to do with the balance between chaos and order. When you look at a mesh from the top and from the bottom these two (chaos and order) are much more balanced than when you look at the mesh from the sides.

The steinbachscrew stays an intriguing object (like it was in the earlier examples). Strange enough the mesh distortion does not work very well with it (if you ask me).

The sine mesh gave me a bit fewer possibilities in the beginning. But when I lowered the uMax, uMin, vMax, vMin variables there was suddenly a lot going on.

In the end I only used three figure8torus meshes. But even than it is a very fine mesh.

The elliptictorus mesh gave me also some interesting images. But I do not know why the resolution (which was on 200 for uCount and vCount) did not work out so well. I sometimes still see patterns in the objects.

The corkscrew mesh is still a bit difficult to handle. It’s a very long object so it is difficult to make interesting compositions without zooming in very deep.

The bohemiandome mesh gave me very different images than I got in the earlier examples. Even with seven meshes it still gives interesting compositions and angles of the object.

I was not finished with the bow mesh in the earlier assessment. And I am still not really finished with the bow mesh now. Let’s see what it delivers in the next assignment.

The maedersowl mesh is very interesting in a way that it receives very high contrast in light. It has very bright areas while at the same time it has very dark areas.

The astroidalellipsoid is even more interesting than it was in the earlier assignment. It combines large planes where almost nothing happens with complex geometry in one place.

Made some variations with the triaxialtritorus. These are not the best images but they are at least something I could not think off before I began working with the triaxialtritorus mesh.

In the previous examples the limpettorus mesh stayed in a way a UFO. That changed in these series when you can break up the mesh with multiple grid sections.

There is not much left of the original horn mesh. Although I think that long meshes are difficult to use in a good composition. To avoid a bad composition I mostly zoom in. The downside is that you have to increase uCount and vCount. Which makes your system very slow.

I did not do much do with the shell mesh. Increased the mesh count to 128 and then I zoomed in. From the other hand I could not do much because my system reacted terribly slow. It had a refresh rate of about 15 seconds after every mouse event.

The kidney mesh is hardly recognisable now. It’s just a collection of broken down sphere geometry.

The lemniscape mesh is fully unrecognisable as the original mesh. Maybe it’s because the original was also very mysterious.

The trianguloid mesh is also very interesting. All those different angles make it very unpredictable. You never know what kind of composition you get when you zoom in or click and drag to rotate it.

I found the superformula mesh still the least interesting. Maybe it’s because it’s not a sphere. It is sphere-ish. The shape is not fully clear to me. I also do not know why it is called a superformula. But maybe that will become clear in the next assignment.


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