For some reason I couldn’t get this image to render in 3ds max after multiple attempts, so I had to recreate the model and set up the render again. (See ambient occlusion render here, and first fractal attempt here)

Because of the organic nature of the form, I wanted to do a render to match, so I went for a greenstone-like material. Once again, I used a noise map to try and achieve it, but I think the material needs a little more translucency in order to achieve the proper effect. In order to achieve that I might try use a subsurface scattering material in mental ray.

Sometimes accidents can have fantastic results! I took my previous script which created the fractal script and pushed the limits of it to see what could be created. This was the result.

What I found really interesting was the different levels of texture that were created. The second image shows the detailing as the fractal wraps right into itself.

And here are some Ambient Occlussion render from 3ds max.

Every now and again I get back into python to do a little bit of scripting. Over the weekend I wrote a fractal script (for my design project).The input takes one rectangle, and then proceeds to rotate and translate that geometry however many times you deem appropriate in a recursive manner.  Here’s the result.

Although you can achieve recursion in grasshopper using a plugin like hoopsnake, it is preferable to do it in a python scripting component – it doesn’t clog your grasshopper canvas, and it’s more efficient in terms of CPU processing. Plus, I really want to learn a scripting language.

Anyone who uses grasshopper will at some point discover the voronoi component. It’s great component which creates really interesting forms based on point location data, be it random or sorted in a particular way. The trouble is, it’s very overused, you can see examples of it used all the time by designers. Hence I tried to do something a little different with it.

In this animation, I used the 3D voronoi component on a set of random points, then isolated the voronoi cells which crossed a predetermined path, and used mesh triangulation to generate the patterned form on the structure. Then, to add another level of complexity, I animated the points which the cells were based on to move in a random direction to add dynamism to the form as the camera flies around the structure.

Finally, I experimented with key-framing the camera movement. By using a graph mapper component, I was able to change the speed with which the camera moves along its axis, so the camera speeds up as it tracks through the middle of the animation, and slows down as it reaches the penultimate point of the shot.

One thing I particularly liked about this model was the shadows – specifically the degree of sharpness. It’s not too soft that you lose understanding of the form that’s been generated, but it’s also not completely sharp around the edges. Also, while the form changes quite rapidly, watching the shadows makes the animation a bit clearer. I included some stills which I pulled out of the animation which have some nice shadows to them.

While using grasshopper, I stumbled across an interesting mesh modifier called sierpinski subdivisions. It patterns a mesh using a fractal pattern which recursively subdivides a surface into smaller and smaller triangles. I then thought it would be a nice touch to give these forms I’d created an emissive quality in the render. Here’s the result.