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5 Sessions / 8 hours of work per session
Price
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Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Intermediate
Video Transcripts
English, Spanish; Castilian, Chinese, Portuguese
Topics
Programming, Scripting, Python, Algorithmic-design, Form
Open For Enrollment

Computing Form and Shape: Python Programming with the Rhinoscript Library

Starts in 6 days

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Go at your own pace
5 Sessions / 8 hours of work per session
Price
Free
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Intermediate
Video Transcripts
English, Spanish; Castilian, Chinese, Portuguese
Topics
Programming, Scripting, Python, Algorithmic-design, Form
Course Description

This course explores the role of computation in the conception and representation of shape and form. With a recognition that artists, architects and designers learn best when creating new work, programming will be taught as a creative medium. In the Python language, students will develop, analyze and critique algorithmic approaches to digital drawing, modeling, and projection. Specifically, the powerful, robust, and well-documented Python Rhinoscript library will be introduced and explored in detail. This API allows Rhinoceros modeling software to be scripted with text-based code. Scripting in this manner can automate existing processes and can lead to novel kinds, relationships, and orders of shape and form. Architects, sculptors, and any artists or designers interested in the either fabrication or communication of form and shape will recognize the importance of projection–the the transformation of three-dimensional geometry onto a two-dimensional picture plane, cut sheet, paper or screen. As a result, this course focuses not only on the generation of geometry, but the output of geometry. In parallel to extending students' technical proficiency, this course will touch on the conceptual and theoretical implications of algorithmic design. Each of the five lessons will build upon each other to develop an understanding of the Python language, algorithmic strategies, and digital geometric craft (the interrelated structures and topologies that make up digital models). Beginning with the most primitive geometric element–the point–the course will build curves in two and three dimensions, organize those curves to function as the input for methods that generate surfaces. Subsequently, the course will return to the realm of drawing as surfaces will be used to generate lines and curves in concert with orthographic and perspective projection.

schedule

This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: Procedural Points (August 24, 2018)
Why design algorithmically? Students will understand the basics of Python syntax and organization of the Rhinoscript library. Students will be comfortable creating, running, and editing a basic script. Students will demonstrate a capacity to create, work with, and distinguish between point coordinates and point objects. Demonstrations: procedural point spiral, gradient point cloud.
11 lessons
1. Introduction, Welcome and Resources Available
2. How to Create and Run a Script from Rhino
3. First Python Script: Variables, Math, Code as Sequence of Operations
4. Comments, Calling Functions and the Rhinoscript and Random Libraries
5. Algorithm for Automation: A Counting Loop
6. Conditional Statements and Logic Equations
7. Incorporating Geometric Parameters With Conditions and Loops
8. Logical Adjustments to Loop Algorithm
9. High-res Image Output and Project Advice
10. What Lies Ahead, Example Images
11. Reflecting on this Session
Session 2: Curves Vs. Curvature (August 31, 2018)
What is the nature of a curve? Students will demonstrate multiple methods for creating and editing curves–which is the topological term for one-dimensional objects including straight line segments. The class will explore the concept of the “blip” and the capacity of a set of curves to collectively define space. Demonstrations: Interpolated curves of various degrees before and after sorting; best fit circles; curve parameters, evaluating curves, and extraction of curve points for the purse of editing curves with looping. Assignment: Double-blip connection of curves: blip within each curve and blip in the aggregation of curves.
11 lessons
1. A Deeper Dive into Python Random Library
2. Random Seeds and Other Random Functions
3. Lists and Touples in Preparation for Rhinoscript Curve Functions
4. Using a “for” Loop to Step Through Lists, Element by Element
5. Creating Simple Curve Objects with Random Values Using “addInterpCurve” Function
6. Nesting Loops to Create Many Curves with Random Values
7. Creating Functions: Curves Within a Volume and Flat Curves
8. Two “Blip” Strategies
9. A Third “Blip” Strategy: Modifying a Curve After Creation
10. Exporting Perspective Image to Adobe Illustrator for Formatting
11. Session Two Conclusion
Session 3: The Depth Of A Surface (September 7, 2018)
What is the nature of a surface? Students will demonstrate methods for creating and editing surfaces beginning with the Rhinoscript functions that correspond with the most commonly used surface tools in Rhinoceros: loft, sweep1 and networksurface. Demonstrations: lofting and list-management, rebuilding surfaces in sequence. Assignment: conditional surface–divide a surface into patches and cull based on some geometric criteria.
7 lessons
1. Who is the “User”? And Why Would we Program for the “User” in Mind?
2. Using “GetObjects” Function to Incorporate User Input; Extruding Curves
3. Extrude Curves to Create Consistent Surface Areas
4. Comparing Curves from Two Sets for Lofting and Checking User Input
5. Using “zip” Sorting to Find the “Best” Match between Curves and Target Points
6. Algorithmic Strategy: Adjust Until Geometric Condition Met, Creating a Striated Surface
7. Session 3 Conclusion, Advice for Project
Session 4: Deconstruction Of Surfaces, The Genesis Of Lines (September 14, 2018)
How can a surface generate lines? How can lines represent a surface? This session begins with an important premise: a surface is a 2-D space organized in terms of 'U' and 'V' axes that can be treated similarly to 'X' and 'Y' axes in Cartesian space. This allows drawing “in” a surface, trimming a surface based on U/V domains and the evaluation of surfaces based on 2-D parameters. Demonstration: Growing lines based on surface normals; surface to surface lines. Assignment: Hatch a terrain-like surface so that its geometry is revealed completely when viewed orthographically.
10 lessons
1. What We’ll be Tackling in This Session
2. Primacy of Lines: Learning from Engraving and Cartography
3. Thinking of Surfaces as 2-D Space, Functions for Evaluating Surfaces
4. Evaluating Surface using U and V Coordinates
5. Constructing a Grid on a Surface
6. Curves at Surface Normal, aka Porcupine Surface
7. Recursive Algorithms and the Design of a Tree Function
8. Roaming Lines, Random Paths Along a Surface
9. Note About Assignment: Export Vector Formats for Editing
10. Conclusion: Authorship and Creativity
Session 5: The Project Of Projection (September 21, 2018)
How can projection serve as a creative act? Students will explore methods for geometrically constructing perspective computationally and use projective methods for the creation of new forms and shapes. Demonstration: constructing and arraying set of perspectives using surface-plane intersection. Assignment: Represent the process of oblique projection-as would be used to create an oblique axnometric drawing–using a set of curves.
9 lessons
1. Re-framing the Term, “Representation”
2. Geometric Perspective
3. Thinking about and Preparing for Scripting Perspectives
4. Algorithmic Strategy for Scripting Linear Projectors and Surface
5. Managing Layers with Respect to Geometric Information
6. Mapping from One Surface to Another
7. Extra Example: Cylindrical Projection Using Rail to Receive Lines
8. Notes and Advice on Project: Take Charge of Your Methods
9. Congratulations, Now Keep Coding!
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Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors & Guests
What You Need to Take This Course

Students should be comfortable with Rhinoceros modeling software. No computer programming knowledge is required, though students who are proficient in another programming language or have dabbled in Python will find most of the content new and useful.

  • Software:
    • Rhinoceros modeling software (latest build, version 5.x) is required with either an education or professional license on either Mac or Windows operating system.
    • If using Mac OS, an external text editor is required.
    • A programming-specific text editor is recommended: Komodo Edit or SublimeText are excellent options.
    • Rhinoceros is packaged with Iron Python automatically. No additional installation of Python is required.
Additional Information

Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member, does not affirm that the student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by Rhode Island School of Design.

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