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trabajamos para ella !
Command line computers: Maya.Qhull.surface evolver.tetgen.isosurf. 
Monday, February 25, 2008, 07:41 AM - Geometry, Tessellations
Posted by Administrator

A free player from tradebit.com

A free player from tradebit.com

A free player from tradebit.com

Analytical computation, as an instrument to generate geometry and evaluate its ‘performance’, is inherently dependent on ‘meshes’ or node based geometry. The attempt on this short-term research was to understand the functioning of node-based geometry, text-based polygon file formats, types including Delaunay , Voronoi, half-space intersections, convex hulls etc.

In view of the lack of access to Maya's internal triangulation engines, the research concentrated on wrting simple translators to access external, command-line executables such as qhull,tetgen and surface evolver.Tetgen has so far proved to be most useful, in that it can be compiled into either an executable or a dll. ie. supports both standard MEL 'system' calls and c++ api calls from within Maya plugins. Further, tetgen also supports constrained delaunay triangulation.

Although resulting triangulated meshes do not support regular poly-modelling workflows, they provide interest as reference objects.They are also useful in geometric problem solving, eg: prim's algorithm.
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Data-cloud and Teleology in research. 
Sunday, February 24, 2008, 04:59 PM - Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
“…the reason to make art (and to write) is to understand, rather than because one already understands, (exploration not explication)…”

Brett Staulbaum, Database Logic(s) and Landscape Art ,
accessed December 2004.

The post is part of on-going attempts to collate, evaluate, summate and formalize previous experience, education, and collaborations within the rapidly evolving realm of ‘architectural-computing’. This, in the hope of forging a better understating of current research objectives.

Tracing back current architectural discourse relating to ‘parametrics’ upto the explicit interest in D'Arcy_Thompson’s On growth and Form, John Fraser’s Evolutionary Architecture ,Greg lynn’s animate form, Delanda’s War in the Age of the Intelligent Machine , Marvin Minsky’s Artificial Intelligence, Simon Penny’s The Darwin Machine: Artificial Life and Interactive Art, Patrik Schumacher’s essay Responsive Environments – From Drawing to Scripting, various essays by Lev Manovich including image after the matrix , Craig Reynolds’ ‘Boids’, Cellular Automata, John Conway’s game of life, dynamic, non-linear and chaotic systems, Chuck Hoberman’s transformable designs et al , it would seem that current discourse did pass through a point of diverse interests. Evidently, interests ranged from material computation, artificial intelligence and robotics, kinetic, transformable & deployable architecture, data and information-diagramming & event-driven architecture, ‘emergent’ phenomena, etc. Providing an accessible platform for the exploration of such interests and the development of design, were ‘animation’ software packages and associated ‘scripting’ languages.

The images and videos below trace one example emanating from the nebulous yet potent cloud of discourse as a precursor to a more distilled interest in computational geometry and ‘parametrics’.

sketch (Maya Introduction workshop by Hernan Diaz Alonzo,aadrl 04-06. team included Adam Pollanias, Nuru Karim, Khuzema Hussain.) using Maya particle engine / soft bodies and path-based animation. 'Freezing' at successive time-stops and accruing resultants and remodeling.Generally leading to 'serial' units of form.

manifold:aadrl 04-06

kinetics: NURBS modelling in Rhino. animated in Maya. rigid aggregation of units, working with only translational and rotational degrees of freedom. discrete units in form.

manifold:aadrl 04-06.

manifold:aadrl 04-06.

Procedural animation: Following logically from kinematics studies was an interest in procedural animation.

‘Animation’ could be understood as change of specific parameters or characteristics across time. However, many of the animation ‘tools’ are inherently independent of time or ‘non-linear’. These then control the change of ‘parameters’ through a system of logical relations and numeric attributes. The aim is to appropriate various animation tools / techniques as ‘parametric’ design tools. Associated to this then is, the use of ‘logical’ constraints, controlling one /many attributes with another (driver and driven) , the use of ‘history’ or chain of dependence etc.

machinating ‘control rigs’ where all pre-defined logical relations remain consistent as the system is manipulated or re-evaluated.

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legacy and ossification within design processes 
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 10:25 AM - Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
The video and images relate to the design/research project of team Manifold as part of their graduate thesis at AADRL 2004-06;

click for more images and video

click for website

This post coincides with the tenth year anniversary of the AADRL, and the imminent event series including a exhibition,symposium, installation of 'experimental-pavilion' etc.

Of interest to our current work however, is the 'legacy' and ossification of over-arching design/research methodologies initiated and explored over successive periods of 16-month graduate theses projects.

Nested between successive 3 year research agendas, 'responsive environments' and 'parametric urbanism', the one year transitional agenda of 'create-space', provided moments of interest in this very process of negotiation. Investigations within the agenda were held in suspension between the previous agenda of kinetics, morpho-dynamics and algorithmic modeling [AADRL team: emerged](especially within polygon and subDivision geometry formats [AADRL team: noise]), data-driven architecture, localized systems and 'emergence' etc and the next agenda concentrating on and articulating computational geometry, 'parametric' design methods, scale-less networks etc. The agenda was interestingly also transitional in terms of platforms of investigative research, with teams using a myriad of platforms/software such Autodesk Maya, Mcneel rhinoceros, Autodesk 3dmax, Wolfram research Mathematica(AADRL team: y-me), cycling 74 maxMSP, proce55ing, luxology Modo, Adobe Flash, Bentley Generative Components, and associated plug-ins/modules such as syflex Cloth, NextLimit realFlow, 3dmax crowds, Presagis AI implant, Autodesk fluids,cloth,particles, & hair. The agenda also saw interesting confluence in terms of fabrications methods such the use of milling of high-density foam, casting of silicon moulds and fibreglass prototypes, steel milling and detailing, fibrous material and its use as material-computation[AADRL team:anti-fabric] etc.

The projects then, represent an point of inflexion in regard to design, fabrication, & evaluation methods, investigative platforms,and theoretical positions. The research projects are tangibly traceable to precedents, and as imprints in the projects the next agenda.

..post to be expanded into a articulated position on legacy and ossification within design methods.
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Computation aided /driven 'design process' : research , failure , hueristics , 'versioning', legacy. 
Sunday, February 10, 2008, 07:47 AM - Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
video is a slideshow
A stub post following from previous post:An attempt to collect sketches that were discarded, put on the back-burner etc. To be expanded into an attempt to theorize/collate the processes of failure,accidental discovery & legacy within computation driven 'design' processes.

A free player from tradebit.com

A collection of recent sketches following from a research interest in polygonal geometry: its finite-element data structure, sub-Division schema, innate algorithmic nature of poly-modelling tools, barycentric coordinates and global continuity, 'greebling' and other possibilities for surface articulations, etc.

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In Lieu of a Manifesto :Experiments, Hueristics and Praxis 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 07:56 PM - Analytical, Research, papers
Posted by Administrator
The following post is abridged from a unpublished research paper that collates personal experiences related to 'architectural-computing' as part of team Manifold,AADRL, Architectural Assistant at HOK Sport London, and as Architectural Assistant at ZHA, London . However a niggling 'computational' task warranted the post. videos are in real time.

Ted Kruger, in his lecture series, Instrument and Instrumentality, uses Herbert Simon’s distinctions between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ sciences to describe the ‘sciences’ as operating on two agendas: understanding the world ‘as-is’ and speculating on ‘as-it should be’.

“Herbert Simon writing in Sciences of the Artificial posits two kinds of science the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial’. Natural sciences, such as physics, chemistry and biology endeavour to understand the world ‘as it is’. The task is fundamentally descriptive and analytical. It concerns itself with thinking. Sciences of the artificial - business, engineering, and all of design, for examples, give primary consideration to the world‘as it should be’….”

Kruger, Ted: Instrument and Instrumentality.
V2_Lab; Workshops, lecture Ted Krueger,<www. lab.v2.nl/events/_docs/lecture_krueger.pdf>, pg 1.

Subscription to and extension of the argument would mean that ‘applied science’ could be posited as the bridge between the two. Further, (architectural) ‘design as research’ could be argued to exhibit similar properties of using, translating, transposing and adapting the descriptive tools of natural science to engineer an imagined and wished world.

_geometric relations, logical structures: parametric systems

Architecture as an assembly of design components implicitly suggests ‘self-similarity’ and ‘difference’ amongst the parts of the system. Particulars or aspects of this similarity and difference could be multitude. Nonetheless, our research aims to ‘appose’ and /or articulate the notion with other issues that deserve to be discussed.

In recent ‘parametric’ systems of design and of codification of design for construction, this aspect of similarity and difference, have tended to be manifested in the production of ‘homeo-morphic’ geometries such as ‘adaptive (to curvature) tiling’ patterns, structural skins etc. Alternatively, there have been systems, like those in robotics , that concentrated on production of non-topological difference and on aspects of ‘family’ and ‘individual’ on the basis of ‘attributes’ such as constituent parts , specific task-capacities, transformation pathways etc. Without explicit allegiance to one or the other, our research gravitates more towards using the first principles of all such systems : that of algorithmic procedures, machinating ‘control rigs’ where all pre-defined logical relations remain consistent as the system is manipulated or re-evaluated, use of external data as strategic inputs, feedback loops etc. Thus, parametric systems can be understood as systems of and/or related to quantification, determination of logical relations and continuous evaluation of a system so ‘rigged’ for multiple design outcomes.

Empirical evidence from (within our current context) of a multi-tiered, plural, and collaborative design process and environment implores for further articulation of one aspect of the definition (in bold above). A possible method of such an articulation, as will be argued in the example below, is through ‘rules-of-thumb’ or an abstraction of information and simplification of the ‘intelligence’ of parametric systems.

A free player from tradebit.com

A free player from tradebit.com

The associated images and video relate to an attempt to ‘parametrisize ’ the effect of built environment on the visual ‘field’ of its context and vice versa. The attempt was to develop a interactive ‘modelling’ tool which would re-evaluate a simple iterative logic upon manipulation of the model: shoot ‘rays’ from every point of a input set of ‘sampling’ points in pre-defined directions, calculate the ratio of the number of rays shot to those intersected by the built mass, and collate the distances at which those intersections occurred. Empirical experience would however point to a computational limit: calculation of intersection of rays with ‘mesh’ geometry, consumes a lot of computational resource and thus slowing down execution times. This, in spite of the code predominantly being wrappers to pre-compiled, professional code (from Autodesk Maya) and accounting for the amateur, enthusiast nature of the attempt. This then, points to significant aspect of ‘parametric’ systems: that of ‘re-evaluation time’ of a ‘parametric’ setup.

A free player from tradebit.com

Elaborating, most ‘parametric’ platforms ((Rhino explicit history, Generative Components, Maya Hyper-graph, Catia object- tree, rendering Shader-networks, et.al)) have to account for, in some form or manner, information flow between constituent ‘nodes’ : black-boxes that take one/multiple inputs and produce an output, which is further connected as ‘input’ to other such ‘nodes’. It then logically, and presumably from postulates of graph theory, follows that ‘evaluation time’ of such a set-up has to be dependent directly on the number of ‘nodes’;

It can be argued further that significant ‘time-gains’ can be effected only through more efficient, professional algorithmic and data structures. In this particular example for instance, there are better and professional (stand-alone) tools available that implement efficient algorithms relating to Geo-spatial analysis. (e.g: Space syntax Isovist, Matlab line of sight et al).

These aspects of ‘parametric’ systems or ‘architectural computing’, coupled with the nature of ‘multi-tiered, plural, and collaborative design process and environment’ outlined previously, point towards a need for ‘rules-of thumb’. Delineating further, these ‘rules’ need to abstract, encapsulate, and allow for the potential to integrate with, more advanced computing logics of science, engineering and construction. This would allow for an informed-yet-fluent design process without placing undue burden on the later stage of integration with ‘computation’ for construction.

Stated differently, most ‘scripting’ and other forms of ‘end-user programming’ within design realms, would be best served as an interface between opening up possibilities in the design realm, and enabling the manifestation of those possibilities in built form.

In the current example, this ‘rule-of-thumb’ was crudely instantiated as a reduction in the number of rays being shot, in order to approximate the result and enable ‘interactive’ feedback…

…More examples and substantiations to the argument to follow.

v1.0 non interactive tool but with shader support

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Monday, February 4, 2008, 12:45 PM
Posted by Administrator
video is in real-time
coming soon...

A free player from tradebit.com

coming soon...

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Interactive UVN transposition : Maya 
Wednesday, January 30, 2008, 06:37 PM - Maya.c++.api., Geometry, Tessellations
Posted by Administrator
videos are in real-time
Shows attempts to create an interactive tool that transfers meshes from the UVN space of a reference surface(usually flat, :. uvn = xyz) to that of another.

'Uses' (as seen in videos) relate to 'flowing' multiple components on a 'host' surface, transferring a user-generated triangulated / quad mesh unto a given surface etc.

Second video also includes the use of Maya-Qhull interface, to generate meshes.

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Maya fluid and its field of force 
Wednesday, January 30, 2008, 05:45 PM - Maya.c++.api., algorithms
Posted by Administrator
video is in real-time
Shows a visualisation (of the data-set) of the force field around a Maya 'fluid' simulation.

A free player from tradebit.com

It is a well-known fact that the 'fluid' simulation yields a gradient numeric data-set that can be used to parametrically drive other geometric, and/or organizational systems.

In a bid to further research of fluid-fields and its use within parametric 'design' systems, we attempted to extract more data from the simulation. Here a 'fluidNode' (a simple wrapper to API methods) is being used to visualize/extract data related to the force exerted by a 'fluid' on point-objects within it.

Videos and images relate to how this might be applied to 'differentiate' and/or generate geometry.

A free player from tradebit.com

A free player from tradebit.com

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real-time curvature information in Maya viewports. 
Thursday, January 17, 2008, 10:17 AM - Maya.c++.api., Maya.general.modelling, Analytical
Posted by Administrator
video is in real-time
Shows an application of the openGL generic-data visualising node. (see previous entry)

The node is being used to visualise 'curvature' under 'real-time' manipulation of a NURBS surface.

Currently supports only one surface at a time. V 1.0, based on a hardware shader node however, supports multiple objects.

Curvature values are computed from the 'derivative' information that the maya API provides access to. As such the numeric results are accurate (verified by comparision in Rhino). Only gaussian and mean curvatures curvatures can be displayed.

The color regions are dynamic divisions of the min-max range, which can be set.

click for more
click for more

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MEL and openGL visualization. 
Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 03:31 PM - Maya.c++.api., Maya Embedded Language, utilities, programming interests
Posted by Administrator
video is in real-time
A quick screen grab from WIP.Shows a prototype 'node' for Maya that can take MEL inputs and produce openGL entities.

The in-built blind data editor(polyColorBlindData MEL command) provides a handy interface to visualize information embedded within a mesh. The attempt is to build a similar node that can visualize more generic blind-data. It is a simple wrapper around the easy access that the maya API provides to incorporate openGL in its view ports.

Currently it can take input surfaces and meshes, vector (point and color) arrays. Output modes are points, and lines. The intention is to support quads and line strings as well.

This might help some of our previous tools to work in interactive modes, by obviating the need to make 'intermediate geometry'. Standard uses could include visualizing surface curvature, 'input sites' on a surface, closest-fit planes, point clouds etc.

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