Call out for collaboration to create virtual lichen sculpture for upcoming arts festival

Sorry in advance, I’m an inexperienced Rhino & Grasshopper user and I hope not to cause any eye-rolling with my request, as I very much respect and appreciate that the knowledge I am asking for is the culmination of hours’ and hours’ worth of work and knowledge.

In a nutshell, I would like to turn a mindmap from 2D to 3D, and to have the resulting 3D model resemble this species of lichen: Cladonia portentosa (or Reindeer Lichen).


The goal is for the lichen model to be accessible on a website as a virtual sculpture for an upcoming UK-based arts festival. Ideally, the viewer can click, drag and pan around the sculpture and click on the tips of the lichen to play soundbites - I can explain the concept if anyone is interested.

I have looked at the branching, shortest walk scripts from an older Grasshopper forum from a few years ago, such as the adapted one shared by Nik Willmore, and I think they look really beautiful.

I haven’t had much success using these scripts as when I have tried to view them in Rhino, the structure is closed instead of open-ended (I can post screenshots if useful). Also, I don’t know how to control the locations and connections of the tips of the lichen in order for the model to be an accurate 3D version of the 2D mindmap. And, I also don’t know about rendering to achieve lichen-like textures and colours. I have only used Rhino for the first time very recently to make a terrain model (for landscape architecture).

If anyone would like to collaborate with me on this project I would greatly, greatly appreciate it, and you will be credited as one of the contributors to the virtual sculpture for the art festival.

*Farmer, Carl. Cladonia portentosa. 2018. Digital photograph. Accessed May 17, 2021. Reindeer Lichen - Cladonia portentosa.