How to model strangler fig structures? (Baubotanik)

Indeed that’s how the old version worked - now the SizePoints and NodeSize inputs play the same role as those sphere centres and radii respectively.

i am using a mac version the latest i believe, still i got this component missing.

Hi @encephalon - can you post the release number of Rhino you have?
(found under help>about rhinoceros)
eg 7.9.21201.5001

Thanks! But here you use MultiPipe from Kangaroo2.

This documentation is very useful. I played with it, and the result looks useful:

draft.3dm (194.0 KB) (11.6 KB)

The points don’t even need to be on the curves, although, if they aren’t, then - according to my brief experience - the result is somewhat unpredictable. Anyhow, not an issue.

What is an issue though: It looks like a pain to maintain which sizes correspond to which points. Is there a way to perhaps store the size in an attribute of a point right in Rhino? (i.e. outside of Grasshopper)

Yet another tool (plugin) to learn. Let me see…

“Is there a way to perhaps store the size in an attribute of a point right in Rhino?”

One way can be to bake the points of the curves into Rhino, create circles centred on them, reference these circles back into GH and use their centre/radius like this:

Then you can select your circles and scale them with the gumball handles to control the node radii

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That’s a neat method, thanks! I had the curves in Rhino anyhow, so no need to bake them. In fact, I wonder how you got the curves into Grasshopper in your sketch Looks like a basic Grasshopper functionality that I’m not aware of.

I drew the curves in Rhino, then referenced them into Grasshopper in the usual way by creating a Curve parameter component, right click > Set Multiple Curves.
To then make these curves part of the Grasshopper document (so they’ll still be there even when you don’t have the associated Rhino file), you can right click the Curve parameter component again and select ‘internalise’.

i switched to candidate and now it works

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Thanks for the explanation of that fundamental GH feature! :slight_smile:

I now tried making my test more fig like, with air roots approaching the ground, but the algorithm gets in the way. This is about the best result I could get, yuck:

draft.3dm (186.7 KB) (19.0 KB)

(Update: more SizePoints would probably help)

So I looked into Dendro. Tapering pipes seems painful. It requires converting a curve to points, etc. I decided to try without taper first. Compared to MultiPipe, the algorithm behaves more predictable. However, the smoothing is a bit disappointing, even when I cranked up the number of iterations, which makes things slow down noticeably. My attempt:

draft.3dm (191.5 KB) (16.1 KB)

Maybe I should try piping with VPipe, then merge and smooth all pipes using Dendro. Again, the issue will be how to specify thickness of each pipe in a way that is neither too time consuming nor too confusing. I would like to just be able to copy and paste a curve together with its piping radii. Or even better, define classes of curves that have certain radii. Well, I could do that maybe by using layers.

Bit stuck now…

You don’t need to specify a lot of radii - you can set them at just a few points and it will interpolate smoothly between them.
The problem was more with the way your curves were built. Rebuilding them avoids the extra edge loops you were getting: (11.1 KB)
(I recommend updating to the current service release so you can use the current version of the component)

Sounds like a fun project, I think this software SpeedTree would really be useful if used with Rhino.
You could create your vegetation in SpeedTree export it into rhino and assimilate your SpeedTree creations into your Rhino structures.

SpeedTree Cinema 8 – SpeedTree

Let us make it short :grinning:
With Yours Skeletton and Wavebird

Ast (11.5 KB)

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Woah, that looks impressive! I asked in their forum: Modeling strangler fig structures (Baubotanik)

Hope SpeedTree works for you I haven’t tried it but it looks impressive. Seems a bit expensive but might be worth it if needed.
Depending on what you are doing I think you have great options using Rhino as your base software.
If you’re exploring the structural secrets of the strangler fig then grasshopper and kangaroo are incredible tools for that along with the new multi pipe command, subd and cycles rendering.
One tool I use that I think is almost as good as Zbrush is 3dcoat. 3dcoat has nice tools for making those kinds of organic models, They have a demo version that is usable and low priced in a hobby price range if you can’t afford the pro version. The one hard part will be unwrapping such a complex model for texture painting but it’s doable.

I asked in the forum about which license to pick. I’ll see if it works for my purposes. Price could be an issue, also if I want to collaborate with others, which is a goal here. My project is supposed to be all open source.

As I can add foliage in a 2D program, and as I don’t need a photo realistic 3D model, maybe it can all be done in Grasshopper. I found the fun video below. The author uses the ShortWalk component to create branches. This is even somewhat realistic, as trees try to optimize the energy that they get from photo synthesis. Of course wind forces also have a great influence on the growth of a tree.

I am working with root structures, though, that have a different growth pattern, and that attach to things, but maybe it’s possible to adapt the script. On the other hand, if I can just draw the structures in 3D, as originally planned, I’d be happy.

Thanks, looks very interesting!

When I open your file, I am informed that I need MultiPipe for Kangaroo2 version 2.5.3:

However, on the Kangaroo Food4Rhino page, the latest version is 2.42, and futhermore it says: “Kangaroo is now included with Rhino 6 and 7 and if you are using a current version you do not need to download or install it from here.”

Clicking the “Download and Install” button results in a 404.

Just yesterday, I manually reinstalled Rhino 7 (updates from within Rhino stopped working), but the component is still missing. How do I get it?

The MultiPipe that I get in Grasshopper, doesn’t cap the pipes.

Hi @feklee
The way to get the updated component is to update to the latest service release of Rhino. You can check your current version under help>about Rhino.

Downloading and installing Rhino freshly does not give me the latest version?

That tells me: Version 7 SR8 (7.8.21196.5001, 2021-07-15)

If I go to Help / Check fo Updates…, then I get: “The McNeel Update Service is unavailable”

In the past, I got regular update suggestions, at least with version 6, sometimes to the point where it got annoying.

Hi -

Does this thread help you with that issue?


Hi @feklee

Sorry, I should have specified - the update with caps is in SR9, which is currently in release candidate stage, but will become the official current service release very soon.

To get release candidate updates you can change your ‘Update frequency’ setting under
Rhino Options > Updates and Statistics