Please add vdb support in Rhino and Grasshopper

Big wish here but not an unrealistic one.
Please add vdb file support in Rhino, I think it would be great to have especially in Grasshopper. It would be useful to add Daniel Pikers and Ghs abilities to create and edit vdb files since Gh already supports voxels.
I think it is doable and would add yet another feather in Rhinos cap. This would open up a link to particle systems via rendering and could be added to our Rhino renders to do amazing volumetric effects.

Imagine being able to generate cloud patterns tornados sand storms and send them out to Vray or other rendering systems as well as smoke and explosions etc. I think Gh has all the capabilities to interface in a number of ways.

For those of you wondering:
OpenVDB is an Academy Award-winning open-source C++ library comprising a novel hierarchical data structure and a suite of tools for the efficient storage and manipulation of sparse volumetric data discretized on three-dimensional grids. It was developed by DreamWorks Animation for use in volumetric applications typically encountered in feature film production and is now maintained by the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF).


OpenVDB support is already available for Grasshopper by way of Dendro. I don’t know if it has any I/O capabilities.

– Dale

It is your lucky day!
We released Dendro just over 12 months ago which is an open source Grasshopper plug-in built on top of the OpenVDB library.

For a complete list of functionality and usage you can see the documentation.pdf included in the Dendro plug-in zip folder on Food4Rhino.

Dendro includes read and write components for *.vdb files as well. These options should open up some interesting abilities for manipulating VDB data when used with Maya or Houdini but, to be honest, we have only used the I/O components of Dendro on a handful of occasions.

If you do any experimentation using the Dendro read/write components please share the results. It would be fantastic to see!

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Hi @dale @CharlieP
Hey this is so cool! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I got involved in rush project and didn’t have time of late.
I’m wondering do you think we could get support for material options that have the temperature and velocity settings. In Arnold and Vray you have access to those channels. I was wondering how we would go about creating more cloud like shapes and explosion shapes with that black box radiation option that you see in those renders.
Thanks Charlie for your hard work and for making this available.

Hi guys

I’m experimenting with dendro for some cellular solids. Do you have any tips on how to export the resulting geometries from dendro as a solid? Can the .vdb file be converted somehow?


Hi - I don’t have Dendro for Grasshopper installed here but from the picture on Food4Rhino, you can convert to mesh. Then bake as usual.

Also, from their website:

Dendro has basic read and write capabilities for OpenVDB binary files. This can be utilized to interact with OpenVDB files generated in programs outside of Rhino/Grasshopper such as Houdini or Maya.