Want to create an short animation of an object rotating in a modeled environment in Rhino 5

Hello, I have basic to medium skills using Rhino 5 and have been using the program for 8 years to develop sculpture concepts, but probably in a very basic way compared to people on this forum. I recently became aware of the usefulness that Grasshopper might have and will begin tutorials on it’s use next week.

Currently I am working on a sculpture proposal that will rotate. I am wanting to make a simple animation where the Rhino sculpture model rotates within a modeled environment, and the camera stays put. A fellow sculptor that also uses Rhino said you can do it pretty easily with a script or Grasshopper by rotating the object a few degrees, snapping an image/render, rotate again, snap again, etc. I am unfamiliar with writing scripts and Grasshopper. Is this possible in Grasshopper and if so, something a novice can do? Are there algorithms out there already that will do this? I am not looking for movie quality or lengthy animation. just 5-10 sec they conveys the idea.

Any information or insight would be greatly appreciated


@jaketrix2 Welcome !
Check out Bongo. http://bongo.rhino3d.com/page/download
And Discourse discussion: here

With Grasshopper, set up a Rotate component, use XYPlane if you want to rotate in that plane (not needed, since that is the default), and connect a number slider with Min value 0 and max 359.

  1. Connect your sculpture to the Brep (puictured), or to a Mesh if the scupture is a mesh.
  2. Right-click the Slider and pick Animate… from the menu.
  3. Set a file destination on disk (for the picture frames which will be created).
  4. Set how many picture frames you want (say 1 pic per 1º = 360 frames).
  5. Click OK to start the animation.

After that you can create an animation from the picture frames on disk in any video format.

This is what happens after you click OK in the slider’s animation dialog:

… and so on.

// Rolf


Thank you so much! This is fantastic!

Rolf, I followed your instructions and they worked just like you said they would. However, when I set the “Brep” I get two of the same images/objects. One that rotates(red) and one that doesn’t(blue). I feel like I’m supposed to bake the object, but as of yet, I have not been able to make the animation show just one object rotating. I’ve included a snapshot of one frame from the animation.

Thank you !

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The Rhino object and the Grasshopper objet are two different objects, and only the Grasshopper object is rotating in that setup. So, if you hide the Rhino objects then you have only one version rotating on the screen.

You probably also want to assign some material to a Preview component in GH to make things look better.


// Rolf

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Awesome, thanks again

So I’m still having some issues getting a final animation. I can’t seem to get a material assigned to the custom preview. I apologize for all of the help requests and assure you I will be diving into the tutorials in January. I just trying to get this proposal knocked out.

The input was S in Rhino 5, but M in Rhino 6. Additionally the custom preview component works a bit different between v5 and v6. In v6 you can use it in Rendered mode (and Raytraced) as if the geometry is actually seen by Rhino - rendered by the display pipeline, not a preview by Grasshopper.

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Thanks Nathan, so can I input a texture or bitmap of some sort into that “shader” slot in rhino 5? There is a “material” command in grasshopper that seems to plug into it, but it has 4-5 inputs that I don’t understand.

I don’t know how this works in v5, but in v6 you can add materials with textures to the document, then reference those in your GH definition by right-clicking on that M input and selecting the appropriate material.

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Thank you Nathan!