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trabajamos para ella !
blind data 
Friday, October 24, 2008, 07:05 AM - Maya.c++.api., Analytical
Posted by Administrator
Image various data-mapping on torus mesh: R - L : ambient light & self shadowing, normal-field, and shortestEdgePath lengths.

The data is visualised using the blindDataShader plug-in. The source code for the plug-in ships with the Maya installation. Prior attempts used the in- built blind Data Editor and polyColorBlindData methods. The plug-in seems to work faster, and allows greater control over managing color-space.

Mental ray rendering of 'colored' mesh is by converting blind data to ColorPerVertex and using mentalVertexColors shading utility node.

videois in real-time.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008, 04:07 PM
Posted by Administrator

As 'creative' code-writing and computational tools become an increasing part of the architectural repertoire....a sound conceptual footing ... computation and design... use proce55ing as an easy-to-use software platform..

The image is an hashed and scurried attempt and a result of being forced to think as to why processing might be a good starting point to learn all things computational..especially for us architect lot with a not-so-computational background.

proce55ing :
_is easy and open source. as such a good resource to look into the innards of many a simple algorithm such a flocking, springs, simple fluids,particle et al.
_has features to control whats displayed on-screen (like openGL).
_shares an OOP(object oriented) paradigm with many modern computing languages (java, c++, c# et al)
_comes with its own development environment and compiler (a la visual studio). so a good introduction to understand scripting, programming, compiling, etc.
_can interface with input devices, and external hardware and as such is increasingly used in installation art and newmedia projects (such as this one by minimaforms)
_is based on and is compatible with java, and hence can leverage extensive java APIS to extend itself.

so in essence, proce55ing can be a gentle,no jargon introduction the features of modern software.
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Extending Maya 
Saturday, October 4, 2008, 12:10 PM - Maya.c++.api., Analytical, Geometry, algorithms
Posted by Administrator
Example Iso-surface from a CFD data. Using VTK within Maya.
Comparing the powerCrust surfaceReconstruction algorithm (cs.utexas) with marching-Cubes based reconstruction.
Data used : pointCloud from radioHead video_ house of cards.
Special thanks to Tim Hutton,of UCL for the VTK port of the algorithm.

Maya has, in the previous years , served an useful role in the production pipeline of many a team at AADRL, as also here in our office. Evidently, it not being a CAD application by purpose, presents its hurdles. It has however, proven sufficiently amenable towards extending/customising its capacities through,

Scripting (MEL and python)
Interfacing with command-line applications (qhull,isosurf, tetgen etc).
Making custom plug-ins (C++ and python) .
Incorporating external and openSource libraries/APIs ( CGAL,VTK, openNURBS )

Images here represent recent efforts to integrate Visualization ToolKit(C++ class library, and interpreted interface layers for Tcl/Tk, Java, and Python).
Thanks to Remik Ziemlinski for example source code related to converting internal VTK data representations to Maya representations.
See here for similar efforts to integrate blender and VTK.
See here for vtk-autocad and vtk-solidworks conversion plug-ins.
See here for vtk-inventor integration.

VTK is an extensive class library with a plethora of core graphic/geometric algorithms including Principal Component Ananlysis, tensor and vector feild visualizations, CFD, FEM visualizations etc.
A rudimentary but working pipeline between Maya and VTK, means I will be like a kid in a candy shop for a while to come!

Other open-source code libraries.(viva la open source!)
openDXfull-featured software package for the visualization of scientific, engineering and analytical data.Formerly of SGI.
openInventor:is an object-oriented 3D toolkit offering a comprehensive solution to interactive graphics programming problems.Formerly of IBM.

Using vtk classes to add iso-surfacing capacity to Maya.

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streamLines and vectorFields _p2 
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 12:21 PM - Maya.c++.api., utilities, programming interests
Posted by Administrator

Vector field: (from wikipedia)
is a construction in vector calculus which associates a vector to every point in a (locally) Euclidean space.

Streamlines: (from wikipedia)
are a family of curves that are instantaneously tangent to the (velocity) vector .(of the flow).

Custom Maya tool:
1. describes a set of input curves as a tangent vector field.
2. Computes streamlines.
Abdelkrim Mebarki. 2D Placement of Streamlines. In CGAL Editorial Board, editor, CGAL User and Reference Manual. 3.3 edition, 2007. [WWW] [bibtex-key = cgal:m-ps-07]
3. Uses the API to construct curves from output data of the computation.

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streamLines and vectorFields 
Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 02:47 PM - Research
Posted by Administrator

Inadvertent result from goofing around..freewheeling excursions in the name of research!...reminded me of Japanese wood-block prints / style.
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vennDiagrams pacMan and greebling 
Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 04:13 PM - Maya.c++.api., Maya Embedded Language, algorithms
Posted by Administrator
Attempting to combine interests in 3 areas: vennDiagrams,pacMan and 'Greebling'.

Definitions from wikipedia:
Greebling : : algorithmically adding detail.
A greeble or nurnie is a small piece of detailing added to break up the surface of an object to add visual interest to a surface or object, particularly in movie special effects.

is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the U.S. by Midway, first released in Japan on May 22, 1980.

Venn diagrams:
or set diagrams are diagrams that show all hypothetically possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets (groups of things). Venn diagrams were invented around 1880 by John Venn. They are used in many fields, including set theory, probability, logic, statistics, and computer science.

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sproadic thoughts on CAD 'history' engines 
Saturday, September 13, 2008, 10:30 AM - Maya.c++.api., Tessellations, production pipeline
Posted by Administrator
McNeel's recent and exciting announcement of its plans to enable scripting within its grasshopper feature, caused a revisit of Maya's inherent 'history' engine and its associated graph(ical)-editor (hypergraph).

Images show a possible outcome of using the Maya history engine and the corresponding node-network / graph.

Thanks to celifan of noctua for writing the Delanuay Triangulation plug-in for maya and sharing the source code.

The videos also show a custom 'node' that divides a curve into equal direct-distance divisions. The node also outputs tangents and normal at these points. No rocket science here except for celifan's node that enables constrained DT. Our previous attempts in using qhull and tetgen with Maya were implemented as run-once MEL commands unlike Celifan's which is a 'dependency node' that enables history.

A cursory overview of various parametric (CAD) engines / platforms (Microstation GC, Catia /DP /Virtools, Grasshopper, Maya etc) highlights a few common features.Each platform has its strengths w.r.t items below and therefore a natural place in the production pipeline.
1. Number of in-built operational 'blocks' that deal with geometric operations, measurement and evaluation of CAD data.
Grasshopper, Catia and GC seem to offer very CAD relevant geometric operational blocks, as also precise measurement options. Maya suffers on this end.However, Maya features fairly extensive overall support including geometry types(NURBS,subDs,and meshes), algebraic operations, rendering operations, system I/O etc.
2. Mechanism construction of logical dependencies between operational blocks.
Grasshopper promises to add script operations to make and break logical connections between blocks. GC offers a robust debugging interface as also a C-style scripting language (GC script) to achieve this. Catia uses catScript and vbScript for the same. Maya offers MEL and python whilst Virtools is uses Java.
3. Mechanism of adding custom operational blocks.
A Scripting language is one such mechanism.
One can stick a custom GC script within the dependency chain in GC. 'Reactions' are similar mechanism in Catia to trigger custom vbScript. MEL scripts can be triggered within Maya graphs with some imagination.

However, one might quickly encounter the limits of such mechanisms and might need to explore lower-level languages whilst dealing with larger amounts of data.

GC apparently supports access to lower-level C-based kernel as explained in this article by Stylianos Dristas. My guess is grasshopper would expose a dotNet / c# sdk. Catia offers a c++ SDK, but is quite expensive and probably not an easy excursion. Maya features an extensively supported (documentation, community support and production proven) python and c++ access to its engine. This allows for a possible (and easier) integration of third party code such as academicians as also libraries such as CGAL, Boost etc.
4. Robustness of 'associavity'.
Catia and GC offer well formed geometric 'associavity' whilst Maya, can produce errant results and thus failure of the history chain.Grasshopper should potentially offer the same safeguards as rhino / openNurbs core, which is typically reliable.
5. Interactivity and time per evaluative cycle.
In seemingly inverse proportion to above, Maya produces a fairly fast cycle and thus allows for interactive manipulation of large history chains and geometric information. Grasshopper also seems to fair well in this regard.

It appears the choice of a poison and focus depends on nature of design endeavor , resource constraints, familiarity etc. Nonetheless, exciting times of computationally inclined architects!

Thanks to Chikara Inamura, Nils Fischer and Cristiano Ceccato for thoughts / inputs.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 04:00 AM - Maya.general.modelling
Posted by Administrator
More recent efforts on trying to model a relief-like table/ base for models

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Algo modeling: p2 
Saturday, August 30, 2008, 05:16 PM - Maya.general.modelling
Posted by Administrator

sequence: grid_attractor-based-distortion_directional-meshing-painting circular,falloff weights-increasing pointDensity-result.

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co|de participates in Siggraph08 and Beijing biennale 08 
Saturday, August 30, 2008, 02:29 PM - Research
Posted by Administrator
Co|de represented ZHA at Siggraph 08:Evolve and the upcoming Beijing Beinnale 08 (immaterial practises: new digital techniques).

ZHA architects participated in two categories (A Landscape of 3D Printed Skyscrapers && parametric urbanism,procedural complexity) of the design and computation gallery and the panel discussion on Complexity.

A free player from tradebit.com

for more see:http://www.siggraph.org/s2008/attendees/.

The work of ZHA and other participating offices including AKT london, Evan douglas, KPF New York, Shop architects, Grimshaw architects etc can be found in the associated event publication : Electronic art and Animation Catalog - art and desgin galleries, published by ACM SIGGRAPH.

Co|de also presented work at IAAC barcelona, as part of the
summer digital fabrication workshop (lanfab) organised by LAN:liveArchitectureNetwork..

Thanks to Lira Nikolovska of Autodesk (for Siggraph08), Neil Leach & Achim Menges(for Beijing biennale) and Luis Fraguada & Monika Wittig (for lanFab) for respective invitations.

Video of Siggraph should be available shortly.
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