Grasshopper Styles Tutorial

GH to VA Column The Grasshopper Styles are those VisualARQ object styles created from Grasshopper definitions. You need to have Grasshopper installed. The process of generating and using a Grasshopper style can be defined in 3 steps:
  1. Grasshopper definition setup
  2. Create the VisualARQ object style
  3. Insert and edit a VisualARQ object created from a Grasshopper style
In the example below we will create a parametric “Column style” from a Grasshopper definition.

1. Grasshopper definition setup

Type Grasshopper in the Rhino Command line to launch Grasshopper. In order to use a Grasshopper definition for creating a VisualARQ object, you need:
  • 1. Input parameters: The input parameters are the values that will define the features of the resulting object. They can be:
    • Numeric values
    • Value lists
    • Boolean toggles
    • Texts
    • Geometric data
  • 2. Output Param Components: Output params are those components that will be read by VisualARQ as the different parts (components) of an object style.
    • Geometry Parameter Geometry Param(Params > Geometry > Geometry): Component for geometric elements.
    • Text Parameter Text Param (Params > Geometry > Text): Component for Text elements.
    • Hatch Parameter Hatch Param (Params > Geometry > Hatch): Component for Hatch elements.
In the example below we will create a parametric “Column style” from the following Grasshopper definition. It’s a simple column with a circular profile that will be defined with the following input parameters:
  • Height
  • Bottom Radius
  • Top Radius

Example of a definition that generates a Column

2. Create the VisualARQ object style

The Grasshopper styles are created and managed from the Style Properties dialog for each one of the following objects: Beam, Column, Window, Door, Opening, Stair, Railing, Slab, Roof, Furniture, Element and Annotation.

2.1: Create the new style

Assuming the Grasshopper definition (.gh file) is already done, open the object styles dialog of the desired object type: vaColumnStyles. Click on the New… button and select the Grasshopper style option. Column Styles dialog New button The Grasshopper Style wizard will appear. This wizard will guide you through the steps to define the Grasshopper style parameters. The left side of the wizard shows a preview of the object style generated as soon as the required information is completed.

2.2: Open the Grasshopper definition

Click on the Browse button to select the .gh file created before. Grasshopper Style Wizard 1

2.3: Configuration

Set the Grasshopper style global values:
  • Style name
  • Definition units
  • Insert point, path or profile curves (read below).
Depending on the object type and the input parameters, this step may require to specify the point or curve detected in the definition to perform as the object insert point, the object path curve, or the object profile.
  • Insert point: for the Column, Furniture, Element and Annotation objects. If the None option is selected, the insert point of the object is referenced from the Origin coordinates (0,0,0) in the Grasshopper definition.
  • Path curve: for the Beam and Railing objects.
  • Profile: for the Window, Door and Opening objects. When the Auto option is selected, the bounding box of the dynamic block will perform as the cutting volume when this object is inserted in a wall.
Grasshopper Style Wizard 2

2.4: Geometry

Specify which of the geometry blocks to import into VisualARQ. The names of these Geometry blocks are taken from the name of the output components params in the Grasshopper definition, and they can be edited in this step if desired. Each component can be assigned to a different representation:
  • Model: object representation in 3D.
  • Plan: object representation in plan views when the Cut Plane of the level where the object is situated is enabled.
Note 1: When all components are assigned to the Model representation, the 2D representation will be taken from the real section of the object according to the level cut plane height where the object is situated. Note 2: When all components are assigned to the Plan representation, the object will hide from 3D views.

2.5: Parameters

This step shows the settings available for the list of input parameters that define the object style:
  • Editable by:
    • Definition: the parameter will be hidden in the VisualARQ style and properties dialogs.
    • Object: the parameter can be edited separately for each element with that style in the model. However, parameters editable “by object” can also take the value defined “by style”.
    • Style: the parameter can be edited by style, so the changes will apply to all elements with that style.
  • Default: shows the default value. Unreferenced geometry will show up in red color. You will need to click on the button and pick the object in Rhino before moving forward. In case of a value list or a boolean toggle, a dropdown list with the corresponding options will be available.
  • Type: shows the different types of values. If the input is a boolean value, a text, a geometry or an integer number they will appear already with their corresponding type assigned. In the case of a floating point number (a decimal) you will be able to choose between one of the types below:
    • Number: any floating point number that doesn’t fit in any of the following types.
    • Length, Area and Volume: the value will be converted to the units of the document.
    • Angle: the value will change from radians to degrees.
    • Ratio
    • Percentage: the value will be 100 times the one specified in the Grasshopper defintion.
    • Scale
The list of parameters displayed can be filtered by groups, in case they are located inside groups in the Grasshopper definition. You can change the Editable by and Type settings at once from a multiple selection of parameters. Grasshopper Style Wizard 4

3. Insert and edit a VisualARQ object created from a Grasshopper style

3.1 Edit the style

Once the grasshopper style wizard is completed, the new style will appear in the object styles list. To edit the style again, right-click on the style name to open the context menu and select Edit. This operation will open the Grasshopper style wizard again. Custom Column Style done

3.2 Insert the Grasshopper style

Once the object style is created, you will be able to insert it in the model and change its parameters in the VisualARQ Properties section (in Rhino Properties Panel, as any other regular VisualARQ object). Only those input parameters editable “by Object” will appear in the Properties panel. Column and Properties panel