Tuesday, October 16, 2012


OK, so I'm making lots of vegetables.  Let's start with one of the profiles I set up last year.  There are 20 points each one controlled by on of 2 radius diameters.  A "bulge factor" determines the relationship between these 2 radii.  That was the trick that turned a pumpkin into a doric column.  I'm going to try connecting the points together 5 at a time, so instead of a simple curve I get more of an M shape.  The parameters are set up so that all you see when you load this into a family is a Radius and a Bulge Factor.

Stack 4 of these and give their heights parameters (H0, H1, etc)  Link their Radii to matching parameters (R0, R1 etc)  link all the Bulge Factors to the same parameter in the host.  Create Form.

Now you can play around with the form directly from the family types dialogue.

First of all I tried different Bulge Factors

0.95 looks promising so the next thing is to apply a material and tweak the heights and radii of the various profiles. Starting to look like a hot pepper.

Or how about this.  Quickly morphs into a sweet red pepper.

Wasn't long before I had 4 or 5 workable vegetables arranged around a table with Florence in the background.  These are all just types of the same family. The okra in the middle are hosted on a vertical reference plane, ditto the melon (or is it a rugby ball ?)

Next I tried a further adaptation of the family, just by switching the parameters around.  Instead of just alternating the 2 radii (A,B,A,B) I had 3 points in a row with the same radius.  (A,B,B,B,A)

Seemed like a good idea, but I couldn't get create form to work for more than 2 profiles at a time.  So you get some interesting shapes, but none of them look like vegetables.

So I decided to try a different tack.  This is my "scaleable curve" rig.  It's pretty simple but very effective.  Just a rectangle with Length & Width parameters.  Couple of spline-by-points strung across and then an S curve defined by 4 hosted points. 

My profile gets placed 5 times along the curve to define a sweet potato. 

This time I made everything instance parameters so I can just copy it around and make different versions easily without the bother of defining new types. 

Pop a couple of these on the table, make them subtly different and fire up Mental Ray.   I put some photos of real veggies to fill empty corners and remind me of a few more subtle variations that I need to ponder.


1 comment:

  1. We definitely need to talk. I just built my pumpkin for Zach's contest. I tried your idea of using a 2D rig instead of a 3D one, but my solutions still got really complex really quickly. I'll have to post on it. Can you shoot me an email and maybe we can talk offline? Thanks.


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