Friday, 21 March 2008

Explicit History Plugin for visual scripting

Click on the screenshot to see a demo I made
(play with it yourself and download the demo files below)

Most designers have a visual perception of the world, which makes Rhino a superb tool to present and visualise ideas and designs. Furthermore the user interface of Rhino is quite visual oriented if you compare it to older CAD software.
One feature of Rhino though isn't visual at all, it's called scripting. To make use of scripts, you have to write a program (code) which can be executed in order to generate geometry in Rhino.
Why script? With these 'little' and 'custom' programs designers make clever use of Rhino in order to make fast design variations, or create smart repetitive design elements. Another application of scripting is to solve technical features based on parameters which influence the form, position or orientation of geometry.

Rhino facade script for UN Studio's Light*house Aarhus Harbor Front
Image courtesy 3XN and UNStudio

Leading architects, for example, use scripts more and more to be able to design stunning and functional architecture. This is quite an achievement as they have to switch to another mindset in order to program their scripts instead of modeling surfaces straight away.
David Rutten of McNeel & Associates, the company behind Rhino, developed a new way to create scripts for Rhino on a visual basis. After David created the Monkey Script Editor to make scripting for Rhino more easy, he created the Explicit History Plug In which brings scripting to designers even better!

If this plugin doesn't make you script, you probably never will!

As the Explicit History Plugin is full under development you can try it out for free and help David to develop it even better. Read more and download a free work in progress version to try it out yourself: