Genr8 intro

Genr8 is a plug-in for autodesk Maya, and it is a program for generating 3d surfaces in that software. The original version was designed by the Emergent Design Group at MIT in 2001. At the heart of Genr8 is a growth algorithm for generating surfaces, and it was made for architects and designers. There are examples of student projects on the Genr8 web page, which is the original page for the topic of the Genr8 program.

The algorithm in Genr8 is based on Lindenmayer - systems, which have been successful at describing plant growth through mapping of grammars into models digital models representing plant growth. A grammar is made with a seed , production rules and a rewriting process. The notion of using L-Systems and Turtle Graphics in generation of design is something that has been theorisized among others by Rosenman, Gero & Schnier. An excerpt of this can be viewed here. More on this is available at the Lsystems page. You generate text Strings during this process , and these are converted into graphics using Turtle Graphics.

To be able to use Graphical software like Autodesk Maya to play into this process, the programming language of C++ has been used to write the Graphical software plug-in. The interface between the programming language and Autodesk Maya , the Maya c++ API, is described in detail by way of this site, as well is the C++ programming language.

When compiling is done and the Genr8 plug-in is attached in Maya( Can be used for several versions of the program) one needs to determine a seed for the growth process and determine some rules. This can be done through a Graphic User interface. Inputting quite a few parameters you then generate (Genr8 :-) ) a more or less elaborate surface inside the 3d scene of the application. This surface can be extremely complex or very simple depending on the surrounding objects and the parameters of the growth process.

More to follow.....