Grasshopper for Rhino – How to start parametric design.

Parametric design gets recently more and more popular. It gives not known previously endless possibilities for designers. More software starts to incorporate parametric functions or generative components which give ability to design parametric objects or structures. One of the most popular is Grasshopper for Rhino.

Grasshopper® is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D modeling tools.

The best way to learn it (to see what it does) is to watch the main tutorial from the Gasshopper web page. In 2h time it shows various examples how to use it in practice. Take a look.

David Rutten’s Introduction to Grasshopper Webinar from Rhino Tutorials on Vimeo.


VRay 3.0 BETA is available!

Here it is –  preview and features of a new upcoming version of VRay 3.0


3DS Max – Orthographic render with VRay Camera

Small script allows to set up an orthographic VRay camera in the scene.

You can download it from here: VRay Orthographic Rendering Camera Rig

You just need to set it up once. The script doesn’t need to be loaded/running to render the view later or even on the different machine.

To make a top view just rotate the camera. It is possible to adjust position of the camera (with the rig) and its parameters (focal length and film width) without the script interface.

I needed it to render sections/elevations of a hotel room in my work. It worked fine. Camera cuts the model in the place where is here center (origin).

The viewport doesn’t show orthographic view. The scope of the render needs to be tested.

Here is a quick render I made with this script.Room elevation


3DS Max – exterior scene tutorial

Today I would like to recommend you to take a look at another tutorial posted on

Making of Scandinavian Summer House is a great tutorial which will plainly show you the basic how to set up a scene for exterior rendering using Vray and also how you can use the FloorGeneretor script in practice and MultiScatter plugin from R&D Group.

Making of Scandinavian Summer House

3DS Max – How to make a curtain material.

There is a great tutorial at blog about how to create realistic curtains. You can find it here. The trick is to use Vray 2 Sided Material with properly adjusted transparency (usually texture map on refraction layer)

I was trying to use this material on the light shade and I’d found a problem when the second side of the material was also visible. My light shade with 2 sided material reversed was darker inside than on outside. Images below explain how this material works and what had happened.

2 sided material-BlackVRay 2SidedMtl – Transparency: BLACK – material not reversed.

2 sided material-GrayVRay 2SidedMtl – Transparency: GRAY – Front and Back materials mixed. Internal side dimmer then before.

2 sided material-WhiteVRay 2SidedMtl – Transparency: WHITE – material reversed. Internal side doesn’t represent the nature at all.

QUESTION: How to adjust the brightness of external side and not loose the brightness of the internal side?


I have found the way to fix that problem. I added another Vray 2Sided Material to the Front material slot. Here it is:

2 sided material preview

How it works?
With Transparency color in Vray2SidedMtl (2 Sided Material in the image above) in the Front material slot you can adjust the mix between the front and the back material, but then the back material in the main VRay 2 Sided Material (Front/Back Material in the image above) is override by any material in the Back material slot. Black Transparency color in that main 2 sided material ensures that the back side is as bright as possible. Other Transparency color will mix it with Vray 2 Sided Material (2 Sided Material in the image above) in the Front material slot.

It’s not the perfect solution. The light on the front side get weaker if more back material is mixed with it. Ability to blend the front and the back material in overlay or multiply mode would be useful to prevent that but that as I know can be only done in the Photoshop.

Images below present how the material behaves when the main 2 sided material   Transparency is set to black and only the Transparency in the Front material slot is adjusted.

2x2 sided material - black
Transparency: BLACK
2x2 sided material - gray
Transparency: GRAY
2x2 sided material - white
Transparency: WHITE

Sketchup – Edge Tools plugin

Hello & welcome,

Today I’ll present another set of usefull tools incorporated into a plugin called Edge Tools but in detail I will present only two of them.

You can download the plugin registering at SketchUcation from here.

First tool allow you to split faces into multiple peaces with parallel lines.
You can use the array commands with that tool.


The second tool I also use a lot erases stray edges.


This are great useful tools which can help you to do things much quicker.
Have a good lack with them.

3DS Max – Missing Transform Gizmo?!!

Have ever your Transform Gizmo disappeared?
Here is the solution to this very simple but annoying problem.

1. Hit ‘x‘ on the keyboard.

Additionally ‘+‘ and ‘‘ keys (not on the Num Pad) re-size the gizmo.

It’s also worth knowing that you can toggle on/off the white “Selection brackets” shown above by pressing the ‘J‘ keyboard shortcut.

2. Go to the main 3DS Max Options window under Gizmos tab.
It’s the same option triggered by “x“.
gizmo options

3. When the Gizmo is completely missing check in the menu:
View > Show Transform Gizmo
Show Transform Gizmo


3DS Max – Vray Camera Manager

Hello everyone,

I was recently really busy working on some visuals for Hilton Hotels and because I was using 3DS Max and VRay hence I have a new idea for the post to share with you.

I would like to encourage you to install a VRay Camera Manager. Similarly as a Light Lister it will give you an icon/button which opens an easy to manage list with all VRay cameras.

To install that script vcm.mcr just drop and drop it to the 3DS Max window or Run it from the MAXScript menu. Apparently nothing will happen but a new position named VRay Camera Manager will be added to a list of available commands in the Customize User Interface window on the Toolbar tab. You can drag and drop this command to any of your open toolbars.Vray camera manager

Version Requirement: 

Tested in in Max 2012, 2013, 2014 but should work in earlier versions

Other Software Required:

VRay 2.0 or higher

3DS Max – VRay Light Lister Button in 3DS Max

Hi guys.

The most useful thing when you have a lot of lights in your scene which you need to amend is a list of all lights with their values easy to adjust. Read Harjs Blog to get to know the solution for that.

Vray light lister


Another useful thing from Harjs Blog – How to transfer big files directly between two computers.

Thank you Harj.

AutoCAD – Area Room Tags

This is quick “how to” create a block with an area field which value adjust automatically when the polyline attached to that field is amended.

  1. Create a polyline.
  2. Open Attribute Definition window and set up typical attribute parameters.
    (command: ATTDEF)
  3. Click Insert Field button.
  4. From a list with field names choose Object.
  5. Click the button on the left of the Object type field and choose your polyline.
  6. Choose property Area (if it’s not chosen automatically) and choose desired precision.
  7. Click on the button called Additional Format… A new window will pop up.
  8. Enter desired conversion factor. E.g. If your drawing is in mm and you want area to be expressed in meters enter 0.0001
  9. Enter desired suffix if you wish. E.g. For square meters you can enter m\U+00B2. \U+00B2 will be replaced with ². You can also copy that symbol from Windows Character Map.
  10. Confirm hitting OK to close all windows.
  11. Choose a position for your new field.
  12. Create a block with any additional elements you wish for.

Attribute definition

Now a field in your block is connected with a polyline.
After you amended a polyline you need to regenerate to see the changes in the area field.

To create another block connected to another polyline you need to:

  1. Copy the block.
  2. Create or copy a polyline.
  3. Double clicking on the block. Enhanced Attribute Editor window will pop up.
  4. Choose area field.
  5. Double click the value (it should have gray background) A Field window will open.
  6. Click the button on the left of the Object type field and choose your NEW polyline.
  7. Set up fields in the Additional Format again (it’s a little irritating)
  8. Accept the changes by pressing OK.


  1.  Select a block and a connected to it polyline.
  2. Amend the shape of the copied polyline.
  3. Regenerate to see the change in the area field.

select polyline

Tell me if you know the faster way.


Data from attributes in blocks can be extracted and use in Excel.

A Table inside AutoCAD (2013) can be created with data extracted from attributes from blocks. Data in the Table can be updated after any amendments to polylines.

CAD Software Tips & Tricks