Processing Iteration Viewer

We’ve continued our investigations into using Processing to create an interface for viewing a large number of iterations based on their parameters and performance metrics.  For the latest version, we set up a Grasshopper tower massing definition that can vary the tower form, floor to floor height, and percent glazing while also measuring extreme day heating and cooling loads (VIPER), and point in time illuminance (DIVA) on June 21st at 12pm.

This study is just a hypothetical test case, but it helped to point out a number of things that need attention.  First, adjusting the layout of all these graphics in the Processing sketch is a bit of a pain given that each project will likely have a different number of images and metrics.  This got us thinking about creating each of the graphics as it’s own object with an anchor or handles that allow the layout to be graphically adjusted within the viewer interface.  The current approach is to dynamically record the origin of each object to a MySQL database as the object is moved around the interface.  The last active value is then reused each time the sketch is relaunched.  This opens opportunities for others to interact with the Processing Sketch to set up their graphics without having know too much about Processing, but instead they’re simply composing a set of images.

It’s also important for us to record which iterations are desirable and which should be ignored. Nothing has been implemented yet, but this will likely become something like a 5 star rating or equivalent which will be written to a database that would also be accessible from Grasshopper.  It brings up the question of whether or not that rating should appear with the other metrics as part of the spider graph.

We recently discovered Paper.js which is being developed by Jürg Lehni & Jonathan Puckey.  One of the nice things about Paper.js vs Processing is that it’s built to allow user interaction at the object level which seems to be the direction we’re taking the Iteration Viewer.  We’ll let you know if that turns out to be the case.

Note:  This is part of a larger collaborative research effort that we are currently pursuing with the Advanced Computation Modeling Group at Thornton Tomasetti.  Stephen Van Dyck from LMN will be copresenting some of this research with Jonatan Schumacher on May 8th at the KA Connect Conference in San Francisco.

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