Shape Generator Update: Applying Design Theory

3 years ago I built the 3D Shape Generator to automatically create a variety of unique 3D shapes and objects. 

For the latest update I got talking with Marco Iozzi, a professional who has been working in the industry since 1998 as a 3D Artist, Matte Painter and now Concept Artist on productions like Harry Potter, Elysium, Game of Thrones and is currently doing concept art and design on Thor: Love and Thunder

He downloaded the Shape Generator to help him with his own design work.

He pointed me at Sinix Design, who provides a set of videos on the topic of Design Theory describing the best methods for creating shapes that are appealing and unique.  

Sinix spoke about the concept of Big/Medium/Small; the theory that the majority of good designs can be broken down into one large main shape; a medium shape or shapes taking up a smaller amount of the design; and some smaller shapes taking up an even smaller area:

This got me thinking about the Shape Generator; if I can first generate just one large object, automatically scatter medium objects across that, and then scatter smaller random objects across that, I might be onto something.

Once I set this up, it was surprising how many more unique and interesting designs I could quickly generate with the change of a single number. 

A sample of the generated shapes using the Shape Generator’s Big/Medium/Small settings
A Screenshot of the Shape Generator’s Big/Medium/Small settings in Blender (Also available in Houdini)

With the help of Marco’s feedback, I’ve also introduced a host of other improvements:

  • Along with the Big/Medium/Small controls, a new integrated panel allows you to easily revisit and change your settings which now include more material controls, Boolean settings, and easier to install Presets. 
  • A new Iterator function, much like the one I coded with Chipp Walters in KIT OPS SYNTH, allows you to quickly render out countless variations to quickly let you pick a design to take forward.
  • The new Bake feature allows you to combine all the individual shapes into one so you can continue to model or sculpt your chosen design to the next level of detail. I’ll talk about each of these new features more in the next few videos.  I hope you’ll enjoy these updates to the Shape Generator and find it useful in developing your own designs.

Each of these features are covered in the following videos:

I hope you’ll enjoy these updates to the Shape Generator and find it useful in developing your own designs.

The Shape Generator is available for:

Blender

Houdini

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