Final Blog Post // ARCH 380

Wow, I can’t believe that this is the end of ARCH 380! I have come so far in the last ten weeks in terms of my skills and understanding with Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, and V-Ray. I used a lot of these skills in my final project, which I rendered using V-Ray. Here are the results from my first rendering session with my Rhino model:

perspective 2 (2) perspective 1 (2) old section render

As you can see, the speckling images from a lower quality gives them a rough feel, but I loved the dramatic lighting in these first few.The section perspective has great warm soft lighting, and the sky was perfect for what I wanted.

For my final, I rendered everything again to make it look smoother, and then used Photoshop to emphasize color, an important aspect of our project. I didn’t use Rhino materials because of how specific the colors were to the project and the overall poster, but the images were very easy to overlay. Here are the base renders using V-Ray alone:

perspective 1 perspective 2 section perspective render

The bluish cast of the lighting was intentional – my colours were blue-violet, so the lighting really helped to emphasize that. Here are the edited images:

perspective 1 with color   perspective 2 with colorrendered image

As you can see, the color and editing helps to bring out the shadows and light in the images.

Overall, I am really excited about how much I learned in this class. I feel as though I have really expanded my skills in Rhino.

Just as a quick review, here is some response questions for the class:

Are you more comfortable designing with pencil or on the computer?

– This is a tough question. For basic concepts for designs, I think I will always be more comfortable designing with a pencil or a model. Basic concepts, in my opinion, need to be tactically expressed. I find the computer asks for too much information for that – it needs dimensions, and technicalities when designing with it, which is not needed with clay or cardboard or a basic sketch.

However, I think that when your concept is solid, and you are making adjustments, working with structure, and generally just making smaller changes that are not a huge shift in a design, the computer is so much faster and simpler. You can make so many more variations in a much shorter period of time, which can be a huge advantage if you are trying to test things out.  Rendering is especially helpful when trying to find material schemes, and parametric modeling is really excellent when working with structural systems, as was seen in our truss experimentation.

How do you like maintaining a Blog?  Might you do so again in the future?

I have blogged before (, so this was not an entirely new concept for me. I am a strong believer in blogging, as I believe that reflection upon work done is one of the best ways to understand what you really gained from a task. I absolutely will blog in the future. It’s a fantastic learning tool for a variety of styles of classes, and is a great way for teachers to interact with their students about their progress. I think that for this class, it was great to see how other students did their work. I think in the future the class could benefit from more interaction between students on their blogs, such as commenting, etc.

What is your comfort level with Rhino 5 for modelling tasks?

I feel confident using Rhino 5. Although I do not consider myself an expert yet, I can model most things and if I can’t I know how to find tutorials (or my peers) that will help me to figure it out. I think that one of the most beneficial things I got out of this class was in fact learning how to efficiently create topography, something I have struggled with since starting architecture school. I also feel like I was constantly learning new useful commands which have already been extremely helpful in studio.

How comfortable are you with rendering in Rhino using Vray?

– I am not entirely comfortable with V-Ray for Rhino yet, as I believe I need a bit more practice with it. Figuring out how to use the Rhino sun was extremely helpful this quarter. I look forward to using it more, as I am finally starting to get a grasp on how to use the camera, environment, etc. parts of the options menu for V-Ray. I think that my new struggles will come from trouble-shooting – if something isn’t working, it still takes me a while to figure it out and fix it, if I am able to do that at all. However, I am pretty good at finding necessary trouble-shooting sites that have helped me with these issues. It’s also been wonderful having more experienced peers help me out, as they are the easiest and best tools to interact with.

What do you think about Grass Hopper? – Can you imagine using it in studio?

– Grasshopper is a great tool, if just a bit advanced for what I need right now in my education I think it is wonderful for repetition elements and systems of trusses or other structural elements, but I’m not entirely convinced I am faster with it yet. Like V-Ray, I still have some problems trouble-shooting, and because the issues are often so specific, it’s harder to figure out how to fix them.

I can see myself using some of the basic elements like trusses that I have already created in the future for studio projects, which is wonderful. However I’m not sure at what point it will become useful for actual design, expect for when creating repetitive structure or architectural elements. I really enjoyed designing the set of drawers, so I can see it’s appeal in creating things in Rhino.

How did this course fulfill your expectations -or not.  From your own point of view, what should be added or deleted.

I feel as though this course taught me a lot about Rhino, which is what I really wanted out of it. The videos were top notch. I do wish that perhaps we had spent a bit less time on Grasshopper, and more time on V-Ray. I feel as though rendering is really important in the world of architecture, and having a class that focuses more on it would be really helpful. Whether that is the job of this class or a different one might be another consideration. I also think that maybe splitting up the work load into twice-weekly assignments might be helpful, in terms of spacing out the work a bit more. (This does NOT mean more work, just getting it done in a more spaced out amount of time means that it interferes less with the rest of our classes…meaning studio.)

Are you more confident about using computers in architecture than before you took this class?

Absolutely. I feel as though my skills using computers for architecture have definitely improved. I feel comfortable putting Rhinoceros on my resume now, which I definitely wouldn’t have done before this class! I’m excited to put these skills to work in my other classes.


Rob, thank you for teaching this class. I feel as though you were really good at helping us to understand these programs. I especially found your videos helpful, as they were a great pace and really easy to follow along with.

Kya J. Kennett, signing off.


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