Happy Halloween, II!

Another great year with the 2nd Annual Parametric Pumpkin Carving Internationale! Across the board, high quality, voluptuous vegetable facsimiles that each and all of you should be proud of. However, rules are rules, and we must pick only 3 from the patch to receive the coveted Buildz schwag. [All files can be downloaded from here.]

The Goodest


This one just makes me crack up! It’s made out of stacked walls!


Paul Aubin took the high road on this one and wrestled the standard Revit building elements like walls and floors into pumpkiny goodness. Well documented using good old fashioned dimensionable arcs instead of splines, and generally using the tools in the manner they were intended (if extremely), you could imagine handing this one off to a contractor (perhaps in outer space) and getting some results.

The Baddest


We were on the fence about whether to call Aristide Little-Lux’s pumpkin the goodest, the baddest, or the mostest parametric. It exploits all the loopholes available to the parametric engine in Revit, but it is not exactly flexible. It shows a virtuoso manipulation of the tools (look at the details around how the stem is constructed) but mostly by abusing the hell out of them.



Aristide’s pumpkin does nasty, unspeakable things to divided surfaces, plays fast and loose with categories and cut/join behaviors, and has more nests than a bedbug infested New York hotel. Like Hannibal crossing the alps, it will stomp an elephant right through your city if it is in the way. Like Hannibal escaping from maximum security prison, it will eat your face off it speeds things up.

For example, the segments are created by a two curves hosted on a divided surface in an adaptive component, hosted in a curtain panel by pattern with “vertical on placement” to control the orientation, which in turn is hosted on a simple cylinder which arrays the original 2 curves in a fan of segments. Why? Because it wants to, biatch!

We can’t really do justice to explaining what is going on in this family, but it is posted here. Just to say that it is an education, and understanding how all the pieces go together can go a long way to understanding the functionalities of the the conceptual modeling environment in Revit. It’s really very cool.

In the end, we have to call this one the Baddest. This is a pumpkin that you want to have on your side in a knife fight. It can claw, bite and pull hair if it has to, and it WILL kick your ass if you cross it.

The Mostest Parametric


Ryan Duell, of the Revit Clinic, gives a detailed step by step video of how to make this lovely pumpkin. It looks innocent enough when you open up the family, but the fun really begins when you start messing with the parameters.



Open up the file and take it for a spin. Using the given parameters you can do some nifty reconfigurations. But you can also tear down the whole geometry and build it back up from the scaffolding in different configurations too.


Special Shout-Outs

Jillian Bejtlich with this year’s Most Inhabitable Pumpkin (Revit).


John Fout (first 2 Mudbox images) and Dante van Wettum (3rd image, Revit, with some awesome parameters too) for pumpkins that scared the pants off our 7 year old Buildz intern.


3D View 2-halloween

Paul Munford, for his inventor pumpkin referencing my favorite movie Jack O’ lantern.

Pumpkin Screen Capture

Thanks to all who submitted entries, and Happy Halloween!


1 Day to Pumpkin, and a clarification


Your Mom already sent in a pumpkin, where’s yours?

Entries must be received by 12 noon EST Oct 28. Winners will be announced at midnight Halloween night.

Re: Award for “the Baddest”.  Folks seem to be a bit confused by this.  We at Buildz have no intention of holding up any submissions for ridicule or identifying a “worst” entry.  “Bad” in this case is regarded as high praise for an uncanny scariness, a serious and terrifying aspect, or just being a BMF.  Think of Shaft, Xena, Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, Spartacus, Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction, Mila Jovovich in Resident Evil, early Johnny Cash, Annie Oakley, Hannibal, etc . . . bad.


Bring it, s’il vous plait.


Patterns and Zoned Porosity


I keep messing around with this shape, there’s some kind of special something to it that I haven't figured out yet.


It shows up in lots of places.  I’ve been looking at this one for a while, the Jean Nouvel Louvre project.  It uses several layers of this shape in a patterned screen, then varies the size of the frame and the overall shape to create different levels of porosity


Similar idea in his Doha Tower project.


And I like this one by SOM, a Mosque in Bahrain, which uses a similar approach to patterning.


Although the unit has a little variation to it (thanks Neil!) with the octagonal center.


So I got to wondering if you could set up multiple layers of this pattern in Revit, and then control the permeability of the layers to follow some programmatic requirement. 

IMG_9120_cleanFor instance, I want to make the lower lobby of a building façade very open, a closed mezzanine, the rest being open except for some specialty space part way up.


First need to make a star shaped panel with variable tube radius.


By layering divided surfaces on top of each other, you can create the “same” density variation, just at different resolutions. (This sketch was just the concept of variable resolutions, it doesn’t match the zoning idea)IMG_9120_clean

Taking a little care on the “resolution” of the grid to make sure the patterns don’t align or create secondary patterns.  For instance, a 5x10 grid on top of a 20x40 grid would align every 4th cell.  It needs to have a pattern that doesn’t coincide with another.


Using a bitmap that follows the same proportion of the façade, and applied to 3 different densities of curtain panel


Resulting in


Repeated on 3 densities of divided surface





So it isn’t perfect, there needs to be some refinement of the spacing  to more create more definition of the open and closed areas.  But it starts to get the idea of creating zoned porosity with this method.


2nd Annual Parametric Pumpkin Carving Internationale!


That’s right, it’s the time of year where we in the North East United States gather fallen leaves, harvest our late crops, and poke monstrous looking holes in innocent vegetables. And those of us across the planet who don’t get out much turn instead to our computers and create flexible, reconfigurable, grotesque and glamorous digital facsimiles of vegetables!

Prizes, as always, will be awarded for The Goodest, The Baddest, and The Mostest Parametric.

Submit entries from whatever platform you are comfortable in, Revit, Blender, GC, Rhino, etch-a-sketch, finger paints, etc. Our factory judges are not judgy.

Along with receiving bragging rights, the winners will have their work showcased on these pages to tens of readers and receive a valuable piece of Buildz schwag.

Entries must be received by 12 noon EST Oct 28. Winners will be announced at midnight Halloween night.

So pour yourself a glass of cheer, fire up your software of choice, and make a performance based, LEED certified, direct-to-fabrication, cloud computed, optimized, and/or object-oriented Jack O’Lantern. Post entries to zachkron@gmail.com, at least a screenshot, but feel free to send models, journals, parameters, videos, scripts, whatever, modeled in whatever you like. If you have some huge file, please send a link or let me know and we can work out some kind of upload. If there are less than 5 entries, you suck.  No, not the person next to you, or the other readers, you.




The Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit Architecture 2011

I made a small contribution to the section IV on Conceptual Modeling, although I would also recommend it for the most excellent contributions made by my factory college Heather Lech. Check it out, buy a copy for yourself and your Mom.