Parametric Modeling: How it Works and Why it’s Amazing!

Last updated on August 22nd, 2023 at 04:33 pm

Why opt for parametric models ?

  • You will realize that it allows you to have variations according to your preferences. We can also call them configurators, whether to generate humanoids, 3D assets, products, architectural designs or natural environments.
  • After having methodically designed your parametric model, you save time on generating the variations you produce. Basically, the path of parameterization is a bit like developing an application. Once you have completed the parameterization of your model, you can generate completely different variations in a few clicks that respect the aesthetic and technical constraints of your project.
  • Time savings means cost savings: you can quickly generate sales on an e-commerce site with a configurator that will produce your manufacturing plans, create characters for films in record time without having to model them one by one, or generate diverse and varied environments for your video games.

Genesis and democratization in architecture since 1988

There is an architectural style called “parametric design” which is characterized by complex and experimental structures, as well as the use of innovative materials. The term “parametric design” was officially invented in 1988 by Maurice Ruiter, but the idea was used by architects like Frei Otto as early as the 1970s. The emergence of software such as PRO-Engineer in the 1980s allowed European architects to play with the parameters of their creations and design innovative and aesthetic buildings. Examples of parametric design are the Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid, the Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel and The Fish by Frank Gehry.

Parametric architecture also promotes the construction of sustainable buildings that are environmentally friendly by experimenting with different materials, sites and environmental contexts. Popular software for parametric modeling includes Grasshopper, Rhino and Shapediver.

How to create parametric models

It depends on your type of modeling: we often start with the dimensions and proportions, but choosing textures is the simplest.

Then you can add logic with elements that are generated under certain conditions to complete spaces, generate structures or decorative patterns.

Most parametric modeling solutions use visual nodes rather than code. These are components (like functions) that are connected in a certain order with links, with conditionals that can look like alternative option branches.

2 options to get started :

  • The first, free, is to use Blender’s Geometry Nodes. This solution is better suited to those who want to create evolving 3D assets for movies or video games.
An excellent tutorial by Chong3D in English to generate stylized buildings for your scenes!
  • The second paid option is to use Grasshopper, included in the Rhinoceros 3D license. This solution is more suited to architects and product designers.
A GrassHopper tutorial to generate 3D printable vases in filament deposition (3D printing FDM)

The interest of this solution is that we can also adapt it to an e-commerce solution where the customer can choose their own variations and order them. The 3D files are produced for the production unit whether it is 3D printing or laser cutting for example. Check out my articles on the ShapeDiver solution that I use in many projects and which connects thanks to fears to your e-shop.

5 concrete and useful examples :

parametric 1 metahuman official
MetaHuman, a photorealistic character generator for Unreal Engine
parametric 2 geometry nodes blender offical
3D assets for movies or video games, or any creative content with Geometry Nodes under Blender
parametric 3 ue5.2 substrate shading system
Parametric environment under Unreal Engine 5 (Substrate Shading System) (c) Epic Games
parametric 4 shapediver configurator shapelamp
Parametric e-commerce products for manufacturing thanks to ShapeDiver (c) ShapeLamp
parametric 5 shapediver configurator type five usa
An architectural configurator for garden Tiny Houses thanks to ShapeDiver (c) Type Five

Check out my other articles on parametric modeling :

    Conclusion : Parametric modeling will materialize in 3D modeling processes. If you are interested, feel free to let me know in the comments! I could make tutorials on the subject. What would you like to learn?

    Similar Posts