algorithmic modeling for Rhino

I have a mesh that has color information in it and I would like to convert it to a series of surfaces while retaining the color information or at least retain a system to identify the panels by color.


I have found the componenets for making a surface out of the mesh faces but I lose all of the color information.


When I explode the mesh it gives color information but only by vertex and not by face. 


I have tried to use the relative items but the vertex count and face count aren't equal.  And when I cull it to take every fourth vertex color the pattern for the panels doesn't match the mesh.


Any Ideas.


I am basically trying to take the gradient pattern from the ladybug sun study and use it to assign panels by color to create a building facade.

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Meshes don't support colours per face. You can only assign colours per vertex. And surfaces don't support even that. There's two ways to bake a surface to Rhino with colour information, and neither is possible with the native set of Grasshopper components (though I think the first is possible with some 3rd party baking tools):

  1. Bake the surface geometry with a custom colour. Every object in Rhino can have a colour associated with it, though usually this feature is switched off and the object inherits the colour of the layer it's in instead. Grasshopper doesn't have a mechanism for keeping a colour associated with a piece of geometry.
  2. Bake the surface geometry with a material. You'll have to create a bitmap that -when applied to the surface- mimics the colour you're after. This approach allows even for gradients, but I have no idea how you would do it in GH.

Why not keep the meshes?


David Rutten

Seattle, WA

Thanks for the response David.  I baked the meshes to maintain the color and then reassociated those to some grasshopper surface components and developed the panel I was after. 

I didn't want to keep the meshes because I am not as familiar with meshes so I felt it would be easier to develop and manipulate the panel with breps.

Hi David

I have a question based on this. I have an colorful image in Rhino and I try to get color data out of it.

Should I do mesh surface and then deconstruct mesh to get mesh vertex color?

But it doesn't work after trying it.



Hi Chris,

I just saw this accidentally while looking for something else.

In case of Ladybug it is a little bit different. Ladybug unweld meshes which means vertices are not shared between the surfaces. I considered this so I can assign the same color to all the vertices of each face and generate a monotone color for each face.

You can recreate the faces in Grasshopper and assign the colors. Here is an example on how you can do it using the mesh:

Not to say that you can regenerate the colors based on the results if you still have them. Well I think I will assign the values to mesh points as userdata so you can retrieve it later. Added to wish list (


Thanks again Mostapha. This worked perfectly






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