algorithmic modeling for Rhino

I am happy to announce the beta release of Prairie Dog for Grasshopper. Prairie Dog allows users to quickly build remote controls for their Grasshopper scripts. The remote control exists and is edited independently from Rhino or Grasshopper.  A Grasshopper component connects the remote control to Grasshopper. As you move the sliders in the remote control, Grasshopper updates in real time.

I wanted to release this as an early beta test to get some feed back from real users. The first acknowledged and major limitation is the inclusion of only integer sliders. Integer sliders where the easiest to build. In the near future, I want to include a full range of numerical sliders that will match the slider controls in Grasshopper. In addition, I want to build all sorts of input and controls into Prairie Dog. These could include time, date, calendar, text input, feet-inches, etc. I would love feedback from everyone on which they would want the most. Finally, I also want to include tabs and expandable groups to help keep large complex remote controls organized.

Prairie Dog (Remote Controls) For Grasshopper from Ryan Gathmann on Vimeo.

In effort to have full transparency, the Prairie Dog application does anonymously report each time it used. The report is completely anonymous and basically just just a ping to a server. If this is very upsetting to you please let me know, I would love to hear from you. If it bothers to many, I will either provide a toggle in the next version for reporting or remove it all together. More than anything, I would just like to know if this is something that is used a lot or not. If no one is interested in using it, I will just develop the features that I find interesting and keep it internal. However, if people love it, I would be more than happy to share it with the world and build the features people desire.

For more information and to download the plugin, please find it on my website here. It should also be approved on Food4Rhino shortly as well. Please try it out, have some fun with it, and give me your comments, critiques, and suggestions.

Find out more and Download Here

This project is also on Food4Rhino

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Replies to This Discussion

I think this is going to be a great tool.  Our users request a simplified front end for most of the work I do in-house.  I think it's great for both the developers (so users don't accidentally break the definition) and for users as they don't necessarily need to know all the ins and outs of grasshopper.  I'll be downloading this this week and give feedback as I can.

For me to test this though, I will need to get access to floating point sliders pretty quickly.  As I develop tools, I will bake in any extras I need (ie, units) so getting the basic inputs in and stable would be my initial priority.

One other thing that could be great for this tool is to be able to load in and out presets for the custom controls through an external file like excel.  That way we are saving small bits of data rather than whole definitions for alternate design options, leaving real-time interactions and sliders intact.

In an ideal world, I would hope that users would prefer to learn the back-end so that they could develop their own fixes...

I run into this constantly at work! We have 100% the same mindset. Unfortunately not everyone wants to learn the back end and a complex grasshopper script tends to scare them away. My hope is that a Prairie Dog remote control will be friendlier and easier to digest.

Also, when I get to my work computer tomorrow I will create a demo video so everyone can see how it works.

EDIT: For anyone interested in keeping up with the development, I have started a group here: Prairie Dog Group

I updated the original post with a video showing Prairie Dog in action.


First thanks for the app! 

I havent checked it out yet but I was wondering, is there a way to change the remote controls through an excel spread sheet? So essentially I would just change values in Excel which would update PrairieDog app and update GH? I am aware of the gHowl option and most of the other options to update through/to Excel, just looking for alternatives/easiest methods because I am a GH novice.

Any info will be appreciated.







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