algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Investigation into urban development, using ant swarm logic

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Comment by Arie-Willem de Jongh on May 15, 2014 at 9:52am

P.S. Here is the part about steering or autonomous agents:

Comment by Arie-Willem de Jongh on May 12, 2014 at 8:31am

Hey Ramzi thanks for your interest! Ah yes i think Daniel changed his website, it should be on there though, Search for steering. Check this guy out and also his books. If you want to learn processing start with him. His book learningprocessing is really good and is written for people that are starting with processing. I wanted to port all my stuff to grasshopper but in the end there was no time haha like always :) 

Let me see if I can find my sketches, I should have it somewhere... But before you take a look at that, start simple, do the excersises on the learning processing website to get a hang of how the program works and the possibilities. Processing is different than grasshopper in that you need to script almost everything yourself, it is more basic than grasshopper, but the cool thing is that it gives you more freedom. You're not limited to components, like in grasshopper. 

Let me get back to you when i have found my sketches.

Cheers and good luck!

Comment by Ramzi on May 10, 2014 at 10:49pm


You are awesome! Thank you for sharing your experience and guiding us that want to learn more in the right direction, I understand you posted this over 2 years ago, but the this link is not available anymore I am also in the process to trying to understand swarm behavior, I have a good background in grasshopper but not so much in Processing, I have used it a couple times. Also, My end goal is to create a behavior and use the paths and or behavior to generate architecture, which might need to be transfered into grassshopper. I want to understand the process/logic of generating this kind of script, I am not looking for a copy of your script [ unless you dont mind :) ] lol if you have any information or suggestions please let me know. my email is

Comment by Arie-Willem de Jongh on January 6, 2012 at 8:58am

Hey Marie-Noël!

Thank you for your interest! I did some research about swarm logic a while ago, the thing is that it is done in Processing ( I dont know if you are familiar with this piece of software? I can tell you that it is really awsome, its free, open-source, tons of tutorials, libraries and features. Only the forum of processing is not as helpfull as this one :). So prepare spending a lot of time figuring stuff out by your own. 

Grasshopper is by nature not made to make animations. The good thing is that there is a plugin for grasshopper called gHwol ( to import geometry from another software real-time into grasshopper (for instance processing to grasshopper). 

This was initially my idea, to port my processing sketch to grasshopper, but I´m kind of burried in work at the moment :S. Some day this might happen I hope :) 

I would advise you to take a look at these websites, they helped me a lot figuring out swarm logic:

These two are from Daniel Shiffman, this guy is a awesome with processing and he shares most of his sketches. I started here with my sketch. Also the book, learning processing is a must if you want to learn the program. He explains the software really well and step by step for dummies.  I just spend a couple of sundays with a beer doing his examples.

So in short, i would not use grasshopper to research in swarm logic but another sofware (like processing or cynder, openframeworks etc.) It is possible in grasshopper, but you would need to write a custom VB/python script. A friend of mine has done it I think. But it is buggy and slow... In my sketch there are around 200 agents and around 10000 pheromones (the dots) all reacting to each other and to the height field. And still the framerate is pretty decent. Forget this in grasshopper.

I hope my info was helpfull, if you need anything else just let me know!

Good luck with your research!

Comment by Marie-Noël Chouinard on January 4, 2012 at 12:59pm

I really like your video.

I've been looking around to start working on swarm logic to use as a model to urban development, but since I've been working with grasshopper for just a few months, I don't really know where to start... Would it be possible for you to put an image of your definition as a base to work with?


Comment by Nay Soe on November 21, 2011 at 1:57am

very cool





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