Join Chris Reilly for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Remote Control panel, part of Up and Running with Grasshopper.
It can sometimes be a challenge to work back and forth between the Grasshopper window, and the Rhino window. Especially when you get into more complex definitions. Things can start to get pretty cumbersome. Now of course, we can minimize the Grasshopper window, just by double-clicking in the title bar. And this gives more room to the Rhino window. But then of course, all of our controls in Grasshopper are hidden. To work around this, we can take advantage of Grasshopper's remote control panel. Which we can access under the View menu heading. So if I click on Remote Control Panel. This brings up a panel and this is actually part of Rhino. So when we minimize Grasshopper, the remote control panel stays visible.
And this allows us to selectively transfer controls from our Grasshopper definition into Rhino. Now, when we first open the Remote Control panel, there is not much to see. It's blank. There are just a couple of icons. Up at the top, we have some controls for Preview settings. And then we have this Edit panel button. And that is about it. Now, this is because we haven't specified any controls in Grasshopper, to be published to the Remote Control panel. In Grasshopper 1.0, the Remote Control panel supports buttons, toggles, swatches and sliders. So if we have any of those objects in our definition, we can conveniently transfer them to the Remote Control panel for easy manipulation in Rhino.
Now, in this example file, I'm just going to close this for a second. What we have going on here is a Cone component. And the Radius and the Length or the Height, are being controlled by a couple of number sliders. So, I can dynamically control the size of the base and the height of the cone. I have then this Sift component, which is controlling the visibility of the cone. And that's controlled by a Sift Pattern. Which is basically just a true, false value. So when this Boolean value, this true false value is true.
Sift says, hey Preview component, show us the cone. If I change this value to false by double-clicking. Sift then hides the cone and preview has nothing to show. Preview also takes in a color component from this swatch parameter. And that sets the color that our cone is displayed as. So these four parameters here, could all be easily transferred to a Remote Control panel. So let's go ahead and take a look at how we'd set that up. I'm going to bring our remote control panel back, and for each of these controls, I just need to right-click and say Publish to Remote Panel.
And I could see as I do that, each control lands in the remote control panel. So now we can actually minimize Grasshopper, and we still have access to all these controls. So I can see my visibility still changes, my color changes, everything seems to work as it should. And I can actually go ahead and maximize Rhino. And take this panel which is actually a Rhino panel I, I can dock it right along with the properties and still have really easy access to it. So we can actually even take a few extra steps in the remote control panel and kind of group these settings together in ways that would help us you know more easily manipulate our geometry.
So if I think about it, the radius and the height, those are really kind of size controls, whereas the visibility and the color, those are kind of display controls. So I could really have two groups, one for size, one for display. And that would make my controls a little bit more logical, maybe a little bit easier to navigate for someone who didn't know this file quite as well as I did. So, first step towards doing that, is to go ahead and click this Edit Panel button. And I notice when I go in to the edit mode by clicking edit panel I get a few extra buttons. I get this add group, add a user label to the last group, and add a separator.
So at this point I can go ahead and add a new group. So I'll make this my display group. And I'll just click and drag the visibility and color in to that new group. Now, right now, these are both labeled as new group, which is not very helpful towards understanding what these controls go towards, so I'm going to right click where it says new group, and these will be my display controls. And I could also change the background color of that group. So maybe let's make those red and hit Enter. Now this one's going to be my size controls. So again I'm just right clicking where it says new group and let's give this a different color maybe, oh green, sure.
Okay, so it have size controls and I have display controls, and within either of these groups, I can click and drag to rearrange the groups, or I can click and drag to rearrange the individual controls. If I wanted to get rid of any of these I would just click and drag it outside of the control panel. And once i'm finished editing, i'll just click edit panel again to exit out of edit mode. And now I can test my controls again and see that I still have this nice, compact easy to use control panel that's controlling my Grasshopper definition from inside of Rhino.
So that's an easy way to get around the sort of cumbersome two window working interface between Rhino and Grasshopper
- What is Grasshopper?
- What's an algorithm?
- Setting input data
- Using data matching
- Looking at mathematical and logical functions
- Analyzing curves and surface data
- Working with transformations
- Manipulating the Data Tree