Greebler Addict

One of the things I love most about art, and visual media in general is complexity. I love getting lost in an image chock full of minute detail, whether it be a computer generated image (or SEM) of a blood clot, a detailed pen and ink panel from a graphic novel, or the pitted surface of a huge spaceship in a sci-fi film. I’m easily awestruck by complexity of detail and scale.

I strive to apply such detail to all the work I do in the field of medical animation, and whatever other types of cg artistry I find myself involved with. Detail generally takes a lot of time and focus. But sometimes a tool comes along that literally gets you most of the way there with a push of a button. Robert Templeton who develops plugins for Cinema 4D under the name Koroyume offers a plugin called Greebler which kind of does just that. I have had my eye on the plugin for a few years, but because I don’t do a lot of scifi vfx modeling in my day-to-day work, I put it on my wish list for a later time. A recent post by Robert in which he shares some personal hardships made me consider trying Greebler out, and I’m glad I did.

What ensued was a weekend of enjoyable experimentation, and a bit of geeky scifi fun. The plugin is easy to use, fast, and allows for users to create custom libraries of “greebles” and “nurnies”; terms used in the practical effects and cg vfx industry as well to describe the detailed panelling and chunks of metal machinery applied to a spaceship model or cityscape to add that extra level of complexity and realism. Just think of the Deathstar from Star Wars, or really ANYTHING from Star Wars and you get the idea. Getting back to the mentioning of “custom greeble libraries” I should mention that Greebler comes with built in ready to use “stock” greeble shapes with loads of parameters for tweaking.

Here are several images that came out of my initial Greebler playtime.

Five minutes after installing:

Below, I added some tubing on the surface–everything esle is Greebler.


In my last post, I talk about X-Particles and include a sample of liquid poured into a bowl. I took the skinned liquid, made it editable, frozen in time, and tried greebler on the surface of that object. Here are the results after dropping the object into a radial cloner and adding some antennae.

greebler liquid8

greebler liquid2

The results have a bit of that Gigeresque organic, yet mechanical feel, ala Alien or Prometheus. When I get a chance I’ll see if I can build some custom greebler libraries as the basic geometric obejects dont hold up well up close.

greebler liquid6

greebler liquid10

greebler liquid

And just a few more…

more greebly


So now the weekend is over, and time to get my head back into the more organic, biological work I do for a living, but it’s fun to take a detour now and then. Thanks for looking!

[Postscript: Still at it. Help.]

I’l just keep adding to this post as I come up with interesting results. Here’s another one. Some sort of big pipe thing. You can click on the mage to see better detail.Check back if you’d like!

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 10.59.30 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 11.12.03 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 11.27.04 PM

Added 10/31/2013. Testing with VRAY 1.8. Still kind of a VRAY newb!
Just rearranged a few already greebled models.

Greebler city vray

And another VRAY 1.8 test 11/8/13. OK I think need to move on to something else…


3 thoughts on “Greebler Addict

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s