Hexagon tiling with ICE

Here’s a relatively simple ICE tree that arranges hexagons on the XZ plane. The “difficult” part was creating the arrays of position coordinates. For that I used the standard modulo technique. It’s funny, it all makes perfect sense when you’re plugging stuff together, but afterwards it’s hard to make heads or tail of what you did 🙂

To understand what’s going on here, it helps to look at the final arrays that are built:

The math for arranging the hexagon tiles is pretty simple. I started with a simple test point cloud to make sure I understood what I needed to do. After that, it was just a question of setting up the arrays.

If you want to take a look at the ICE trees, here’s some compounds. Note that this isn’t a finished piece of work. It’s more of a draft version. For example, my hexagon has a side length of 5 and that’s hardcoded into the ICE tree right now.

ICE: Building a regular hexagon

Let’s build a regular hexagon!

In this example, I take the vector (5,0,0) and rotate it by 60 degrees, then 120, then 180, and so on, until I have the 6 points of the hexagon. In ICE, that equates to getting an array of rotations, stuffing that into Rotate Vector, and getting an array of positions back.

Notice how the length of each side is the same (5), as is the distance of each point from the local origin.

Before I jumped into building the polygon, I first did a quick test with a point cloud, to make sure I understood how to add points in the right places. In general, I think it’s good practice to do some kind of “proof of concept” before you really dive into the details.

Splitting an edge into equal-length new edges

Here’s the basic idea of how to split an edge into N equal-length new edges. Notice how I work backwards (in the sense that my split ratio decreases). That way I don’t know have to know (or care) about the new edges. I just keep splitting the same edge, whose EdgeIndex I already know.





Based on that observation, here’s a rough draft of an ICE tree that takes an edge of length N, and splits it into N equal-length edges.


ICE Modeling – Setting extrusion length and inset based on polygon area

Here’s a modified version of Mr Laforge’s compound that does the extrusion length and inset based on polygon area. Yeah, it uses a Repeat so I don’t think you would use it on a dense mesh and then just leave it in the stack to be reevaluated over and over.

The main idea is that you have to store the polygon indices (and the lengths and insets) before you do the extrude.

See also ICE Modeling – extruding polygons with random lengths