Make2D Animations

All Rhino users love the Make 2D command.  It allows one to quickly create drawings and have a high degree of control over their visual output.  We’ve put together a Grasshopper Python script which will create Make2d drawings as an animated pdf.

The line weights and color can be controlled within Grasshopper, which leaves little required post-processing and allows us to drive these values with other parameters.  For example, the above video shows an example of line weights changing size as the camera moves further away from a target object.  This way we can establish rules of traditional drafting and use those as parameters for driving an animation.

Since each frame of the animation is a vectorized pdf, a single frame can be chosen to create a two dimensional drawing by editing line weights and adding annotations in Illustrator or a similar program.  It’s also possible to freeze on a frame and make actual measurements of the model (as long as the camera is in an orthographic or axonometric view).

This is just an experiment for now.  The purpose is to consider a better two dimensional representation for complex geometries.  Often these models are better understood when animated.

The script’s process (as shown in the demo video below):

  • Bake geometry from Grasshopper (or reference geometry from Rhino).
  • Select this geometry and automate the Make2d command.
  • Move to the Top view, select the viewport boundary and zoom to selected.
  • Set layer settings for line weight and line color.
  • Export as a pdf (making sure the export settings do not prompt for a filename and ‘view pdf after saving’ is disabled)
  • Delete Make2d curves and previous geometry.
  • Return the next view in the animation and repeat.


  • Chad

    very cool!


  • phelan

    Hey. looks very cool indeed.
    is there any possibility that you upload the definition like you do with all the other ones?
    which is very kind of you btw.


  • Victor

    Awesome work! Any chance you guys would share the script? Would love to use this for a school project!

  • ekatzenstein

    Thanks for your interest, we don’t currently have a generic definition available, but we’re looking at a different technique for exporting drawings with parametric control. Stay tuned.

  • ekatzenstein

    For an updated method, check out this post:

    Not a make2d, but a more fluid way of working with drawings parametrically.