Blog Published: 07/12/2018

Blogger - Lawrence Hooker

Computational Christmas: How to Create a Reindeer With Autodesk Dynamo

I was in our office last week when our marketing team recently asked me a question...

Since 'tis the season to be jolly (and creative),  can you help us create an Excitech Christmas image to send to our customers using Revit?

So, the challenge was set. After quite a bit of thought, I knew that Autodesk Dynamo would need to be involved to create something a bit more interesting than a gift-wrapped box with a red bow on top!

I was recently looking at the Mesh Toolkit for Dynamo and after a bit of searching, I found a low poly model of a deer and tested this with the Mesh Toolkit. See below how the deer appeared when imported into Dynamo:  

The next stage was to add a little context and scale. The group below is rotating and scaling the mesh, and then getting the mesh edges as lines. This then leaves the 3D wireframe representation of the mesh model. 

The wireframe model is then passed into the group below to create a structural framing and to ensure that the frames are set to centre. I created a custom CHS section with three materials that can have illumination set within the material. 

The second part of the script is to randomise the materials that are applied to each structural section. The first two nodes collect all the structural framing members from the project and then the items are counted. Meanwhile, two materials are called by name and then cycled to generate the correct quantity. The list is then shuffled to randomise the order, and each structural member is then assigned the random material.

Finally, I created a topographic surface for the snow and added some RPC trees from the Revit library. Extra points were added to the surface to create depressions representing the deer's footprints. 

The scenes were then rendered in the cloud using the Autodesk A360 rendering.

For more information on Autodesk Dynamo, please visit our product page here or get in touch with us by callling 01992 807 444 or emailing

About the author

  • Lawrence Hooker

Lawrence Hooker

Technical Consultant

Lawrence has over 30 years of experience in the design and construction industry with a focus in the engineering and manufacturing sectors. He has successfully delivered many implementation projects for a number of clients across the UK including Arup, Halcrow, Mott MacDonald, Shell UK and Skanska, to name only a few.

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