# Create Plexus plugin-like effect

How to create the outer nodes effect in Blender Cycles, including the lines? I know this is achieved using a particle system, but don't know how.

Also can anybody suggest any plugins for blender that does the same?

I would use Sverchok (A Blender node system for Geometry)

Click on the image to view full size.

How it works is you feed Sverchok a base mesh, in this case the blue Icosphere with some distorted noise displacement. This mesh is used to generate a second set of vertices positioned some distance away in the direction of the vertex normal. The vertex normal is defined by the average face normal of all faces which are connected to a vertex.

This new set of vertices has the same vertex index order, this means we can reuse the edge list (list of vertex indices which makes up each edge) and create tubing from the resulting edges.

The new set of vertices is also used to place duplicated instances of the node sphere (in this case a NURBS SurfaceSphere)

• Alpha_0 : This mesh is outputted by the BMeshViewDraw node. Because it's only outputting one mesh the name has _0 appended. This node outputs the new (offset) vertices.
• In the properties of Alpha_0 switch on duplication to Vertex.
• (I dragged the duplication menu-item to the top for convenience)
• Sigma_0 : The tubes, Curve Objects, generated by SvCurveViewer Sigma. These tubes are built from new vertices and old edge list.

• SurfSphere: In properties set the parent to Alpha_0, this will then duplicate the SurfSphere at every vertex of Alpha_0's mesh.
.

You'll notice as soon as you parent an object, that the child becomes part of the parent item. The outliner shows it like this:

Result:

### Pros and Cons:

Pro:

• Learn Sverchok, it can be applied to many scenarios involving geometry
• Sverchok is 150+ nodes which can be combined to give a massive amount of modulation in your end result
• I co-write Sverchok, if you have questions about how it works visit the issue tracker.

Con:

• You have to install and enable Sverchok, it does not come with Blender
• At first it might seem confusing, but it works very similar to any other node system. Nodes take input and perform some operation and produce output. Each node does something different, generally the name of the node is sufficient to indicate what it does.
• Nice to see a Sverchok answer! – p2or Apr 22 '15 at 8:06
• @poor, Thanks! it took me 40 seconds to build the Sverchok Node tree from nothing, but much much longer to write this Answer. It's probably not for beginners, but only because addon installation can be a pain. – zeffii Apr 22 '15 at 8:10
• Hehe :) As we can see it's a powerful toolset, would be nice to have more answers here to learn it... I will think about questions :) – p2or Apr 22 '15 at 8:43
• Amazing! How have I not come across this until now!? :D – ajwood Apr 22 '15 at 14:30
• @ajwood team Sverchok's efforts to evangelize have been directed mostly at Design and Architecture communities, but anyone with a vague notion of what a Vector and Matrix are can roll with it. Development has slowed down because it is mostly feature complete now and functions as a proof of concept. Ideally we would write the modules in a JIT compiled language for speed. it's still v0.5.1.1 and by no means immune from bugs. – zeffii Apr 22 '15 at 15:54

If you're not married to the particle system idea, you could model this with a a few meshes.

1. dupliverts with a sphere child
2. wireframe modifier
3. scaled down solid

1) Make the mesh (I did this with an icosphere and some proportional editing):

You can make the duplicates now with Shift+D in object mode.

Add a sphere (I did a low-poly icosphere with a subsurf modifier and smooth shading).

Make your main mesh a parent of the new sphere (select the sphere, then shift+select the main mesh, then Ctrl+P parent to object).

Set the main object to duplivert: