What is the name for the irregular objects that break up a surface?
September 13, 2013 5:11 PM   Subscribe

I've heard a term that describes the irregular objects such as boxes and antenna that are used to break up a surface (such as on a model spaceship). Apparently this can make it more pleasing to the eye then a smooth surface. An example would be the surface of a Star Destroyer in Star Wars, where it is basically a triangular prism with some big features, then a lot of small, indistinct things that makes it looks unnaturally perfect. Does anyone know what this term is?

I thought it was 'gribli' or 'gribly' or something like that, but google doesn't return anything for any spelling I can think of. It could be a special effects term, a modelling term or something else. I think I heard about it either on Reddit in one of the Imaginary X subreddits, or from Adam Savage on one of his Still Untitled documentary YouTube videos.

I remember reading a wikipedia article on the topic when I heard of the term, that had examples of it, and talked about the use of procedural generation to fill in these objects in rather then the artist or modeller having to do them by hand. It had a graphic of a spaceship half-covered in a thick, crazy layer of random objects.

What is this term? Can anyone help me? This is bugging the heck out of me. Thank you.
posted by Canageek to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Greeble.

I first heard this term on AskMe.
posted by bondcliff at 5:13 PM on September 13, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Pretty sure it's "Greeble" http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:14 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've also heard the term 'cruft'
posted by sexyrobot at 5:15 PM on September 13, 2013

Best answer: Greebles, also sometimes Nurnies.
posted by Scientist at 9:10 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wow, thanks. I'm glad I was able to find the term. Sorry about reasking an askme question, but it is really hard to search for something when you don't know the name.
posted by Canageek at 1:29 PM on September 14, 2013

A related term that was used a fair amount when I worked in an effects shop was 'nurnies', which were random organic-looking bits and bobs tacked onto a costume to make it look more natural. For example, brush some liquid latex out on a piece of plexiglass, let it dry, then rub it off in long rubbery ragged strands, which you can then attach to a monster suit to make it convincingly ooky looking.

(Interesting, Wikipedia redirects the term 'nurnies' to the greeble article, and mentions nurnies as being coined in a CGI context by a guy who worked on Babylon 5, which was in production at the same time I heard the term being thrown around in a prop/costume context.)
posted by usonian at 6:21 PM on September 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

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