Basefount Technology has released Miarmy 2.7, the latest update to its Maya crowd-simulation system, in use at studios including Dexter Digital, Disney Television Animation and Square Enix.
More complex interactions, simulated faster
New features this time round include support for compound bones (shown in the video above), which enable complex multi-bone rigs to be collapsed into simpler systems in order to speed up simulations.
The update also adds a ‘servo force’ model to simulate muscle force on joints. Rather than simply reverting to ragdolls, crowd agents can be made to target particular animations while under the influence of a simulation.
New Combo Agent tools enable one crowd agent to hold or throw another – for example, to throw a weapon, or ride a horse – and AI can now be shared between agents with different bone structures, enabling human and animal characters to share the same decision-making characteristics.
There is also a new V-Ray procedural primitive, enabling instanced geometry to be created at render time: a feature Miarmy already supports in Arnold, RenderMan and Maya.
Pricing and availability
Miarmy 2.5 is available now for Maya 2011 and above on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The Professional edition costs $975, including free upgrades until version 3.2; the Express edition is free.