Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Golaem releases Golaem Crowd 1.5

Made in Golaem: Mathematic used the Maya crowd simulator to populate the stadium in this Orange spot.

Golaem has released Golaem Crowd 1.5, the latest update to its crowd simulation system for Maya. The release has one main feature, but it’s a biggie: you can now see your crowd sims directly inside the Maya render window.

Rather than baking and exporting all the character geometry, with the resulting hit in terms of processing time and storage space, Crowd now exports a much smaller particle cache, reconstructing the geometry at render time.

The system works with the native Maya versions of mental ray, V-Ray and RenderMan.

Version 2.0 of Golaem Crowd is also in development, and is due to launch at Siggraph in August. In addition to further new features, the developer promises increases in simulation performance of up to 15 times.

Already compatible in batch mode with the major renderers, Golaem Crowd now offers, with Golaem Crowd 1.5, its lightning fast crowd rendering directly inside the Maya render window, for Mental Ray, V-Ray and RenderMan.

Being able to render directly in Maya enables artists to check the results of their crowd scene more easily and quickly. They can now experiment with their shaders configuration or the automatic assets repartition provided by Golaem Crowd and see results in a snap.

Studios not using the standalone version of their renderer, can now, at last, benefit from an efficient rendering method for crowds.

Why is procedural rendering the best method to render crowds?
Procedural Rendering consists in NOT exporting the characters baked geometry (thus wasting significant time, storage space). Instead, only reference geometries, assets repartition and animation poses are exported to a particle cache. The characters geometry is reconstructed at rendering time using Golaem Crowd procedural rendering plugins, available for the major renderers.

Sébastien Eballard, Lead Animator at Mathematic Studio, used Golaem Crowd to populate the Warsaw stadium with thousands of cheering people in the last Euro 2012 Orange commercial. He said: “Another advantage of procedural rendering is that with the particle cache being independent from the scene and its environment, it is really efficient to experiment with the lighting or cameras.”

Visit the Golaem website

Read the full case studio on Mathematic’s Orange commercial