Friday, February 28th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Golaem ships Golaem Crowd 3.1

Originally posted on 9 December 2013. Scroll down for details of the new 3.1 update.

Golaem has released Golaem Crowd 3.0, the latest update to its crowd-simulation system for Maya, adding support for non-human characters, flocking behaviours, and an interactive previsualisation system.

The software, which has been used by studios including Framestore and Double Negative, is intended as a less technically specialist alternative to standalone tools like Massive, and builds on Maya’s native particle systems.

Now supports any skeleton type
The headline feature in version 3.0 is the option to use any type of character in crowd simulation, including quadrupeds and n-peds, rather than just those with a human-like skeleton.

The release adds the Character Maker, a new nodal editor to convert imported skeletons to the Golaem Crowd file format, and to convert and cyclify imported animation clips.

According to Golaem, the system has been tested with a range of standard rigs, including Autodesk’s HumanIK, Project Pinocchio and the 3ds Max Biped; the AdvancedSkeleton auto-rigging system; and even DAZ 3D.

The release also comes with a new foot adaptation system; and the option to enable or disable physics simulation on the fly at a per-limb level, enabling users to switch from keyframe to procedural animation.

New Flock and Steer behaviours, Viewport 2.0 preview
Making use of those new animal characters, Golaem Crowd 3.0 adds new Flock and Steer behaviours and some support tools to help set up and control flocking simulations, including a new Population Tool Sphere shape.

The release also provides a new interactive preview of crowd simulations, including geometry diversity, directly in Maya’s Viewport 2.0 viewport.

Golaem Crowd 3.0 is out now for Maya 2012 and above, running on 64-bit Windows or Linux. It supports the mental ray, V-Ray, Arnold, 3delight and RenderMan Studio render engines.

A single licence costs $1,980, excluding VAT, but including three months’ maintenance.

Updated 28 February 2014: Golaem Crowd 3.1 is out. The update adds a live debug option to select a character in the Maya viewport and see what behaviors it is running, and support for Arnold’s Maya plugin, mtoa 1.x.

Read an overview of Golaem Crowd 3’s new features