Monday, March 24th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Basefount Technology releases Miarmy 3.0

Basefount Technology has released Miarmy 3.0, the latest update to its Maya crowd-simulation system, adding a new PhysX character controller, a new cloth simulation system – and the option to render sims in 3ds Max.

The software, which is compatible with Arnold, RenderMan and V-Ray, is in use at studios including Square Enix, Luma Pictures, Trixter and Dexter Digital.

New character control and collision detection system
Of the new features, the Character Controller (CCT) enables crowd agents to react dynamically to deforming terrain, dynamic debris – or even other agents, enabling them to swarm over one another, World War Z-style.

Miarmy 3.0 also features a new Continuous Collision Detection (CCD) system, which predicts the outcome of collisions based on the colliding objects’ relative velocity, resulting in more realistic results.

Improved servo forces, cloth simulation and combo agent tools
Of the updated features, the servo force system introduced in Miarmy 2.7 – which simulates actors’ muscle movements, rather than reducing them to simple rag dolls after impact – now provides more user controls.

Any part of an agent can now be pinned in place, while the rest of the body is controlled by servo forces; forces can be turned on or off at any point; and damping is automatically adjusted for more realistic results.

Cloth simulation has also been rewritten for improved speed and simplicity. Cloth now has its own point inertia for more realistic simulation results; and kinematic simulation jitter has been “totally solved”.

The rigid body emitter and combo agent tools introduced in version 2.7 have also been updated to work with automatic collision detection, with agents automatically inheriting the correct inertia after interactions.

Render levels of detail – or in 3ds Max
In the rendering toolset, the DSO procedural primitives Miarmy exports to RenderMan, Arnold and V-Ray now support level of detail, enabling the renderer to render distant simulation objects at low resolution.

And finally, Miarmy is now available for 3ds Max – kind of. The new ‘3ds Max – Vray’ plugin enables procedural primitive content to be exported directly from Maya to Max for rendering without the need for data conversion.

Miarmy suggests that the latter feature should be of use for rendering out character mattes when visual effects sequences are shared between studios running different software, or in mixed pipelines.

Pricing and availability
Miarmy 3.0 is available now for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. A permanent node-locked licence costs $4,850; and there is also a free Express edition.

Read more about the new features in Miarmy 3.0 on Basefount Technology’s website

Download Miarmy 3.0 Express (Currently Windows and Linux only)