Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Basefount Technology releases Miarmy 3.6

Basefount Technology has released Miarmy 3.6, the latest update to its crowd-simulation system for Maya, adding a new human-language-based logic engine and support for distributed simulation.

The software, which is compatible with Arnold, RenderMan, V-Ray and OctaneRender, is in use at many leading Asian VFX facilities and Westerns studios including MPC, Pixomondo and Zoic.

New natural language control system, new simulation caching options
There isn’t a lot of information on Basefount’s website about Miarmy’s new human-language-based logic engine, beyond the fact that it enables users to control simulations using natural language.

Update: Miarmy tells us: “We replaced [our] old ‘channels’ with ‘logic sentences’, which you can [use to] describe what happens. Users won’t [use] anything like channels or keywords, just sentences and presets.”

Other new features include support for distributed simulations. Miarmy now enables users to run a simulation, cache the motion of the agents, then run a new simulation and have the new agents interact with the cache.

New ways for actors to interact with geometry
The options for crowd agents to interact with scene geometry have been expanded, including the option for agents to be completely contained by animated geometry and repelled from it: think of bees in a bag!

The other new interaction types are equally hard to summarise, so it’s probably best to watch the three-minute demo movie at the top of the story before you check out the complete feature list.

(And, as ever, half the fun of video consists of the choice of demo scenes: scenarios played out this time round include killer bees swarming two luckless individuals, and zombies attempting to swarm a helicopter.)

Other new features
Support for 3ds Max and third-party renderers has been improved, with Miarmy now able to make use of vertex colour data and gradient ramps from Max; and support for Object ID and MultiMatte render elements in V-Ray.

Update: The story originally referred incorrectly to Miarmy as a simulation tool for Maya and 3ds Max. The software can export data to 3ds Max for rendering, but runs in Maya only. Sorry for any confusion caused.

You can read a full list of updates on the Miarmy website via the link below.

Pricing and availability
Miarmy 3.6 is available now for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The price of a permanent node-locked licence is down to $2,650; and there is also a free Express edition.

Read more about the new features in Miarmy 3.6 on Basefount Technology’s website

Download Miarmy 3.6 Express (Currently Windows and Linux only)