Friday, July 10th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Golaem releases VRayGolaem for 3ds Max


Free plugin VRayGolaem for 3ds Max lets Max users render crowd simulations created with Golaem Crowd for Maya in V-Ray. Character shading can be adjusted directly inside Max, and all V-Ray 3.0 features are supported.

Golaem has released VRayGolaem for 3ds Max, a free plugin that enables Max users to render full-size simulations created in Golaem Crowd, the firm’s Maya crowd animation system.

The new tool, developed in conjunction with Chaos Group, provides a bridge between V-Ray for Maya and V-Ray for 3ds Max, both of which are required by the new workflow.

Better than just exporting FBX files
Although Golaem Crowd can already export animations in FBX format for rendering in other software, the process is slow and generates very large files: Golaem recommends it only for under 200 crowd characters.

In contrast, the new workflow does not export character geometry, which is recomputed from the simulation cache before being sent to V-Ray.

According to Golaem, this “reduces the size of all exported files by 99%” over exporting the full geometry to FBX, enabling users to render simulations containing thousands of characters.

In addition, character shaders and asset repartition can be adjusted directly in 3ds Max. The plugin can display crowd characters’ bounding boxes in the Max viewport to speed up layout and lighting.

Aside from not supporting light linking, the workflow gives users the same control over renders in Max as they would have rendering directly inside Maya, supporting 3D motion blur, displacement and render passes.

The actual process is relatively involved – it’s something of a workaround in the absence of a native version of Golaem Crowd for 3ds Max – but Golaem has a good summary flowchart in its online documentation.

Pricing and availability
The VRayGolaem for 3ds Max plugin can be downloaded for free from the project’s GitHub page. To use it, you’ll need to be running Golaem Crowd 4.1 or above, V-Ray 3.20 for 3ds Max or above, and 3ds Max 2014 or 2015.

In addition, you’ll need V-Ray 3 for Maya, running on any version of Maya. You can use the free demo version, but that means you’ll only be able to export shaders for the first 200 objects in your scene.

Golaem Crowd itself costs $6,599 for a permanent floating licence, or $1,980 for three months’ rental.

Read Golaem’s official announcement of VRayGolaem for 3ds Max

Read more about the new Maya to 3ds Max workflow in Golaem Crowd’s online documentation