Friday, February 19th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Golaem releases Golaem 5.0

Golaem has released Golaem 5.0, the latest update to its crowd animation system for Maya, adding a new Layout tool for editing simulation data without the need to re-run the entire simulation.

The Layout tool is also available as a separate standalone product, making it possible for artists without full licences of the software to edit simulations.

Adjust crowd animation properties without re-running simulations
The new Layout tool is designed to enable artists to adjust simulations generated by Golaem more quickly than re-running the entire sim.

It covers the main things you might need to do to in response to a director or supervisor’s feedback, including retiming, offsetting or editing characters’ animation cycles, and editing or randomising props and clothing.

Users can also duplicate or delete individual characters, or reposition them using the standard Maya tools, with Golaem automatically snapping them to the ground.

Edits are non-destructive, and each individual change can be cancelled or modified via the History stack.

Available as a standalone tool
The Layout tool is also available as a standalone product, which means that artists without a full licence of Golaem can edit simulation data.

That means that a studio can adjust a sim generated by another company with which it is collaborating on a project – or, more prosaically, that it can assign the edits requested by a director to a junior artist.

It also means that users will be able to build up libraries of stock simulations and edit or combine them to suit the needs of a new project, rather than having to work from scratch.

New node-based editors for character geometry and behaviours
Other new features in Golaem 5.0 include new node-based editors for generating geometry and shader variations for characters within a simulation (shown above), and for controlling when character behaviours start or stop.

There is also support for what Golaem terms ‘blind data‘, which enables users to assign custom animation data – including muscle deformers and animated shader attributes – to characters within Golaem.

Pricing and availability
Golaem 5.0 is available now for Maya 2014 and above, running on 64-bit Windows or Linux.

It supports mental ray, V-Ray, Arnold, RenderMan, 3Delight and Guerilla Render directly, and can also export FBX and Alembic files to render.

Although the software was previously available as a perpetual licence, it now seems to be rental-only, with pricing starting at $850/month.

Golaem Layout is also rental-only, with pricing starting at $170/month. Both editions of the software are currently available at a 50% launch discount.

Updated: Perpetual licences are still available, although the price has risen since version 4.0: a floating licence of Golaem now costs $9,000, up from $6,599. A perpetual licence of Golaem Layout costs $1,800.

Read more about the new features Golaem 5.0 on Golaem’s website