Friday, June 23rd, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Basefount ships Miarmy 5.5

Basefount has released Miarmy 5.5, the latest update to its crowd animation system for Maya, adding a new intelligent instancing system for crowd agents, and support for the Redshift renderer.

The update is the first major release of the software since Miarmy 5.2 in February: while we have found references to intervening builds on the company’s forum, they seem to have been largely bugfixes.

Intelligent instancing leads to large speed boosts when simulating large crowds
The main addition this time round is Clone Agents: a new ‘intelligent instancing’ system that instances not only the geometry but the AI logic for crowd agents.

According to Miarmy, instancing leads to considerable performance gains on large crowds: the firm quotes a speed boost of 20x for simulation and 100x for rendering when dealing with 200,000 agents.

The system currently supports Arnold and V-Ray, though not yet RenderMan or Redshift – native support for which has also just been added in Miarmy 5.5.

Other performance and workflow improvements
Basefount has also reworked the software’s viewport and agent placement system, claiming that Miarmy 5.5 is “2-3 times faster [than previous releases] for displaying agents and clone agents”.

The Direct Logic system, introduced in Miarmy 5.0 to provide an automated, code-free workflow for setting up simulations, has also been extended to 3D space as well as 2D terrain.

There are also a number of smaller new features, which you can find via the link at the foot of the story.

Pricing and availability
Miarmy 5.5 is available for Maya 2014+ on Windows XP+, Linux and Mac OS X 10.6+.

Although the software was previously available on a rental-only basis, Basefount has now reintroduced perpetual licences, with a node-locked licence costing $2,850 and a site licence $5,250.

Rental remains available, although now for shorter blocks of time, with pricing starting at $1,450/quarter for a node-locked licence or $2,450/quarter for a site licence. See the full range of options here.

Read a full list of new features in Miarmy 5.5 on Basefount’s website