News

Golaem Crowd 3.2, Bring Out The Painter In You

Golaem Crowd 3.2 introduces a Crowd Paint Tool enabling artists to place their characters and control their behaviors (Character Attributes, Triggers and Navigation) with a simple brush.

Intuitive and Powerful Paint Tool

  • Placement: place characters by painting them on the ground, while controlling their density with color. 
  • Character Attributes: paint character attributes to control their behaviors and their appearances.
  • Zone Triggers: paint color zones on your terrain to activate/deactivate behaviors on your characters.
  • Navigation: control characters path-finding by painting vector fields on the ground.

 

Convincing Crowd Shots in a Few Days

Golaem Crowd is currently used by more than 50 studios all over the world, from one-man shops to established studios like Framestore or Cinesite. Some of their productions have been included in the new Golaem Crowd Showreel, e.g. the “Lipton, Be More Tea” commercial, featuring crowds of Muppets, made by Framestore for the opening of the Academy Awards ceremony.
 
 
Golaem Crowd 3.2 benefits from these users’ feedback and integrate lots of usability improvements as well as new behavior operators (delay, loop, script). 
 
Golaem Crowd is more and more open. Simulation caches can be loaded directly in Maya for editing them or adding FX on top. Code samples are also provided for loading them directly inside studios proprietary tools, and the  MEL/Python API is growing.
 
This focus on ease of use and interoperability is what enables Golaem Crowd customers to nail down pipeline integration very quickly, have their artists send shots for review in a few days and make producers & clients relax.
 
Golaem Crowd is available either through
  • rental (1500 EUR for 3 months)
  • permanent license (4999 EUR including 1 year of support & upgrade)

Both are floating licenses, enable to render on an unlimited number of nodes for free, and come with a contemporary ready-to-use Character Pack. Maintenance & Support Subscription (875 EUR/year) enables permanent licensees to benefits from all upgrades including major versions.

For more information about Golaem Crowd:
 

 

 


Golaem Crowd 3.1, visual debug and Arnold mtoa 1.x

Golaem just released a new update for its crowd simulation plugin for Maya. Golaem Crowd 3.1 now enables to visually follow the execution of characters behaviors in the Behavior Editor.


Behavior Live Visual Debug

The Golaem Crowd Behavior Editor makes it simple to describe elaborate behaviors by drag'n'dropping a few built-in behaviors and connecting them to each others. It is now directly linked with the Maya viewport and can display which behaviors or motions the selected character is running. It makes it easier than ever to build behaviors and identify unexpected behaviors or wrong configuration.

Arnold Mtoa 1.x Compatibility

Golaem Crowd is now compatible with Arnold 4.3 + mtoa 1.x. Golaem Crowd has been used together with Arnold on several productions for commercials, movies and animation. The most recent work being the Nike commercial done by Framestore for the launch of Brazil World Cup 2014 kit. 

In his testimonial about this project, Robert Harrington, CG Lead at Framestore concludes “Our small, controlled team turned the 3D work around in a few weeks, and whilst that does take planning, it was also entirely feasible, renderable and predictable... and that says a lot about how capable Golaem is.”
 

 


Framestore Creates Brazilian Crowds for Nike

Framestore was responsible for all visual effects in the last Nike commercial for  the launch of Brazil World Cup 2014 kit. The team used Golaem Crowd to populate the stadium with 40 000 people.
 
The Nike - Dare to be Brazilian campaign reminds us that “Nobody plays like Brazil”. It features Brazilian All Stars and loads of visual effects including giant players, cartoon style action… and the crowd as the 12th player. According to VFX Supervisor William Bartlett, the challenge of this production was to produce a huge range of work in a very short time.
 

 
The commercial used a combination of 2D and 3D crowds. The 2D crowds had been created with live-action sprites filmed on location, and as these were obviously locked into certain lighting/motions scenarios, they naturally became the target for the Golaem crowd to match.
 
CG Lead, Robert Harrington, explains “We knew the size of the audience on screen meant we didn't need particularly complicated clothing geometry, but their appearance did need some textural noise. With this in mind we created a lot of textural variations, both for clothes and skin (everyone loves some face-paint), and connected them to the Golaem Crowd procedural shaders for randomization. It was a predictably straight-forward workflow (which is good).”
 
“The character asset was lookdev'd in the same way we do all our work, and despite the specific Golaem Crowd asset management workflow, it fitted easily into our pipeline. The end result was, once you had the shaders in the final lighting scene, it just became a typical Arnold mtoa rendering workflow”.
 
  
 
Concerning crowd simulation itself: “The scene-population followed the equally-predictable stadium workflow.  Using some recce-photos, we made a proxy model of the stadium with one face per seat-area and enough geometry for generally-correct shadow casting. It was then easily populated using the Golaem Crowd Population Tool.”  
 
“From here, the last thing to solve was the motion capture.  We generated numerous Golaem Crowd motion clips from our stadium-like motion capture. The motions themselves were not looping but were quite long, meaning we could configure Golaem Crowd to randomize each character's start frame whilst also not reaching the end of a motion during a shot. We then studied the adjoining 2D shots, creating the characters’ behaviour by connecting various clips to a random operator (along with some trigger events here and there) and giving different weights until the variety of motions blended enough.”
 
Finally, shots were rendered using Arnold together with the Golaem Crowd procedural plugin: “Render memory usage varied depending on certain factors, but it was not uncommon to be rendering 18,000 people and only use 7GB of memory.” 
 
Robert Harrington concludes “Our small, controlled team turned the 3D work around in a few weeks, and whilst that does take planning, it was also entirely feasible, renderable and predictable... and that says a lot about how capable Golaem is.”

Golaem Crowd 3, unleash your imagination

Golaem Crowd is used by an increasing number of studios (including industry leaders like Double Negative or Framestore) to easily give life to commercials, movies, TV shows and games. It recently helped Stargate Digital to create a massive horde of “walkers” for the acclaimed The Walking Dead TV Show. This new update enables artists to simulate any type of character: human, horses, birds, or imaginary creatures…
 

 

Control any Type of Characters

The new Golaem Crowd Character Maker handles any type of characters: bipeds, quadrupeds and n-peds. It supports any custom skeleton description  and has been successfully tested with various industry standards ( Human IK, 3DSMax biped, Rocket Box, Daz3D, Pinocchio, Advanced Skeleton…).
 
The Golaem Crowd Character Maker can also automatically edit your motion capture data and make them cycle perfectly while preserving animation.
 
 

Do More with Less Work

Powered by a revamped animation engine, Golaem Crowd 3.0 helps to save time and work at each step of the production. Because most cumbersome tasks are automated, artists can now focus on what they do best: being creative.
 
Golaem Crowd procedurally generate new motions by mirroring motions, mixing them together or automatically retargeting them to various character size/morphology, hence dramatically reducing the amount of motions to be produced. 
 
Built-in behaviors automatically choose motions depending on character speed or orientation, adapts feet to the ground (matching closely the ground geometry), or make a character look at a given target or aim at something with a gun. 
 
Last but not least, Golaem Crowd now allows to enable or disable physics simulation at any time, at the character level, or even at limbs level in order to mix physics simulation with animation.
 
 

Control Birds and Fishes with the Flock Behaviors

Together with automatic 3D placement, Golaem Crowd provides new behaviors for controlling flock of birds or school of fishes with unmatched performances: interactive with 10 000 birds and geometry preview. The flock can wander in a given zone, seek targets or flee dangers. 
 
 

Validate Your Work Before Even Pressing the Render Button

To speed up shots creation and validation, Golaem Crowd proposes a new interactive previzualisation  of the crowd simulation, including geometry diversity, directly in Maya viewport. 
 
 
 
For more information about Golaem Crowd:

Mikros Image uses Golaem Crowd to populates a stadium for Orange

Watch how Golaem Crowd helps a dad to make his son a soccer star.

Notice the characters diversity, as well as the flags they are holding. These flags have been animated thanks to the Geometry Behavior, recently added in Golaem Crowd.