Character Maker Overview

To be able to do a crowd simulation, three types of assets need to be imported into Golaem Crowd:

  • the character skeleton, stored in a Character File (.gcha)
  • the character geometry, stored in a Character File (.gcha)
  • motion clips, stored in a Motion File (.gmo)
  • the motion mapping (only if you want to play motion clips from skeleton A on skeleton B), stored in a Motion Mapping File (.gmm)

Importing those assets can be done with the Character Maker.

Golaem Crowd uses a dedicated animation engine, which can automatically retarget, blend and mix motions on any kind of morphology. To perform these features, the animation engine uses its own representation of skeletons and motions.

Workflow Overview

Character File (.gcha)

A Character File (.gcha) represents a Character in Golaem Crowd. It can be created from the Character Tab of the Character Maker. Once created, it can be loaded in an Entity Type. It contains:


Character File Workflow Overview

Even if a Character File is made of both skeleton and geometry representations, the geometry representation can be done later in the production (or never if the purpose of the Character File is to assist Motion Conversion (see below)). Geometry representation is only required when exporting the simulation or using the Render Previz display mode in the Entity Type node.

Motion File (.gmo)

A Motion File (.gmo) represents a Motion in Golaem Crowd. It can be created from the Motion Tab of the Character Maker. Once created, it can be loaded in a Motion, SyncMotion or Locomotion behavior. It contains:


Motion File Workflow


Other Motion File Workflow (if the Animated Character Skeleton has already been exported for Golaem Crowd)

Motion Mapping File (.gmm)

A Motion Mapping File (.gmm) allows to map a given character's Skeleton to a motion originating from any other character (any morphology), thus enabling to play that Motion on the character. It also allows to map the blend shapes of the character to the ones of the motion. represents a Motion in Golaem Crowd. It can be created from the Motion Mapping Tab of the Character Maker. Once created, it can be loaded in a Motion, SyncMotion or Locomotion behavior. It contains:


Motion Mapping File Workflow

Launch

  • Golaem Shelf: Character Maker Shelf Icon
  • Golaem Menu: Character Maker
  • MEL/Python command: glmCharacterMakerCmd;

GUI

The Character Maker window is made of 3 main components:

  • Character Maker Toolbar: allows to change the mode of the Character Maker through a combobox: Character, Motion or Motion Mapping. It also contains quick access buttons allowing to open or save the file currently being edited, to change the display or to edit in the Main workspace
  • Side Panel: it changes according to the mode selected in the toolbar:
  • Main Workspace: node-based graphical interface where the Skeleton Mapping, Geometry Assets or Motion Mapping are created or edited

Character Maker Main Window
The Character Maker Main Window

Whenever a character file is loaded, the Character Maker will also create a Character Maker Locator in Maya. The locator displays the Golaem Crowd skeleton and some of its properties, as well as its animation if any, in Maya's viewport, . It also allows to check that the skeleton and animation were loaded and edited correctly.

Character Maker Locator
The Character Maker Locator

Character Maker Tool Bar


Character Maker Tool Bar

Character Maker mode combobox. It allows to change the mode of the Character Maker: Character, Motion or Motion Mapping

Open an existing file. The file type depends on the Character Maker mode (Character file, Motion file or Motion Mapping file).


Save the currently opened file. The file type depends on the Character Maker mode (Character file, Motion file or Motion Mapping file).


Save the currently opened file under a different name. The file type depends on the Character Maker mode (Character file, Motion file or Motion Mapping file).

Real size button, to resize the workspace to the initial size

Link button, to draw link between nodes inside the workspace. It's also possible to drag mouse while holding the middle-button to draw a link

Frame all button, to fit the workspace to all nodes of the current tab

Frame selection button, to fit the workspace to the current selection. Press "F" Key for the same result

Automatic layout button, automatic layout of the workspace nodes

Enable display button, to show or hide the Character Maker Locator in the Maya scene
Enable mirror actions (action made on limbs will be done accordingly on the mirror limb configuration)