Crowd Render Proxy

The Crowd Render Proxy is a Maya node which, when a rendering is launched with a rendering engine supported by Golaem, automatically renders Crowd Entities in the Maya Scene based on the exported Simulation Cache and the layers applied through the Simulation Cache Layout. The Crowd Render Proxy is attached to a Simulation Cache Proxy and what is displayed by this latter node is what will be rendered (what you see in what you get).

Compatible versions of rendering engines can be checked in the Supported Rendering Engine section of each version of the Release Notes.

To enable rendering, Golaem must be set in Cache Replay Mode.

Creation

The Crowd Render Proxy node is automatically created at same time than a Simulation Cache Proxy and is attached to it as a dependency node:

Configuration

If the Crowd Render Proxy is created along with a Simulation Cache Proxy, most of the following parameters are automatically filled at its creation but are editable if needed (if connections are removed).

General Attributes

Enable If checked, the exported Simulation Cache setup in the Simulation Attributes will be rendered. By default, a Crowd Render Proxy is enabled when Golaem is set to Cache Replay Mode.

Time Attributes

Frame Current frame to render

Simulation Attributes

In Driver Node WIP
Crowd Fields Name of the Crowd Fields to render. Separate the names with ;
Cache Name Name of the Simulation Cache to render
Cache File Dir Directory from where the Simulation Cache files have been exported
Character Files File paths of the Character Files (.gcha) used to export the Simulation Cache (i.e. the Character Files loaded in each Entity Type node).

Simulation Layout Attributes

Enable Layout If checked, the result of the deformation layers contained in the specified Layout file will be applied on the rendered Entities
Layout Name Name of the Layout file (.gscl) to apply to the render. The applied Layout file can be changed using the Simulation Cache Layout Tool
Cache File Dir Directory from where the Layout file is read. The applied Layout file can be changed using the Simulation Cache Layout Tool
Terrain File File path to the terrain geometry on which the Entities will be adapted when applying the deformations stored in the Layout File at render time. If none is specified, Entities will be adapted to the simulation Terrain.

Render Stats Attributes

Motion Blur Attributes

Depending on the used rendering engine, some parameters may not be evaluated from this node but from the rendering engine global settings. Thus, it is advised to use the Auto Compute Motion Blur Parameters button to define the correct values.

Motion Blur If checked, it enables motion blur on the rendered characters (if the rendering engine motion blur is activated as well)
Motion Blur Start Start frame for the motion blur window, relative to the current frame
Motion Blur Window Size Size of the motion blur window, in number of frames
Motion Blur Samples Number of motion blur samples
Auto Compute Motion Blur Fill the four attribute values above based on the currently used rendering engine values.

It is possible to check which Simulation Cache frames get sampled when computing motion blur by changing the Render Log Level to Info

Frustum Culling Attributes

Enable Frustum Cullin See the Crowd Manager Rendering Attributes
Frustum Margin See the Crowd Manager Rendering Attributes
Camera Margin See the Crowd Manager Rendering Attributes

Advanced Attributes

Object ID Base Start Number for the Object ID pass
Object ID Mode

Mode for the Object ID pass. Several modes are available:

  • Object: one id per Entity Mesh Object
  • Shader: one id per Mesh Shader
  • Mesh: one id per Mesh
  • Entity: one id per Entity
  • Entity Type: one id per Entity Type
  • Character File: one id per Character File (gcha)
  • CrowdField: one id per Crowd Field
  • All: one id for all (i.e. Object ID Base, see above)


Reference, Object mode, Shader mode, Mesh mode, Entity mode, EntityType mode, Character File mode, Crowdfield mode, All mode

Log Level Golaem Render log level
Render Entity Percent Only render a given percent of entities to save render time.
Enable Rigid Meshes Instancing

Prerequisite : using RenderMan compliant, Arnold or Mental Ray renderers. VRay is only partially supported, when NOT using motion blur. It should be totally supported in the future.

For each rigid meshes (those skinned to one bone, or parented to a bone, and without vertex cache or blendshapes), the render proxy will build only one complete object definition, and will instantiate it via different transforms and shaders. When using rigid meshes, this saves a lot of memory at render time.

Dirmap Rules Current dirmap rules to relocate Geometry file (.fbx or .gcg) absolute paths stored in the Character Files (.gcha) at render time.
Temp File Dir Environment variable containing the directory where the temporary VRScene file (for V-Ray) or RIB file (for Renderman & 3Delight) is saved (see "Integration with the Rendering Engine")

Arnold Attributes

Those Attributes are the same attributes than Arnold standin ones. More information here.

Subdivision Attributes

The Subdivision Attributes are the same attributes than Arnold ones. More information here.

VRay Attributes

Subdivision Attributes

Those attributes are the same than the regular VRay Subdivision Attributes.

Subdivision And Displacement Quality Attributes

Those attributes are the same than the regular VRay Subdivision And Displacement Attributes.

Advanced Attributes

In Lights Lights which will influence the rendered characters. If none, all the lights will be taken into account
Temp File Dir See above
Export to vrscene When not empty, export the expanded crowd procedural in a vrscene file per frame, at the end of each frame render. The frame number is appended to the vrscene file path. This is an experimental feature and only works when Rigid Mesh Instancing is disabled (see global Advanced Attributes above).

3ds Max Render Attributes

The following attributes are only useful when rendering Golaem Crowd Simulation Caches in 3ds Max with V-Ray. Please check the related tutorial for more information about rendering in 3ds Max.

VRScene Files Export Dir Directory in which the 3ds Max related .vrscene files will be exported (see the tutorial)
VRScene Export Mode Specify which .vrscene files must be exported. If the Render Proxy attributes (motion blur, cache name...) have changed, export the Crowd vrscene. If the Crowd shaders have changed, export the Shaders vrscene.
Delete Temp VRScene Files If checked, all temp .vrscene files generated by V-Ray when exporting the shaders will be deleted. Those temp files are not required within 3ds Max.
Export 3ds Max VrScenes Files Exports the 3ds Max related .vrscene files according to the parameters above (see the tutorial)

Renderman Attributes

Subdivision Attributes

Those attributes are the same than the regular Renderman Subdivision Attributes.

Advanced Attributes

Crowd BBox Min Crowd RIB Archive min bounding box
Crowd BBox Max Crowd RIB Archive max bounding box
Temp File Dir See above

Katana Render Attributes

The following attributes are only useful when rendering Golaem Crowd Simulation Caches in Katana with Renderman Studio 19 and above. It exports the Crowd related .rib files.

Rib Files Export Dir Directory in which the Katana related .rib files will be exported
Rib Export Mode Specify which .rib files must be exported. If the Render Proxy attributes (motion blur, cache name...) have changed, export the Crowd rib. If the Crowd shaders have changed, export the Shaders rib.
Delete Temp Rib Files If checked, all temp .rib files generated by Renderman Studio when exporting the shaders will be deleted. Those temp files are not required within Katana.
Export Katana Rib Files Exports the Katana related .rib files according to the parameters above

3Delight Attributes

Advanced Attributes

Crowd BBox Min Crowd RIB Archive min bounding box
Crowd BBox Max Crowd RIB Archive max bounding box
Temp File Dir See above

Default Shading

If a Shader Group listed in the Geometry part of a Character is not found at render time, a default Shader is assigned. The default shader corresponds to the shader assigned to the Crowd Render Proxy:

Integration with the Rendering Engine

Common

When a Crowd Render Proxy is created it adds four MEL/Python Callbacks in the scene Render Settings. Depending on the rendering engine; those callbacks create objects / files which will be handling the rendering of the specified simulation. When rendering is done, all created objects, attributes are deleted and reinitialized.

Arnold

At render time, the Crowd Render Proxy creates an Arnold Standin and set its Ai User Options. The Standin is deleted when the rendering is done.

It also adds an environment variable value to the Arnold Procedural Search Path parameter:

When the rendering starts, the Arnold Plugin should display the following line in the render log:

GolaemCrowdArnoldPlugin - 4.1.2.0 - Release 4.1.2 of 2015/07/31 - Golaem Crowd Arnold Plugin. Copyright (C) Golaem S.A. All Rights Reserved.

V-Ray

At render time, the MEL/Python Callbacks reads the parameters of the Crowd Render Proxy, creates a .vrscene file in the Temp File Dir and appends it to the global vrscene. The append command is added to the Post Translate Python Script of the V-Ray Settings:

Details about the generated .vrscene file can be found here.

When the rendering starts, the V-Ray Plugin should display the following line in the render log:

GolaemCrowdVrayPlugin - 4.1.2.0 - Release 4.1.2 of 2015/07/31 - Golaem Crowd Vray Plugin. Copyright (C) Golaem S.A. All Rights Reserved.

Mental Ray

When the rendering starts, the Mental Ray Proxy should display the following line in the render log:

GolaemCrowdMentalRayPlugin - 4.1.2.0 - Release 4.1.2 of 2015/07/31 - Golaem Crowd Mental Ray Plugin. Copyright (C) Golaem S.A. All Rights Reserved.

Renderman

At render time, the MEL/Python Callbacks reads the parameters of the Crowd Render Proxy, creates a RIB file in the Temp File Dir and writes the resulting append command in the Pre Shape MEL attribute of the Crowd Render Proxy. Details about the generated RIB files can be found here.

3Delight

At render time, the MEL/Python Callbacks reads the parameters of the Crowd Render Proxy, creates a RIB file in the Temp File Dir, creates a RIB Archive Node and fills it with the RIB Filename. The RIB Archive Node is deleted when the rendering is done.

Not Supported Rendering Features

The following rendering features are not supported yet by the Crowd Render Proxy:

  • Displacement Maps (not supported with Mental Ray only)
  • Multi UVSets
  • Volume Shaders

If some of these features interests you, tell us here.