Geometry Tab Overview

The Geometry Tab defines the Golaem Character geometry information, the way the meshes are distributed amongst the Entities and the way they are shaded. Character geometry is defined in two steps:


Golaem Character Maker - Geometry Tab

The information shown in this tab is relative to the Character File displayed in the active tab of the Main Workspace. To start using the Geometry Tab you have to either load a Character File (.gcha) or load a skeleton from a Maya joint hierarchy (see Skeleton Tab).

Geometry Toolbar

Import Geometry

Imports the selected geometry from Maya to the Character Maker. This includes Shading Groups, Shader Assets and Shader Attributes. Maya Groups get translated as Asset Group Nodes. If an Asset Group Node has more than one Asset Group Node as children, it is automatically weighted.

If nodes with the same name are present in the Character Maker, the user is prompted to either keep the existing assets or replace them.


Reset Shaders Resets the Shading Groups, Shader Assets and Shader Attributes of the selected nodes (or all the nodes if nothing is selected). 

Show in Maya When checked, a node selected in the Character Maker is also selected in Maya if a match is found.



Importing Geometry Assets from Maya

Geometry Assets

Geometry Assets are illustrated as nodes in a graph in the Main Workspace. They represent all the available assets (meshes and shaders) on a character. The way these assets are organized determines the appearance and visual diversity of the Golaem characters at render time. It is strongly recommended to check the Geometry Character Prerequisites before defining the assets of a Character. 


Assets Character created from a Maya Character

It is important to notice that ONLY the names of the meshes and the shaders are stored in the Character File and not the actual geometry or the shading graph. Geometry will be stored in a FBX or GCG file (see the Character Node) and the shading graph in the Maya scene. More here.

The available Geometry Assets are listed in the Asset Nodes view (see below).

Asset Nodes View

This view provides access to the all the available asset nodes. To use a node, drag and drop it into the Main Workspace


Golaem Character Maker - Asset Nodes View

Character Node This is the root node for all the geometry assets. There must be one and only one Character Node. All other geometry asset nodes must be connected (directly or indirectly) to this node in order to be taken into account.

Asset Group Node An Asset Group Node represents a group of assets. An Asset Group can contain any number of Asset Groups or mesh assets. If an Asset Group is weighted, only one of its child nodes will be chosen at render time according to the asset group's weights, otherwise all of its child nodes will be chosen. An Asset Group node can only be connected to another Asset Group node or to the Character Node.

Mesh Asset Node A Mesh Asset directly represents a Maya mesh associated to the Character. A Mesh Asset node can only be connected to an Asset Group node. It can contain one or more Shading Group nodes.

Shading Group Node A Shading Group Node represents the name of the shading group applied on a mesh of the rendered geometry. Each Mesh Asset node can have one or more Shading Group nodes attached to it. A Shading Group node can only be connected to a Mesh Asset node. Depending on the renderer, Maya must contain either the shading group or its shaders, otherwise the corresponding meshes will be rendered with the default shader (for more info, see the rendering workflow). Shading Group nodes can also contain one or more Shader Attribute nodes.

Shader Asset Node A Shader Asset Node represents the name of the shader applied on a mesh of the rendered geometry. A Shader Asset node can only be connected to a Shading Group node. Depending on the renderer, Maya must contain either the shading group or its shaders, otherwise the corresponding meshes will be rendered with the default shader (for more info, see the rendering workflow). 

Shader Attribute Node Shader Attribute nodes are used to pass random or PP attribute controlled values to the shading graph. These values can be retrieved by using the user data shaders provided for each renderer (for more info, see the rendering workflow). 

Rendering Types Panel

Rendering Type

Rendering Types determine how the Geometry Assets are distributed to Golaem Characters, thus defining their appearance and creating visual diversity. Rendering Types allow to define populations or groups of entities by adjusting weights on Geometry Assets, describing the likeliness  of their occurrence. 


Example of Rendering Types created from a Crowd Character

Once defined, Rendering Types can be assigned to Entity Types. To understand the relationship of Rendering Types with other Golaem Crowd types, it is strongly recommended to visit the Main Concepts page for a practical example.


Relationship between Crowd Characters, Rendering Types & Entity Types

Note that you can create as many Rendering Types as you'd like for a same Character. They will all use the same set of Geometry Assets, as defined in the Main Workspace. If no Rendering Type is defined, the default weights defined in the Main Workspace will be used.

A Rendering Type defines the weights of all the weighted Asset Group nodes. 


Golaem Character Maker - Rendering Types View

Each Rendering Type is displayed as a tree containing all the Asset Group nodes of the Character. Weighted Asset Group nodes display the weight of each of their child nodes (see figure above). Groups with weights that are different from their default weights (overridden weights) are displayed in green.

Child Rendering Type

A Child Rendering Type is a copy of its parent Rendering Type which allows to modify only some of its weights and leave the other weights identical to the parents'. It can be viewed as a variation of a Rendering Type. Groups that override weights in a Child Rendering Type are displayed in green. 

In the example below, the Child Rendering Type CrowdManLightSummer has the same assets as its parent Rendering Type, CrowdManLight, except for the Undercoat Asset Group where only t-shirts are allowed (sweatshirts set to 0) and the Pants Asset Group where only shorts are allowed (long pants are set to 0).


Child Rendering Type Example

Creating a Rendering Type

Notice that a default Rendering Type is created within each new Character File when its Geometry is exported for the first time. To manually create a Rendering Type, select the Rendering Types item and click the "+" button to create a new Rendering Type, and enter its name in the text dialog.


New Rendering Type dialog

Creating a Child Rendering Type

Select an existing Rendering Type and click on the "+" button to create a new child Rendering Type, and enter its name in the text dialog.


New Child Rendering Type dialog

Removing a Rendering Type

Select the rendering type and click on the "-" button.

Assigning a Rendering Type

In order for a Rendering Type to be used by an Entity Type at render time, it needs to be assigned to it. To assign one or several Rendering Types to an Entity Type, refer to the Entity Type Rendering Attributes.

Rendering Type Context Menu

Right-click on a Rendering Type to open its context menu:


Rendering Type Context Menu

rename Rename the Rendering Type. It's also possible to rename the Rendering Type by clicking on 
duplicate Duplicate the selected Rendering Type, including all its weights
set weights to 0 Set the weights of the all Rendering Type's Asset Groups to 0
set weights to 50 Set the weights of the all Rendering Type's Asset Groups to 50

Asset Group Context Menu

set weights to 0 Set the weights of the Asset Group to 0
set weights to 50 Set the weights of the Asset Group to 50
remove weight override Removes the weight overrides from the selected Asset Group in the Rendering Type. Only applies for weighted Asset Groups that redefine weights (either the Asset Group redefines the default weights in a top level Rendering Type or it redefines weights of a parent Rendering Type in a child Rendering Type). 

Item Selection

Selecting an item in the Rendering Types panel will also select it in the Main Workspace. Weights that are overridden by the selected Rendering Type are displayed as green arrows in the Main Workspace