Rendering ASS Files
Golaem Crowd provides a plugin to render characters with Arnold.
The plugin is installed under procedurals/ in Golaem Crowd's installation directory.
The file name of the plugin is glmCrowdArnoldPlugin.dll (.so).
Adding Golaem Crowd Characters to a ASS Scene
Golaem Crowd only exports crowd related information in its .ass files. These files must be included in a .ass file describing a complete scene (camera, lights, geometry...).
Here are the steps to follow, from a Maya scene to the final image:
Step 1-Export the Maya Scene to an ASS Scene
This is a standard export using the Arnold plugin for Maya (mtoa.mll).
To export the scene to a .mi file, go to the File Menu / Export All… / Choose "Files of Type": ASS Export.
For better readability, you can uncheck the Use Binary Encoding mode in the settings. Then just hit the "Export All" button to export the ass file.
Step 2-Export the Maya Characters Materials & Shaders to an ASS Scene
This step is necessary for exporting the materials and shaders of your characters. To export the materials & shaders, open your shaded character geometry in Maya and export the scene to a .ass file with the following options (in the Export layout):
Arnold Exporter Settings for materials & shaders
With those settings, only the data related to the materials will be exported. The geometry will be created procedurally (at render time) by the Golaem Crowd Arnold plugin.
As the Golaem Crowd Arnold plugin will use the materials of the characters at render time, this file needs to be appended in the final scene.
Step 3-Render the Scene
Arnold must be configured to load the Golaem Crowd plugin. The easiest way to do this is to add the directory of the Crowd plugin to the system path environment variable.
To render the main Arnold scene file and append the crowd and the material scene files, open a command line in the folder of the batch file and call the batch file with the same parameters as if calling the Arnold standalone executable.
Here's an example:
kick -i mon-scene.ass my-crowd-scene.ass my-materials-scene.ass -l C:/…/mtoa/shaders
Notice that, as there are some third party library incompatibilies between Kick and the Crowd Arnold plugin, it is needed to modify Kick settings. See the Known Issues, and follow the procedure