News

Golaem 5, Digital Extras At Your Fingertips

Golaem releases Golaem 5, introducing the Layout Tool, a post-simulation edition tool based on Maya manipulators.

Golaem is widely used in the visual effects industry for animating massive scale scenes, like tens of thousands of supporters cheering for you in Guitar Hero Live, or huge armies fighting for the control of the Seven Kingdoms in Game Of Thrones. On top of facilitating the retake workflow for this kind of scenes, the new Layout Tool helps artists to populate smaller scenes where little to no AI is needed but artistic control is key.
 
 

Layout Tool, retake Golaem characters with Maya tools

Golaem 5 enables artists to take control of their simulations results and modify them in a post-simulation step without going back to square one.

Manipulate simulated characters
Simulated Characters can be transformed simply by using the Maya translate, rotate and scale tools and duplicate / kill functions. Artists do not need to care about snapping characters to the ground as it is still automatically done by Golaem.

Edit characters appearance or simply “be lucky”
To add variations, the characters’ props and shading can be randomized or manually hand-picked using the Character Palette.

Retime animation
Animation can be offsetted in time or have its speed increased/decreased. Artists can then easily match their characters timing with an external element or add animation variations on duplicated characters.

Manually offset or edit animation
Artists can also quickly edit postures directly from the simulation layout tool, or import a complete character skeleton to manually animate it.

Change your mind anytime
Because the Layout Tool works as a layer on top of the simulation, it is very quick and all modifications are cancellable or customizable at any time in the History Stack.

Nicolas Chaverou, Golaem Product Manager, explains his vision about the new Golaem Layout Tool: “Getting the last 10% of a shot right can take 90% of the time. It is especially true with crowd simulation. Being able to edit simulations results is a game changer, as it enables artists to immediately answer supervisors’ or director’s requests.”
 
He adds “Before, artists had to go back to the beginning of the workflow to move a character a bit, simulate, re-export everything... All this without even being sure if the modification will be validated or not. Now they can just select a character, translate it left, and it is done! They can see the result at once thanks to Golaem advanced viewport previsualization.”
 

Golaem Layout, now everyone can play with digital extras

To facilitate its adoption in studios workflows, the Layout Tool is also available as a separate product called Golaem Layout. Golaem Layout is a cheaper version of Golaem, stripped of simulation capabilities, and allowing users to visualize and edit existing characters simulations results.
 
This new product will allow studios to envision a different work organization and workflow when dealing with digital extras.


War and peace, visual effects by BlueBolt
 
Artists from other departments (e.g. lighting, fx…), or partner studios, can now get a full previsualization of the simulated characters directly in their viewport without the need of a full license.
 
Senior artists can focus on creating simulations, while new or junior artists will layout shots and perform retakes. A single walking soldier can quickly be duplicated and modified to get a full walking army in formation.
 
Last but not least, Golaem Layout enables studios to build a simulations library and quickly reuse them. For example, a few casual passers-by can be loaded and re-positioned to populate streets in different projects.
 

Special launch discount

Golaem and Golaem Layout rental licenses are available with a 50% discount until March 21st.
  • Golaem (including the Layout Tool) starts from 325 EUR/month (instead of 650 EUR)
  • Golaem Layout starts from 65 EUR/month (instead of 130 EUR)
Get all pricing information on http://buy.golaem.com
Evaluate free for 30 days on http://evaluate.golaem.com
 

Learn More

The Layout Tool and other new features in Golaem 5 are detailed in the following introduction videos

Layout Tool
Manipulate and customize simulated characters
Assets Variations
Use the new nodal Character Maker to create characters variations
Trigger Editor
Create advanced conditions for starting/stopping behaviors
Blind Data
Attach your own data to control custom shading, muscles...

Motion Retargeting for Crowd Simulation, our DigiPro 2015 paper

We were delighted to present Golaem Crowd motion retargeting techniques at ACM DigiPro 2015 this summer. Today we are sharing our full paper as well as slides and videos. You should definitely check the other amazing DigiPro 2015 presentations by Pixar, Dreamworks, ILM and Iloura which are available on the ACM Digital Library.

Amongst the various tools embedded in Golaem Crowd, it includes a dedicated character animation engine. Golaem Crowd animation engine allows real-time motion retargeting as well as interactive motion synchronization and blending.

For this talk, we detailed the Golaem Crowd motion retargeting workflow, as well as its features and how it helps solving production constraints by reducing the number of assets to create and by facilitating the reuse of assets.

Indeed, in a crowd simulation context, motion retargeting has several benefits. A same motion can be used for several character morphologies helping to reduce the number of motions to capture, process or create. It also allows reusing motions created for a specific character, in a previous show, on a new character.

Here are the slides and videos from our talk:

 
Learn more:

 


Meet the Golaem Team at Siggraph / DigiPro 2015

The Golaem team will attend both DigiPro and Siggraph this year. We will be happy to meet you there and hear about your next crowd challenges. Do not miss the live demos on booth #737!

We are excited to show you the latest productions done with Golaem Crowd 4 (Game Of Thrones, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, ...), our new integrations (3dsMax+V-Ray, Renderman 19/20, Guerilla Render, Katana...). You will also get a chance to see the latest features we have been working on. They are going to revolutionize the way you do crowds!

DigiPro

Motion Retargeting for Crowds


Get a technical overview of the Golaem Crowd motion retargeting workflow and how it helps reduce the amount of assets in your production.

Saturday, 8th  9:45am - 11:25am
Beaudry Theater, Los Angeles Center Studios

More on DigiPro Website

Siggraph

Meet with our Team


Meet the Golaem Crowd Product Manager and our developers to get a live demo of the latest features in Golaem Crowd.

Tuesday 11th - Thursday 13th
Siggraph Exhibition floor, booth #737

Book an appointment

Golaem User Group

Meet with people creating crowds


Get together with Golaem Crowd users and people interested in crowds while enjoying free food and drinks.

Monday 10th 6 - 9pm
Ask your favorite Golaem guy for an invitation
 

 


Golaem Releases V-Ray Crowd Rendering Plugin for 3ds Max

VRayGolaem for 3ds Max Extends Production-Quality Crowd Rendering to New VFX and Game Studios; Joint Development with Chaos Group
 

Today, Golaem announces VRayGolaem for 3ds Max, a free plug-in that brings V-Ray’s production rendering power to a new set of Golaem Crowd users.

Already a fixture of the VFX scene, Golaem Crowd is known for crowd simulations that can exceed 100,000 characters, all while exhibiting high amounts of diversity. Now the same high-quality crowds that VFX and game studios create in Autodesk Maya can be rendered in 3ds Max.

Procedural Rendering

Co-developed with Chaos Group, VRayGolaem for 3ds Max’s rendering workflow hinges on a combination of Golaem’s proprietary simulation cache technology and V-Ray scene files. Unlike other solutions, character geometry is not exported, but recomputed from simulation cache before being sent to V-Ray. This process makes exporting incredibly fast and reduces the size of all exported files by 99%. All shaders and assets distribution can be tweaked at any time, removing the need for re-caching that can make the creation process slow and inconvenient.

Native V-Ray features

Designed to replicate a native V-Ray workflow, the VRayGolaem for 3ds Max plugin supports all V-Ray 3.0 features such as 3D motion blur, render elements, subdivision and more. All scenes translate as simple V-Ray proxy objects, keeping rendering speeds fast and efficient.

3ds Max Viewport Display

To further simplify layout and lighting steps, VRayGolaem for 3ds Max can display the crowd characters’ bounding box in the 3ds Max viewport without slowing it down. Additionally, thanks to a proxy node, artists will be able to control every aspect of how their crowds are rendered without having to go back into Maya.

Nicolas Chaverou, Golaem Crowd Product Manager, comments: “We are thrilled to deliver an efficient way of rendering crowds to 3ds Max users. Artists can now get the most out of V-Ray 3.0 inside their package of choice, without having to rely on heavy workarounds. We have been in touch with several first-class studios using 3ds Max and V-Ray; they are really excited!”

The VRayGolaem for 3ds Max plugin is available now, for free. Download and installation instructions can be found in Golaem’s support section: http://vray3ds.golaem.com

Learn more:

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group creates physically-based rendering and simulation software for artists and designers. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group has devoted the last 18 years to helping artists advance the speed and quality of one of their most important tools. Today, Chaos Group’s photorealistic rendering software, V-Ray®, has become the rendering engine of choice for many high-profile companies and innovators in the design and visual effects industries.


Golaem Crowd, nominated for CGAwards 2015

We are very proud to announce that Golaem Crowd has been nominated in CGAwards 2015 Plugin Category. Please vote for us so that we can make it to the final shortlist!

Here is what the CGAwards says about Golaem Crowd:

'"If you need crowds in your production, and you want to do it with as few hassles as possible, then Golaem is what you need. It is powerful, flexible, and does what it says on the box. Support is also excellent."


(click the image to go to the CG Awards website)