News

Golaem Crowd 2.0 is out!

Golaem sets new standards for crowd simulation in terms of performances and usability by releasing the new version of its plugin for Autodesk Maya : Golaem Crowd 2.0 at Siggraph 2012 Los Angeles.

On top of increased productivity, Golaem Crowd has a quicker than ever learning curve. Maya artists will be able to create crowd shots themselves or to test the assets they produce before giving them to TDs, hence strengthening the team efficiency.

Discover all the new features and the recently added Maya procedural rendering plugins in the Golaem Crowd 2.0 preview video.

 

Creating behaviors as easy as a drag’n drop

No need to learn complex artificial intelligence concepts, Golaem Crowd 2.0 provides an easy way to build new characters behaviors.

  • Behavior Editor: create and assemble sophisticated behaviors with this new graphical editor.
  • New Triggers: control behaviors with frame number, volumetric triggers, or Python scripting...

 

New ready-to-use behaviors

Golaem Crowd also comes with new behaviors, helping to achieve more in less time.

  • Ragdoll Behavior: simulate falling or exploding characters in a snap
  • Formations Behavior: keep character’s formation shape while navigating
  • Enhanced LookAt & IK behaviors: get greater control on characters

 

Speeding up production

Whether to scale to thousands of character or simply to reduce artists’ waiting time, speed is critical to crowd simulation. Golaem Crowd 2.0 enables artists to get results and previzualisation quicker than ever.

  • Multithread & Optimization: Golaem Crowd 2.0 is up to 15x quicker thanks to its new multithreaded and optimized simulation engine.
  • GPU Character Previzualisation: preview simulation with skinned meshes proxies directly in the Maya viewport.
  • Faster Navmesh Computation Method: compute navmesh at the speed of light (from several minutes to a few seconds depending on the terrain)

 

For more information about Golaem® Crowd:


Golaem Crowd now offers procedural rendering directly in Maya Render Window

Already compatible in batch mode with the major renderers, Golaem Crowd now offers, with Golaem Crowd 1.5, its lightning fast crowd rendering directly inside the Maya render window, for Mental Ray, V-Ray and Renderman.

 
Being able to render directly in Maya enables artists to check the results of their crowd scene more easily and quickly. They can now experiment with their shaders configuration or the automatic assets repartition provided by Golaem Crowd and see results in a snap. 
Studios not using the standalone version of their renderer, can now, at last, benefit from an efficient rendering method for crowds.
 


Why is procedural rendering the best method to render crowds?

Procedural Rendering consists in NOT exporting the characters baked geometry (thus wasting significant time, storage space). Instead, only reference geometries, assets repartition and animation poses are exported to a particle cache. The characters geometry is reconstructed at rendering time using Golaem Crowd procedural rendering plugins, available for the major renderers.
 
Sébastien Eballard, Lead Animator at Mathematic Studio, used Golaem Crowd to populate the Warsaw stadium with thousands of cheering people in the last Euro 2012 Orange commercial. 
 

 
He adds “another advantage of procedural rendering is that the particle cache being independent from the scene and its environment, it is really efficient to experiment with the lighting or cameras.”
 
Read the user testimonial in its full extent here.
 

What’s next?

Golaem Crowd 1.5 is the latest version of the 1.x family. Golaem will launch Golaem Crowd 2.0 at Siggraph 2012 Exhibition in Los Angeles, 7-9 August. This new version includes tons of new features as well as up to 15x simulation performances increase.
 
For more information about Golaem® Crowd:

 


Golaem ships Golaem Crowd 1.4, including Mental Ray procedural rendering

Golaem announces the latest update to Golaem Crowd, the crowd simulation software for Autodesk Maya. Golaem Crowd 1.4 includes support for Mental Ray procedural rendering, geometry instancing, as well many others improvements.


Golaem Crowd has recently been used by award-winning Zoic Studios to meet the timing and quality challenge of crowds in episodic productions. According to Mike Romey, Pipeline Supervisor, “Golaem Crowd allowed us to speed up production and meet our clients visual and cost expectations. Artists quickly flock to Golaem Crowd because of its complementary interface to Maya and ease of use.”


Mental Ray Support

On top of Pixar Renderman, V-Ray and Renderman compatible renderers, Golaem Crowd 1.4 now brings its fast crowd rendering techniques to studios using Mental Ray, thanks to native .mi files export and a dedicated procedural rendering plugin.


Both Mental Ray standalone and Mental Ray for Maya are supported.


Geometry Instancing

Golaem Crowd 1.4 brings the ability to declare characters as geometry instances in order to allow rendering thousands of entities with amazing performances.

French award-winning VFX studio Mikros Image used this new Geometry Instancing technique to fill a stadium in the last Nissan Juke commercial. When asked about Golaem Crowd, Christophe Huchet, VFX Producer says “The shots were very short, with a blurry background (because of motion blur, or just to put more emphasis on the Nissan Juke), so we had to make the stadium population process very simple and straightforward”. Guillaume Parra, VFX artist adds “Depending on shots, we had to generate between 5 000 and 12 000 characters. I was amazed by how fast it is to render using procedural rendering, and how easy it is to set up a shot once assets are ready. I am thrilled to try next Golaem Crowd releases”.

To push limits even further, Mikros Image R&D team created this demonstration video where 120K characters team up to create the Golaem logo

Golaem Crowd 1.4 bug fixes and improvements are detailed in the release notes.

Golaem Crowd is compatible with Autodesk Maya 2011, 2012 and 2013 for Windows and Linux.

For more information about Golaem Crowd:


Zoic Studios gears up for Crowd Simulation with Golaem Crowd

 

Zoic Studios is an award-winning digital studio involved in producing high-end visual effects and animation for feature films, episodic television, commercials, video games and interactive media. Spanning from visual effects, to live action production and specialty shooting, Zoic Studios’ imprint can be seen on V, CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, Fringe, or True Blood.  Zoic Studios has offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Read Zoic Studios Pipeline Supervisor's interview to learn how Zoic Studios speed up their productions and meet our clients visual and cost expectations with Golaem Crowd!


Render your crowds on the Cloud

Pixar announced today the availability of their new cloud rendering service called "RenderMan® On Demand™." (see their press release). Developed in collaboration with pioneering cloud services provider GreenButton, this service is now available on Microsoft's Windows® Azure with Linux availability following later in 2012.

The good news is that, as we were lucky enough to beta-test it, Golaem Crowd is readily available with this service! See our complete use case showing how easy and powerful it is.

Quoted in Pixar's press release, Nicolas Chaverou, Golaem Crowd Product Manager, confirms how convenient and powerful RenderMan® On Demand™ is: "Working within a tight deadline has always been difficult especially when rendering animation at the very last minute. In spite of the time difference, the process was very straightforward, asset upload and distribution on the Cloud, and 54 minutes of Cloud Rendering later it was in a wrap instead of the 20 days it would have otherwise required. Magic! In addition, GreenButton provided great support including feedback about improving our pipeline."

 

Last but not least, the video we made to demonstrate the service was chosen by CG Channel (here) and fxguide (here) to illustrate their article about Pixar annoucement . Thanks guys!