Working within a tight deadline has always been a bad idea, especially when dealing with rendering: even if your demo is ready decades before your D-Day, you cannot be safe until you've made some rendering tests... and not even talking about crowd to render... So when we realized that each image of our 40sec crowd demo for Siggraph Asia would require 30 minutes of computation, that we only had one node available for rendering and that there were only 10 days before us, we thought something like "oh oh, it's looking pretty bad".
Well, don't misunderstand me, as Golaem Crowd relies on procedural rendering, generating the crowd geometry at render time is really fast and efficient. But you know, rendering engines have always lots to do and increasing the amount of geometry to render, has consequences. Here's an illustration of the apportioning of the rendering time for a frame of our crowd demo (2000 characters, 1080p, motion blur...):
Fortunately for us and for the sake of Siggraph Asia, we have some great partners. While we were preparing ourselves a slipknot, the guys from Pixar Renderman had a brilliant idea: what about sending our demo on the beta Pixar Renderman cloud rendering solution (powered by the great guys at Green Button using Windows Azure)?
54minutes of Cloud Rendering later, it was in a wrap: magic!
On top of that, we were lucky enough to be invited to tell about our epic story and share our experience at the SIGGRAPH Asia 2011 Renderman User Group Meeting (thanks Dylan!). Here are the slides (with some funny pictures and more information about GreenButton Cloud & process). Enjoy it:
Golaem Crowd 1.3 introduces new features and improvements as a result of live user experience and feedback. Last but not least, Golaem is introducing a new pricing structure that will suit any size VFX studio.
Based on a unique Behavior concept, Golaem Crowd enables artists to easily setup a scene without any programming, just by creating a small number of behaviors and configuring when they start and stop.
Available behaviors include playing and blending/mixing motions, reaching a target in the scene, avoiding each other… Golaem Crowd 1.3 comes with two new behaviors:
- IK Behavior: adds a kinematic constraint on a body chain (arms, legs) in order to adapt a motion to a given situation (e.g. point at at target or touch a target )
- Look At Behavior: drives eyes, head and upper body to the wanted direction (e.g. where the ball is, when modeling a soccer stadium).
Taking customers and real-world feedback into account, a lot of improvements have been made to Golaem Crowd 1.3 in order to make user’s life easier, especially concerning the export/render step.
All Golaem Crowd 1.3 bug fixes and improvements are detailed in the Release Notes
Golaem Crowd 1.3 is currently available at the price of 3 499€ (or 4 799$) per floating node. With small and medium studios in mind, Golaem also offers fixed term licenses, see our full pricing page for details.
For more information about Golaem Crowd :
Golaem announces Golaem Crowd 1.2, the latest update to its crowd simulation software for Autodesk Maya. Golaem Crowd 1.2 includes support for V-Ray rendering engine, support for Disney Partio particles format, and waypoint navigation.
V-Ray Rendering Engine
Golaem Crowd 1.2 now support Chaos Group V-Ray rendering engine by generating .vrscene files for the characters and providing a dedicated procedural plugin.
Take a look at our showcase video
In order to support industry standards and improve performances, Golaem Crowd is now using Disney Partio as its particle format.
Golaem Crowd characters can now navigate by using a route, defined as a list of waypoints points. You have the control back, while still getting the benefits of automatic path-finding and avoidance.
Golaem Crowd 1.2 bug fixes and improvements are detailed in the Release Notes.
To find out more about Golaem Crowd:
Stéphane Donikian, Golaem CEO, has been awarded the 2011 INRIA - Dassault Systèmes Innovation Prize for starting up Golaem and successfully transfering ten years of research on virtual humans.
For french readers, an article is available here: http://www.inria.fr/institut/inria-en-bref/prix-inria/innovation