General FAQ

You can check in the Release Notes what the latest version of Golaem is compatible with.

Unfortunately, we are a small team so we cannot support all software we would like to. For some others there are legal issues making a plugin for them.

If Golaem is not directly compatible with your preferred software, there are still some ways you could use it.

USD Procedural

If your software supports USD, you can load Golaem characters through our USD procedural.

Check the USD tutorial or this tutorial for Houdini by Rodeo FX

Geometry Export

You can export your Golaem Simulations from Maya to FBX, Alembic or USDSkel file format. 

Obviously baking the whole geometry can be slow and heavy if you have more than a few hundreds characters. 

See Simulation Bake in the Reference Guide.

Simulation Cache API

For example for Blender, the license terms prevent us from providing a plugin without open sourcing our whole code base. 

But it does not mean that you cannot write an integration yourself. Actually Golaem provides a C/C++ and Python API to read Golaem caches. 

What you need is to read these information and implement the geometry display code. The integration works depends on the company, but we have seen companies doing this work in a single day, for some others it took a few weeks.

Check the Development Kit Documentatio

Maya Version

The Maya version should fit the Golaem Package name (e.g. Golaem-8.2.2-Maya2023.exe for Maya 2023).

Python Version

If using Maya 2022, Houdini 19.0 or 19.5, a special attention should be made about the Python version of the installed Golaem Package. Those DCCs can be configured to run either with Python 2 or Python 3. One can check which version of Python it is running by using the following Python command:

# example when running the command with Maya 2022 Python 2
import sys
2.7.11 (default, Jul 1 2016, 02:08:48)

It seems that although the Golaem Crowd shelf is visible, you did not load the Golaem Crowd plugin.
It happens, even to the best of us!

If you do not know how to load the Golaem Crowd plugin, see Setup at First Launch

Golaem Crowd plugin successfully loaded (Windows)
Golaem Crowd plugin successfully loaded (Linux)

In order to be able to loaded by Maya, and then listed in the Plugin Manager, Golaem Crowd needs to set MAYA_MODULE_PATH environment variable.

The module path is automatically set at the install of Golaem on Windows. If the plugin line don't show up (you may have disabled the automatic setup at the install) please set MAYA_MODULE_PATH environment variable yourself in your system.

After setting up your first Golaem scene using our provided assets, or when trying to play a sample scene, you get a message of this kind

Error: [Golaem]: The Geometry File 'CMO-man_golaem_light.gcg' assigned to Entity '0' is invalid!

If you have this message when using the Golaem Character Pack files, it probably means something went wrong during installation (the final path replacement script was closed before it could ends). Golaem is probably looking for files in P:/.
You should try to reinstall the Golaem Character Pack correctly (i.e. waiting for the final script to execute before closing the command window)
Another way is to adjust these paths manually in the Geometry part of the Golaem Character Maker, see an example here.
However, after doing this, you will also need to adjust the textures path in the /shaders maya scenes as well as some other paths in the sample scenes.
You can easily relocate them using the Maya File Path Editor or the dirmap command

A license is required to run Golaem Crowd on an artist workstation, NOT for the render nodes.

Basically, all commands modifying simulation or assets will draw a license on the calling machine,  a license is NOT needed for all steps after simulation export: rendering using a proxy or procedural shaders.

See a detailed table here

Golaem Crowds comes with the handy Crowd Archiver node which includes Golaem Crowd files in a Maya archive.
Go into your Crowd Manager attributes and click on the crowdArchiver tab to select which features you want to export:
  • If you don’t want to send us your scene textures (which could generate a big file), delete your shading reference character and then go to the HyperShade and select Edit/Delete Unused Nodes before archiving your scene.
  • If your problem is related to rendering or layout, do not forget to check simulation caches / simulation layout
When you are ready to archive just go into the file menu and click on the Archive Scene menu to create a .zip file with all the needed file included.
Depending on the file size, you can send it through
  • our Support request page (limited to 64mo)
  • on the Golaem Support email (limited to 25mo, available only to customers)
  • on the crowd list (limited to 25mo, note that files sent on this list are public which may not comply with your company rules)

If the size of your archive is too big, either use wetransfer (or any other transfer service) or your FTP.


As it's possible to select the different scene assets you send us, please make sure to check the Simulation Cache checkbox if you are facing a rendering issue.

There is a lot of great websites to create or catch stuff to work with Golaem Crowd, here are a few of them.



Autodesk Character Generator




CMU Motion Capture Database


Suddenly your scene crashes and you don't know what happened. Thus, you can enable Golaem Crash report:

1.Open the Golaem Menu / Settings Menu. Enable the Crash Report and note where the Crash Report File Directory is located.

2. Reproduce the crash once again, a .dmp file will be written at the specified directory. You may now send it to your favorite support team. Dmp files contain information that only the Golaem team can read and does not store anything related to the scene.

As Golaem relies on Maya Modules architecture, several versions of Golaem can coexist on a same system but only one can be loaded at the same time in Maya. Set the MAYA_MODULE_PATH environment variable to select which version will be loaded in a Maya session.

On Windows, depending on the chosen install options, a module file is installed automatically in the Maya presets directory. If several versions are installed, this file may be overwritten. One can easily check which Golaem module files are available to the current Maya session by using the following MEL script:

string $modules[] = stringToStringArray(getenv("MAYA_MODULE_PATH"), ";");
for ($module in $moduless)
    string $folder = ($module + "/");
    string $foundFiles[] = `getFileList -folder $folder -filespec "*.mod"`;
    for ($file in $foundFiles)
        if ($file == "glmCrowd.mod")
            print ($folder + $file + "\n");

That's a pretty common question! Thanks for asking!

Due to some dark and quite unknown reasons, even if Maya Linear Working Units are set to centimeters by default it is best to ignore this and assume that 1 Maya linear unit (1 square of the grid) equals 1 meter. We recommend that you do not change the Maya Linear Working Unit and let it to centimeters! (else you and your family will be cursed for 7 generations)

You can verify this for yourself by leaving the setting at "centimeter", making a polymesh box and then making it into a nCloth object. The size (or the weight) of the box doesn't matter for this experiment. Move it up 5 units and click play. The box will take 1 second to reach the ground (y=0 plane). Observe that the object took 1 second to fall 5 meters, not 5 centimeters (for a more accurate result you may want to set the Air Density of the Nucleus solver to zero for this experiment)

Thus, just as Maya, by default Golaem assumes that distances, velocities, gravity of the Golaem nodes are defined in meters. The Crowd Unit helps changing what's the actual unit of your environment. It's important to set the Crowd Unit depending on your environment and not depending on your Golaem Characters. If required, Golaem Characters can be rescaled to be adapted to the environment using the scale attributes in the Crowd Manager, Crowd Field and / or Entity Type Node.

Let's illustrate Crowd Unit with a use case: consider a door object (and assume it's a regular door 1m width * 2m height).

  • Left: door mesh is 1 Maya unit width * 2 Maya units height => 1 Maya unit equals 1m => Crowd Unit has to be in meters (default value)
  • Middle: door mesh 10 Maya units width * 20 Maya units height => 10 Maya units equals 1m => 1 Maya unit equals 0.1m => Crowd Unit has to be in decimeters.
  • Right: door mesh is 100 Maya units width * 200 Maya units height => 100 Maya units equals 1m => 1 Maya unit equals 0.01m => Crowd Unit has to be in centimeters.
  • And so on and so forth...

The Crowd Unit has to be set at two different places:

  • In the Crowd Manager Node, when starting a new scene. Finally notice that the Crowd Unit has to be set in the Crowd Manager Node BEFORE a Population Tool is created and Behaviors are applied.
  • In the Navmesh Creator when converting Maya geometry to a Golaem Navmesh (only required if you need to compute a Navmesh)

The default value of the Crowd Unit can be set by using the GLMCROWD_UNIT environment variable.

As Golaem relies on particles, it is dependent on Maya evaluation system. Thus, to be able to correctly fetch all information from the relative particle system, Golaem requires those to be updated at least once. For that reason, the crowd simulation can only start from the second frame evaluated. If you need to be able to simulate frame 1 (or even previous / negative frames), you can change the Simulation Start Frame within the Crowd Manager Node. When setting the Start Frame, keep in mind that simulation will only start from Start Frame + 1:

Simulation Attributes in the Crowd Manager Node