Quick Start

Download & Install Golaem

1. You can download the packages here

2. Installation should be straightforward, a PLE license will be automatically loaded the first time you load the plugin. For more details, see the Installation Guide

Download & Install Character Pack & Samples

3. Download the Character Pack here. Instructions about installation are here.

While installing, DO NOT close the command window which pops up. It will close by itself

Launching & Loading Golaem

4. Start Maya to run Golaem

If you did not allow the copy of Golaem module file in Maya user files at installation (Windows/Linux), you need to perform a custom setup (Windows/Linux) to make Golaem available in plugin manager.

5. To load Golaem, do not forget to go to the Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager menu and click on the checkbox near the Golaem entry


6. Click on  in the Crowd shelf or on "Check Scene Settings" in the Golaem menu. Everything should be reported as YES, otherwise, check the First Launch Recommendations & Known Issues.


7. Create an Entity Type node  and browse to find the Character File (.gcha) in the /golaem/characters directory of the Character Pack.
Golaem will automatically ask if you want to import shaders for this character. 
Browse to the shaders file corresponding to your renderer (e.g. /golaem/shaders/CasualManLight_AR.ma for Arnold). 
Note that if you do not import the shaders at this step (or if they are not the right ones), your characters will be displayed using the default Golaem orange shader. You can import shaders later by following instructions from the Shading FAQ


8. Click on the Terrain Locator icon   to create a Terrain Locator configured with default value (infinite plane). Although simple, this is a very important step as it will ensure a correct feet adaptation on the ground when your characters move.


9. Click on the Population Tool icon  and then somewhere in the viewport to place a Population Tool Locator.

10. Adjust at your will the Population Tool parameters in the Attribute Editor

11. Click on the Create button. It will create a particle system and link it to a Crowd Field to instanciate characters on top of your particles (see Main Concepts to better understand the link between Golaem Entities and particles).
12. Click on  in the Golaem shelf or on "Check Scene Settings" in the Golaem menu to re-open the Golaem Scene Check Test. The Crowd Simulation Settings are now checked. Everything should be reported as YES.
13. Click the play button to visualize the created characters. They are not moving yet.
Note that their clothes are generated respecting the assets distribution defined in the geometry part of the .gcha file.

Customize the Geometry Distribution

14. Select your EntityType again, and click on the Character icon  next to the .gcha file path in order to load it.

15. When the Character Maker loads the .gcha file, it first shows the skeleton part, which map all joints to a Golaem description. Click on the Geometry tab to display the geometry distribution rules

16. You can change how meshes will be distributed among your characters by changing their weights using sliders from the Rendering Types Panel.

17. Do not forget to save your Character File (.gcha) and rewind the simulation to see the changes


18. Click on the Simulation Exporter icon . You customize the Cache Name, Start/End Frame, Output Directory, and run the simulation export


After exporting the simulation, the Simulation Exporter automatically creates a CacheProxy and switch to Cache Replay Mode. This mode enables you to scrub the timeline to visualize the cached simulation and use the Layout tool to modify your simulation (see below). The CacheProxy is also used by the renderer to draw your Golaem characters.
The current mode (Simulation or Cache Replay) is indicated in the Golaem Shelf. You can switch between mode anytime by clicking on this icon.
Note that it is mandatory to be in this mode to render your Golaem characters (otherwise they are not rendered)
19. Select your renderer in the Maya / Render Using menu
20. Notice that Golaem periodically check if your scene is ready to be rendered and display the status in the Golaem shelf (  /  ). You can click on this button to see the details. Everything should be reported as YES.
21. Render
If you're using Golaem without a commercial license, your scene will use a PLE License which will contaminate the rendering and thus some random meshes will be orange shaded. More information here.

Animate The Characters

22. Open the Behavior Editor  and double-click on the entityTypeShape1
23. Drag and drop a Motion Behavior in the behavior flow 
24. Double-click on the Motion Behavior and select a motion from the /golaem/motions directory. A motion clip is automatically created and reference in the Motion Behavior.
25. To be able to see the changes, we need to leave Cache Replay mode and switch back to Simulation mode. Click on the Simulation status icon in the Golaem shelf in order to to get back to Simulation Mode.
26. Rewind and click the play button to see the moving characters
27. Click on a character inside the viewport to re-open the Visual Feedback . The tool is now showing running behaviors. In this example the Motion Behavior and the animation played.
Note that you can use the Maya Viewport Settings at the bottom to display more or less information in the viewport.
28. Re-open the Behavior Editor . The Behavior Editor is attached to the previously selected character showing visual feedbacks, thus you are able to follow the Entity behavior progress all along the simulation.


29. Open the Simulation Exporter  again and click run to re-export the simulation and update the simulation cache with the moving characters.
Please note that re-exporting is needed only when simulation changes. It is not needed if camera, lights, or even props/shaders repartition changes.


30. The Simulation Export switched us back to Cache Replay Mode. In this mode, you can also modify the simulation results thanks to the Layout Tool. Click on its  to open it. It allows to apply deformation layers on a previously exported Simulation Cache. Those deformation layers are non destructive (ie they do not affect or modify exported Simulation Cache Files)

31. Switch to Maya Vertex Selection Mode (F9), select one or more Entities in the viewport, use either Maya Translate Tool (W), Rotate Tool (R), Scale Tool (R) and use the gizmo to translate, rotate or scale Entities. You can use the tools in the Simulation Cache Layout toolbar to duplicate, scale, re-place, remove from render... your Entities. More about all the available tools here.

32. After editing the simulation cache, do not forget to click on the Save button in the Simulation Cache Layout Tool to save the modifications along with the simulation cache. It will open a file browser to decide where the Layout File (.gscl) will be saved.


33. Hit render to render a picture of the modified simulation cache

What's Next?

Depending on your projects, have a look at the other Tutorials or check the Video Tutorials page!