Golaem 7.3: USD Procedural, Morphology Variations, Scattering and more!

Golaem just turbo-charged its eponymous software with version 7.3. Golaem 7.3 enables to load Golaem characters into any software thanks to a USD procedural plugin, and includes an innovative workflow to easily create morphology variations, as well as scattering tools.

By coupling the Golaem Vignettes concept, the Layout Editor, and new plugins for various file formats and DCCs (USD, Houdini, Unreal, Katana, 3dsMax), Golaem characters are going more and more out of the crowd department. They become a cross-pipeline data format for animated characters, cars, trees… The latest features in Golaem 7.3 illustrate this vision and simplify interaction with the FX department, as well as using Golaem for set dressing and environment creation.

In the Covid-19 context, to keep in touch with its users, Golaem will demonstrate this new version and do some tutorials live online during the following weeks.
Check the program and register HERE!

USD Procedural Plugin

Golaem introduces a procedural plugin for Pixar’s USD, enabling to efficiently load Golaem characters in the USD pipeline, therefore making them directly usable in many digital content creation tools supporting USD such as Houdini, Katana, ...

Coupled with our Python-based Layout Editor, it makes it a powerful and versatile tool for populating scenes, available everywhere without much pipeline integration efforts.

Check how RodeoFX uses this plugin to load Golaem Caches within Houdini and layer up some Vellum cloth on their Crowd characters, in the video tutorial to the right by Lead Crowd Artist, David Raymond.

The Golaem for USD procedural plugin is available for USD Standalone, Houdini and Katana. The procedural code has also been open-sourced for studios needing to build it themselves.

Morphology Variations

On top of its artistically controllable character geometry and shading variation system, Golaem now ships with a morphological variation feature.

Within the same Character, one can define different kinds of morphologies (small, tall, thin, fat...) by defining scale ranges for every bone and control their assignment and even mix them to obtain variations inside a population, while retaining artistic control along the whole shot creation process.

The generated characters definitely look more diverse and natural.

Scattering Tools

Golaem 7.3 introduces a new type of Population Tool enabling to distribute characters, or trees, rocks, buildings more naturally, in order to address set dressing use cases.

This new scattering method features fall-off, clustering, decimating depending on slope or distance to an object, normal alignment of placed characters, and so on.

To make the workflow smoother, an instant character preview has also been added and the instancing capabilities has been optimized to support in-character instancing (e.g for leaves in a tree character).

A complete tutorial about this demonstration scene can be found in the    Golaem Help Section

Skinning Animated Fur

Since its introduction in Golaem 6.4, mesh deformed fur has been successfully used for short hair and coats in multiple high end projects such as The Adams Family, Ford vs Ferrari or Lost In Space Season 2.
Golaem 7.3 goes further and enables to really skin the fur with the character and deform it along its animation.

Coupled with Golaem physics simulation, it even enables to simulate fur dynamics on a crowd at a very low cost, like in the demonstration video.

The workflow is still compatible with most of the major fur simulation solutions (Xgen, Yeti, Ornatrix,…) and proprietary engines provided they can be imported within Maya as curves (or Alembic curves).

A complete overview of the workflow can be found in the Golaem Help Section

Artist friendly animation retake in Layout Tool

Golaem 7.3 enhances the Golaem Layout Rig Node, which is able to emulate a Maya IK/FK rig on top of any Golaem cached character. This rig can be seamlessly used by animators to retake a character animations within Maya and promote them without going out the crowd pipeline.

This new tool enables studios to build libraries of Golaem Population Vignettes so that their Layout team and animators can easily put them in a scene and quickly retake their animation to adapt them to the creative needs.

A quick tutorial about how to use these Animation Layers can be found in the Golaem Help Section

Last but not least, Golaem 7.3 also comes with Maya 2020 support

Learn More