Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 12:00
Golaem, AMA Romania and Trinity College Dublin recently collaborated on the H2020 ICT 18 POPULATE project in order to explore new gameplays and their influence on players.
The POPULATE project combines a multi-device approach with 3D crowd generation and advanced behavior management. Using crowd generation and behavior management integrated in Unity, the prototype runs on smartphones and/or tablet devices using smart-glasses as controllers and head-ups display. The game was also used by the GV2 group of Trinity College Dublin to study the perception of gamers to ensure maximum enjoyment and interactivity within the game.
The game prototype is a 1 vs. 1 asymmetric multiplayer experience that offers radically different gameplay for the players. The Explorer (player 1) plays action adventure game while the Defender (player 2) plays a strategy game, where the Defender is in control of his own army. The common gameplay opposes the Defender, who can use the crowd characters, shoot and cast spells, to the Explorer who can only shoot and cast spells. The gameplay focuses on characters AI, making it the central feature of the game.
In order to help game designers generate a population of autonomous characters with just a few step, Golaem built a crowd simulation module for Unity. AMA's designers author populations using the native Unity tools for animation & path-finding/navigation controlled by Golaem behaviors and group navigation algorithms. 
The Golaem Asset Manager enables to easily add and control variety on characters appearance. This proves to be crucial for easily testing players reaction to various characters appearance during the GV2 group experimentations.
This Golaem Behavior Editor is a production tool for creating and managing a behavior graph by connecting multiple behaviors to complement the built-in elementary behaviors. The designed behaviors are then executed on a dedicated runtime C# plugin.
The Population Tool provides an easy way to place characters in the environment, handling the repartition of character types and avoiding obstacles. 
Last but not least, thanks to Golaem flexible group navigation algorithm, characters can react as a group in some situations and as a person in others. 
The Golaem for Unity plugin reduces time spent on designing levels involving autonomous characters, as well as generating diversity among these characters.
The current version of the plugin is a prototype, which needs to be improved based on users feedback.
Whether you have an interest in populating 3D worlds for games or for VR/AR, we would be interested to hear from you in order to gather your needs and make sure the final solution built in Unity meets your interests.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 644655
Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 11:40

Golaem releases Golaem 5, introducing the Layout Tool, a post-simulation edition tool based on Maya manipulators.

Golaem is widely used in the visual effects industry for animating massive scale scenes, like tens of thousands of supporters cheering for you in Guitar Hero Live, or huge armies fighting for the control of the Seven Kingdoms in Game Of Thrones. On top of facilitating the retake workflow for this kind of scenes, the new Layout Tool helps artists to populate smaller scenes where little to no AI is needed but artistic control is key.

Layout Tool, retake Golaem characters with Maya tools

Golaem 5 enables artists to take control of their simulations results and modify them in a post-simulation step without going back to square one.

Manipulate simulated characters
Simulated Characters can be transformed simply by using the Maya translate, rotate and scale tools and duplicate / kill functions. Artists do not need to care about snapping characters to the ground as it is still automatically done by Golaem.

Edit characters appearance or simply “be lucky”
To add variations, the characters’ props and shading can be randomized or manually hand-picked using the Character Palette.

Retime animation
Animation can be offsetted in time or have its speed increased/decreased. Artists can then easily match their characters timing with an external element or add animation variations on duplicated characters.

Manually offset or edit animation
Artists can also quickly edit postures directly from the simulation layout tool, or import a complete character skeleton to manually animate it.

Change your mind anytime
Because the Layout Tool works as a layer on top of the simulation, it is very quick and all modifications are cancellable or customizable at any time in the History Stack.

Nicolas Chaverou, Golaem Product Manager, explains his vision about the new Golaem Layout Tool: “Getting the last 10% of a shot right can take 90% of the time. It is especially true with crowd simulation. Being able to edit simulations results is a game changer, as it enables artists to immediately answer supervisors’ or director’s requests.”
He adds “Before, artists had to go back to the beginning of the workflow to move a character a bit, simulate, re-export everything... All this without even being sure if the modification will be validated or not. Now they can just select a character, translate it left, and it is done! They can see the result at once thanks to Golaem advanced viewport previsualization.”

Golaem Layout, now everyone can play with digital extras

To facilitate its adoption in studios workflows, the Layout Tool is also available as a separate product called Golaem Layout. Golaem Layout is a cheaper version of Golaem, stripped of simulation capabilities, and allowing users to visualize and edit existing characters simulations results.
This new product will allow studios to envision a different work organization and workflow when dealing with digital extras.

War and peace, visual effects by BlueBolt
Artists from other departments (e.g. lighting, fx…), or partner studios, can now get a full previsualization of the simulated characters directly in their viewport without the need of a full license.
Senior artists can focus on creating simulations, while new or junior artists will layout shots and perform retakes. A single walking soldier can quickly be duplicated and modified to get a full walking army in formation.
Last but not least, Golaem Layout enables studios to build a simulations library and quickly reuse them. For example, a few casual passers-by can be loaded and re-positioned to populate streets in different projects.

Special launch discount

Golaem and Golaem Layout rental licenses are available with a 50% discount until March 21st.
  • Golaem (including the Layout Tool) starts from 325 EUR/month (instead of 650 EUR)
  • Golaem Layout starts from 65 EUR/month (instead of 130 EUR)
Get all pricing information on http://buy.mayacrowd.com
Get your free & unlimited Personal Learning Edition (PLE) http://download.mayacrowd.com

Learn More

The Layout Tool and other new features in Golaem 5 are detailed in the following introduction videos

Layout Tool
Manipulate and customize simulated characters
Assets Variations
Use the new nodal Character Maker to create characters variations
Trigger Editor
Create advanced conditions for starting/stopping behaviors
Blind Data
Attach your own data to control custom shading, muscles...
Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 17:58

We were delighted to present Golaem Crowd motion retargeting techniques at ACM DigiPro 2015 this summer. Today we are sharing our full paper as well as slides and videos. You should definitely check the other amazing DigiPro 2015 presentations by Pixar, Dreamworks, ILM and Iloura which are available on the ACM Digital Library.

Amongst the various tools embedded in Golaem Crowd, it includes a dedicated character animation engine. Golaem Crowd animation engine allows real-time motion retargeting as well as interactive motion synchronization and blending.

For this talk, we detailed the Golaem Crowd motion retargeting workflow, as well as its features and how it helps solving production constraints by reducing the number of assets to create and by facilitating the reuse of assets.

Indeed, in a crowd simulation context, motion retargeting has several benefits. A same motion can be used for several character morphologies helping to reduce the number of motions to capture, process or create. It also allows reusing motions created for a specific character, in a previous show, on a new character.

Here are the slides and videos from our talk:

Learn more:


Monday, July 27, 2015 - 16:18

The Golaem team will attend both DigiPro and Siggraph this year. We will be happy to meet you there and hear about your next crowd challenges. Do not miss the live demos on booth #737!

We are excited to show you the latest productions done with Golaem Crowd 4 (Game Of Thrones, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, ...), our new integrations (3dsMax+V-Ray, Renderman 19/20, Guerilla Render, Katana...). You will also get a chance to see the latest features we have been working on. They are going to revolutionize the way you do crowds!


Motion Retargeting for Crowds

Get a technical overview of the Golaem Crowd motion retargeting workflow and how it helps reduce the amount of assets in your production.

Saturday, 8th  9:45am - 11:25am
Beaudry Theater, Los Angeles Center Studios

More on DigiPro Website


Meet with our Team

Meet the Golaem Crowd Product Manager and our developers to get a live demo of the latest features in Golaem Crowd.

Tuesday 11th - Thursday 13th
Siggraph Exhibition floor, booth #737

Book an appointment

Golaem User Group

Meet with people creating crowds

Get together with Golaem Crowd users and people interested in crowds while enjoying free food and drinks.

Monday 10th 6 - 9pm
Ask your favorite Golaem guy for an invitation


Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 22:44

VRayGolaem for 3ds Max Extends Production-Quality Crowd Rendering to New VFX and Game Studios; Joint Development with Chaos Group

Today, Golaem announces VRayGolaem for 3ds Max, a free plug-in that brings V-Ray’s production rendering power to a new set of Golaem Crowd users.

Already a fixture of the VFX scene, Golaem Crowd is known for crowd simulations that can exceed 100,000 characters, all while exhibiting high amounts of diversity. Now the same high-quality crowds that VFX and game studios create in Autodesk Maya can be rendered in 3ds Max.

Procedural Rendering

Co-developed with Chaos Group, VRayGolaem for 3ds Max’s rendering workflow hinges on a combination of Golaem’s proprietary simulation cache technology and V-Ray scene files. Unlike other solutions, character geometry is not exported, but recomputed from simulation cache before being sent to V-Ray. This process makes exporting incredibly fast and reduces the size of all exported files by 99%. All shaders and assets distribution can be tweaked at any time, removing the need for re-caching that can make the creation process slow and inconvenient.

Native V-Ray features

Designed to replicate a native V-Ray workflow, the VRayGolaem for 3ds Max plugin supports all V-Ray 3.0 features such as 3D motion blur, render elements, subdivision and more. All scenes translate as simple V-Ray proxy objects, keeping rendering speeds fast and efficient.

3ds Max Viewport Display

To further simplify layout and lighting steps, VRayGolaem for 3ds Max can display the crowd characters’ bounding box in the 3ds Max viewport without slowing it down. Additionally, thanks to a proxy node, artists will be able to control every aspect of how their crowds are rendered without having to go back into Maya.

Nicolas Chaverou, Golaem Crowd Product Manager, comments: “We are thrilled to deliver an efficient way of rendering crowds to 3ds Max users. Artists can now get the most out of V-Ray 3.0 inside their package of choice, without having to rely on heavy workarounds. We have been in touch with several first-class studios using 3ds Max and V-Ray; they are really excited!”

The VRayGolaem for 3ds Max plugin is available now, for free. Download and installation instructions can be found in Golaem’s support section: http://vray3ds.mayacrowd.com

Learn more:

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group creates physically-based rendering and simulation software for artists and designers. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group has devoted the last 18 years to helping artists advance the speed and quality of one of their most important tools. Today, Chaos Group’s photorealistic rendering software, V-Ray®, has become the rendering engine of choice for many high-profile companies and innovators in the design and visual effects industries.