My first impression with Golaem was pretty high. It came packaged with a clean interface for their editors and the tools at your disposal were organized quite well. Integration with Maya was seamless without any issues, and the new release can be launched through Maya’s Plugin window (as opposed to the old way of having to run Golaem for Maya). I played with their tools quite a bit, but essentially I needed to use it for a stadium job, which proved to be one of the easiest things I’ve done using Golaem.
Since Golaem is a plugin for Maya, simulating and rendering the crowd was very easy and quick to setup. I take this seriously in to account since I have had past experiences with Massive. They support pretty much all of the popular render engines like VRay, Mental Ray, and Arnold. Using their Character Pack:, I had a populated scene in no time, with animation and custom behaviors. After importing the specific shaders for the render engine, I was ready to visualize my simulations.
This was a quick setup I accomplished in under a day, after getting my hands on Golaem for the first time using their free Character Pack:
The following are a series of videos that show some of the standard animations and characters that come with Golaem’s free Character Pack:
Mixamo & Complex Behaviors
Mixamo is a great resource for ready-made animations and Golaem makes it easy to implement those animations in to your library of motions. The following is a test done with Golaem, where I simulated a crowd that runs to the edge of a building and leaps for a railing to hold on to. Some make it, but some don’t. Furthermore, the ones that get in the way are also knocked off. Rendered in Arnold.
Using the same setup as above, I quickly populated a company logo with characters, and triggered them to spell out the company’s name. They will either walk or run to their desired positions depending on the distance needed to travel.
nParticles & Golaem
This was a fun and quick exercise to use Maya nParticles to drive Golaem simulations. Since Golaem uses particles to populate, you can create custom simulations out of those particles and use those instead to populate the crowd. By utilizing Golaem’s AdaptOrientation node, you can calculate the direction the nParticles are moving towards.