Golaem 9 Character FX featuring a crowd of squirrels

Golaem 9: Hero Characters Quality At Your Reach

Golaem proudly announces the release of Golaem 9, a groundbreaking version that elevates the quality level of crowd characters to animated hero characters with the same acclaimed user-friendly interface and efficiency.

Golaem crowd tools keep playing an important role in ambitious projects, like filling Paris streets with cars for John Wick (RodeoFX), or populating Time Square for TMNT Mutant Mayhem (Mikros Animation) where animated characters need to be at the hero quality level.

Golam 9 facilitates the creation of such characters by providing universal joint rig animation support and direct animation replay, as well as crowd levels which enable adding secondary simulations on top of chosen characters after the main simulation pass. To bring details even further, Golaem 9 also includes a beta ML Deformer able to bring advanced character deformation into the crowds.

Keeping Golaem’s mantra of making artists’ life easier in mind, a slew of workflow and UI improvements have been added into Golaem 9 based on customer feedback and their experiences in major crowd productions.

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A video overview of all the new features in Golaem 9

New Animation Engine

Golaem 9 comes with a powered-up animation engine, lifting some input constraints and making Golaem able to animate any character in a straightforward way. These enhancements empower the crowd team as well as rigging and animation departments to enhance the quality of their crowd characters, ultimately saving significant time and effort.

Direct FBX/USD/BVH Animation Replay

Golaem 9 supports native motion format inputs (FBX/USD/BVH), enabling artists to play animations directly on their crowd characters. Thanks to the new one-click mapping workflow, Golaem can automatically play these motions on any character and retarget them on the fly if needed.

Golaem 9 Direct Animation Replay

9-DOF Animation Support

Golaem 9 now supports animations influencing rotation, translation and scale, providing flexibility for riggers and animators to work as they please and enabling the creation of more advanced characters and motions.

Golaem 9 DOF Animations

Modular Rigs Support

Golaem 9 is the first commercial crowd software to support modular rigs without relying on a secondary skeleton mapping, hence giving artists the freedom to work with the same structure as hero characters.

Golaem 9 Modular Rigs

Crowd ML Deformer (beta)

Golaem 9 ships with a ML Deformer node which can reproduce advanced deformations on top of crowds. The Crowd ML Deformer comes with a training tool to encode any deformation done on a Maya rig, even with custom plugins. The trained network can then be linked to Golaem Characters to be executed at render time.

Golaem 9 Crowd ML Deformer

Create Shots Without Simulation

Creating Characters From Scratch

Create a shot from scratch with the Golaem 9 CreateEntity Layer. No simulation required anymore, you can build an entire shot with the Layout tool. Any character can be brought into your shot and multiplied later with the Duplicate or SnapTo layers. They can then be animated with a PlayMotion node.

Golaem 9 CreateEntity Layer

PlayMotion Layer

The new PlayMotion layer can animate or reanimate the characters in your shots. Create new characters and bring them to life, or select a few characters in an existing crowd and assign them a new animation.

Golaem 9 Play Motion

Crowd Levels

Golaem 9 introduces the Crowd Levels paradigm, allowing artists to build shots incrementally by re-introducing cached and layouted simulations as a source in a new simulation level hence allowing new possibilities.

Adding Details to Simulations

The new Crowd Level paradigm enables artists to first focus on the crowd simulation itself and add extra passes like cloth simulation or secondary animation made with physics simulation afterwards. By blurring the lines between simulation and layout, Crowd Levels makes it possible to take advantage of the best of both worlds to create a shot. Indeed, it simplifies the crowd workflow while giving the ability to push details where they are needed for maximum visual impact.

Golaem 9 Crowd Levels – Add Details

Taking Notes or Changes Into Account

Populating shots which are changing daily can sometimes be frustrating and cumbersome. The crowd simulation levels enable artists to keep their existing simulation and mix it with a new one in a non-destructive way, whether adding new character types, more people or new obstacles in their shots or completely resimulate a character without affecting the others.

Golaem 9 Crowd Level Changes

More Control on Your Crowds

Track Locator Navigation

The Track Locator provides a new way to drive characters between two curves which can be dynamically animated, hence giving control on the overall shape of the crowds on top of the path to be followed.

Golaem 9 Track Locator

Foot Locking

Thanks to the new foot locking feature, Golaem 9 can automatically enhance foot contacts on the ground, offering a procedural solution for users who may lack the time or skills to fine-tune their input motions beforehand.

Golaem 9 Foot Lock

Workflow & UI Improvements

New LOD Workflow

The new LOD workflow facilitates the creation of LOD levels by giving the possibility to have different numbers of meshes and different meshes names in each LOD, hence allowing the creation of completely custom LODs. The Character Maker Geometry tool also facilitates their export to different geometry files.

Custom Skeleton Display

While artists will often use the Render Previz display mode showing the near final look of their characters, for more clarity or improved performance, sometimes they just want to see a bone display of their skeleton. Golaem 9 enables the creation of a custom display shape for this character proxy hence making this display more useful and efficient.

Golaem 9 Custom Skeleton Display

New Chops Nodes & Attributes

Since its first release in Golaem 6 for the Castlerock attack by Unsullied and Dothrakis cavalry in Game of Thrones, artists have put the node-based custom behavior creation tool to good work in order to get advanced control of their crowds.

Golaem 9 introduces new nodes (GeometryInput, Memory, Ramp, Counter,…) and attributes to make this tool even more powerful and simpler to use. It also comes with detailed video tutorials explaining the use of each node.

Golaem 9 Chops Nodes

And Still…

Traffic Simulation

Less known than its character animation capabilities, Golaem also comes with traffic simulation features, enabling putting cars on a network of road curves in minutes, complete with traffic light system, number of lanes and speed control, and so on.

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Flocking Behaviors

Golaem features flocking behaviors that can simulate birds, fishes, butterflies, bats, or even space ships. Whether it is to put a few birds in a scene, or to create advanced shots with bees perching on a main actor’s face, Golaem can do it!

Golaem 9 Flock Simulation

Advanced Crowd Characters FX

Golaem supports skinned fur generation, and GPU accelerated cloth simulation on crowd characters. Thanks to its various export formats and DCC plugins, it also makes it easy to interface with other character fx simulation tools.

Golaem 9 is compatible with all Maya versions from 2020 to 2024 and provides integrations with Houdini, Unreal Engine, Katana, 3dsMax and all USD-compatible platforms, like Unity or NVIDIA Omniverse.

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