The release of Golalem 8.0 has taken place
Golaem was introduced back in 2011, since then the software has been adopted by many key parts of the visual effects industry, having been involved in the work of no less than four separate studios on Game of Thrones.
The software has been designed to provide a more intuitive workflow than traditional simulation software, so that users can use Maya’s own tools to manage crowd behaviour.
Golaem includes toolkits for creating custom AI logic, creating automated crowd character variations, and interactively previewing and editing simulations.
The final output is initially compatible with Arnold, Guerrilla Render, Redshift, RenderMan and V-Ray and users can output to other DCC rendering tools including 3ds Max, Houdini and Unreal Engine.
A major change in Golaem 8.0 is the Golaem plugin for Unreal, which allows real-time execution of simulations created in Golaem inside the Unreal Engine.
The workflow, based on the new Golaem Digital Asset (.gda) file format, allows users to interact with simulations directly inside the game engine, rather than simply playing simulation caches. In terms of integration, it supports the Unreal Engine Blueprint system, allowing simulations to be run in Golaem or to override its parameter values within UE4.
Other changes include support for shader diversity in the Maya viewport, allowing shading options for characters to be viewed during simulation setup without the need for test renders. Golaem characters are now displayed in the viewport along with depth of field and fog in the viewport.
In addition, the new Mesh Drive mode generates actual Maya geometry for each Golaem character, including all their deformations, allowing the scene to be rendered using any Maya rendering tool.
Physics changes include a new Torque attribute for Force behaviour, providing more control over how characters react to physical events such as explosions, as shown in the video below.
Golaem also took over the PhysX and Apex plugins for Maya from original developer Nvidia. Golaem uses real-time simulation frameworks for solids and fabric.
Golaem 8 is available for Maya 2018 and above running on 64 bit Windows 7 and above or CentOS / RHEL WS6 and above Linux.
The cost for unlimited use of the full version of the software is $9000. Golaem Layout, a stripped-down version of the frame-oriented software, costs $2,300.