View Full Version : flock animation/crowd simulation

05 May 2010, 02:40 AM
Can anyone pint to a good primer on Maya flock animation or crowd simulation tools or techniques?

What is the most popular plugin, tool, or technique to use with Maya?

Thanks for reading.

05 May 2010, 09:32 AM
Depends what type of crowd is? You can use "particle instances" or brain bugs plugin. There are other plugins/software for crowd simulations like Massive or Ai implant but those apps are expensive.

05 May 2010, 09:44 AM
Specifically for this project it is a flock of birds. But they need to land on a wire. Like 100 or so.

05 May 2010, 10:56 AM
I don't cnow if you have axces to Massive but this app will be perfect for you.
I'm not an expert in crowd sims but if you don't have Massive then you should use particle instances using MEL and expressions.

05 May 2010, 03:36 PM
Thanks! Don't have access to massive yet, but looks awesome. Also looking at endorphin.

05 May 2010, 05:17 PM
Endorphin will only help in the blending of animation from birds flying to them landing, it is not made for crowd behaviour.

Depending on the shots you need to produce it might be easier to create the flock of birds using particle instancing. I have the link of handy tutorial for this which I will upload when I find it, though it's a dead easy process, animate a bird flapping its wings/or use an expression, then instance on to particles, have them go after a moving goal.

The landing seems trickier, depends on how many need to land, etc, possibly animating a couple of landings by hand, caching the geo out re importing in various positions/offset times.


05 May 2010, 06:29 PM
Thbendingiscool ,upload it please.
I was thinking do this using goal and 2 or more animation cycles(fly and landing). Then write expression, that will be switch between this two cycles according distance between instances and wire. When instance is on wire switch to landing cycle. But have no Idea how to blend this two cycles. If it would be geometry cache, blending them wouldn't be problem.

05 May 2010, 07:15 PM
Can anyone pint to a good primer on Maya flock animation or crowd simulation tools or techniques?

massive is a 50 k program and it works perfect for these kind of fx, however let's stick to wat we know and have. in ur case my friend u need to have 3 separate animations, 1. bird flying loops
2. a transition from flying to landing 3. bird landing. then instance them on a particle sim that has goals on it so they stick to a wire. after u do that u have to query the 3 loops and activate one or the other when needed. so u would create an indexPP attribute
then in runtime u would write
if (particleShape1.velocity>1){
indexPP = 0; \\which referes to the flocking loop animation
else if (particleShape1.velocity= 1){
indexPP = 1; \\which refers to the transition from flying to landing
indexPP = 2; \\which refers to landing
after all of that is done u will notice that ur birds r landing in the center of the wire because their pivot point is in the center, so what u need to do is use a mel script from highend called uninstacer, and this will convert ur instanced geos into animation keys so then u can get rid of the particle system.
tweak the birds animation a bit and there u have it.

note: since ur using goalPP u can call that attribute instead of the particles velocity in the runtime to call out loops of animation. make sure u set ur particle instancer to indexPP and aim deriction to velocity...etc.

good luck

05 May 2010, 03:52 AM
thanks all. Great info. I would love to accomplish what you are talking about Johnnymr75. I will give it a shot.

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