ICE vs Massive

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  04 April 2010
ICE vs Massive

Can ICE be used to create crowd simulations similiar to Massive? Let's use soldiers marching on the battlefield and two armies attacking each other as an example, since there are many examples of that on the web for Massive.
What would be the pro's vs Cons? I'm trying to justify the cost of Massive if ICE can do the job with potential flexibility.
Are their any tutorials or training Dvds that explain how to create crowd simulations within ICE?
  04 April 2010
first of all, u cant compare the two.
ice is a visual programming language, massive is an AI crowd sim tool.
guess which one does crowds better? that wasnt hard...
now, for marching crowd shots, or anything that does not involve
actual interaction of the agents, ice should do just fine.
once u get into behavioral stuff, even event driven interactions,
things can get extremely dirty in ice. i definately wouldnt even try
to go the ice route if it were for an actual battle shot, where agents interact with
each other. as for ice crowd examples, there is a pretty good one, on the
official xsi 7 ice training dvds, that u can get from
they'll send u a mail with the links, and they are free.
as far as i recall, that example also involves setting up different animation
cycles and steps. its a bit limited, but at least its free.

edit: here's a good example of a simple ice setup, using instancing, animation cycling and
particle avoidance:

Last edited by oktawu : 04 April 2010 at 09:52 AM.
  05 May 2010
I agree massive is specialized and can be (and has been) used for the most complex crowd scenes permissible. That said, ICE can do quite a bit, including agent interactions. It really depends on the need and scope of your shot, but I know that where possible I would vastly prefer to go the ICE route unless the shot demanded I use massive. There have been a number of commercials which for instance have used ICE effectively for crowds, and I've used ICE myself to deal with a flock of several thousand dragons and a stadium full of cheering fans. If I had to travel across a battlefield and clearly see each actor doing something meaningful like fighting orcs etc Massive would be a no brainer. But if I needed a school of fish, hills of galloping horses, stadium of cheering fans or racetrack/city streets filled with cars, ICE is fine.
  05 May 2010
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