Massive Prime 9 extends power of crowd simulation

Newest iteration features a universal plugin and unique new creation tools.

Crowd simulation specialist Massive Software unveiled the next version of  Massive Prime at Siggraph 2017. Among many new simulation and rendering features, the new version includes a “universal plugin” that will allow for collaboration using almost any third-party rendering tool.

Massive Prime is used to generate and simulate large dynamic crowds virtually, and is a mainstay in both Hollywood blockbusters and architectural presentations. Massive Prime 9.0 ships with a new shader network allowing designers to import, edit, or build shading networks directly in the software. Shading networks can also be imported from third-party applications such as Autodesk Maya or 3ds Max, further increasing workflow efficiency.

A screenshot showcasing the new shader options available in Massive Prime 9.0. (Source: Massive)

One of the most intriguing new features is the universal plugin. According to Massive CEO and founder Stephen Regelous, “Every year we receive multiple requests to support various animation and rendering applications. We want to make it easy for anyone to utilize Massive’s tools, which is why we decided to make a straightforward universal plugin that would allow Massive agents to appear in renders, or even directly in software viewports.

The software also includes a new Lanes as Generators feature to aid the architectural visualization market by adding new crowd movement and generation features. These will allow artists to conveniently ‘spawn’ and regulate the movement of virtual crowds in unique 3D spaces such as escalators.

The new update hasn’t left Hollywood out in the cold either, with the company also revealing its new Horse and Rider agent package. As the name implies, this animation package specializes in providing realistic equine locomotion to artists and designers. Instead of creating CGI horses and riders from scratch or filming actual horses on the gallop, this pre-built animation package allows artists to create high quality sequences much faster and cheaper than before.

The Horse and Rider agent package allows artists to recreate those big set-piece battles without having to worry about accident insurance. (Source: Massive)

“Using a single Horse Agent, an artist can get the film-quality results at a fraction of the cost and control the action in a way filming real horses could never hope to achieve,” Regelous says. Every agent comes with a pre-built skeleton, motions, geometry, cloth, textures, and shaders. Motion capture experts at Profile Studios helped Massive create the set by spending two days capturing and mapping horse and rider motions and movements in both indoor and outdoor environments.

More information on Massive Prime 9.0 as well as its library of ‘ready to run‘ agents can be found on their website.


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