Golaem is a user friendly plug in for Autodesk® Maya® that allows artists to animate crowd simulations within the familiar Maya environment. 



New Features in Golaem Crowd 5

Golaem is widely used in the visual effects industry for animating massive scale scenes, like tens of thousands of supporters cheering for you in Guitar Hero Live, or huge armies fighting for the control of the Seven Kingdoms in Game Of Thrones. On top of facilitating the retake workflow for this kind of scenes, the new Layout Tool helps artists to populate smaller scenes where little to no AI is needed but artistic control is key.


Golaem 5 enables artists to take control of their simulations results and modify them in a post-simulation step without going back to square one.

Manipulate simulated characters
Simulated Characters can be transformed simply by using the Maya translate, rotate and scale tools and duplicate / kill functions. Artists do not need to care about snapping characters to the ground as it is still automatically done by Golaem.

Edit characters appearance or simply “be lucky”
To add variations, the characters’ props and shading can be randomized or manually hand-picked using the Character Palette.

Retime animation
Animation can be offsetted in time or have its speed increased/decreased. Artists can then easily match their characters timing with an external element or add animation variations on duplicated characters.

Manually offset or edit animation
Artists can also quickly edit postures directly from the simulation layout tool, or import a complete character skeleton to manually animate it.

Change your mind anytime
Because the Layout Tool works as a layer on top of the simulation, it is very quick and all modifications are cancellable or customizable at any time in the History Stack.


To facilitate its adoption in studios workflows, the Layout Tool is also available as a separate product called Golaem Layout. Golaem Layout is a cheaper version of Golaem, stripped of simulation capabilities, and allowing users to visualize and edit existing characters simulations results.
This new product will allow studios to envision a different work organization and workflow when dealing with digital extras.

War and peace, visual effects by BlueBolt

Artists from other departments (e.g. lighting, fx…), or partner studios, can now get a full previsualization of the simulated characters directly in their viewport without the need of a full license.
Senior artists can focus on creating simulations, while new or junior artists will layout shots and perform retakes. A single walking soldier can quickly be duplicated and modified to get a full walking army in formation.
Last but not least, Golaem Layout enables studios to build a simulations library and quickly reuse them. For example, a few casual passers-by can be loaded and re-positioned to populate streets in different projects.



More Features



Golaem Crowd offers an intuitive interface, based on Maya workaday objects. It can be used by any artist, trained under 3 days.


Reduce asset preparation time and start your production at once. Use our diversity ready characters & comprehensive range of motions


Built for performances, Golaem Crowd allows artists to find the right creative approach, whatever the number of characters.



Take advantage of the various placement modes and automatic obstacles detection.


Design and debug behaviors using an intuitive editor with built-in behaviors and triggers.


Let Golaem Crowd make your motions loop, randomize them, adapt feet to the ground...


Use built-in path-finding and avoidance behaviors to make your crowds walk around or build on your particles knowledge to drive them.


Add realism to your shots with explosions, attraction / repulsion forces or fall down effects.


Create realistic crowds by automatically generating more diversity at all levels: animation, behaviors, props and shading.


Preview your crowds in real-time within the Maya viewport and render them efficiently with our license free procedural rendering plugins.


Build your own tools on top of Golaem Crowd, send simulation output through your pipe, provide the fx team with the data they need.


Control Any Type Of Characters

Powered by a revamped animation engine, Golaem Crowd 3.0 can handle any type of characters: bipeds, quadrupeds and n-peds.
The Golaem Crowd Character Maker can also automatically edit your motion capture data and make them cycle perfectly while preserving animation.

Simulate Birds And Fishes

Together with automatic 3D placement, Golaem Crowd provides new behaviors for controlling flock of birds or school of fishes with unmatched performances: interactive with 10 000 birds and geometry preview. The flock can wander in a given zone, seek targets or flee dangers.

Validate Your Work Directly In The Viewport

To speed up shots creation and validation, Golaem Crowd proposes a new interactive previzualisation of the crowd simulation, including geometry diversity, directly in Maya viewport.

Join the Golaem Crowds

Golaem Crowd is used by an increasing number of studios (including industry leaders like Double Negative or Framestore) to easily give life to commercials, movies, TV shows and games. It recently helped Stargate Digital to create a massive horde of "walkers" for the acclaimed The Walking Dead TV Show.


  • Golaem Crowd now supports any skeleton morphology!
  • Golaem Crowd animation engine now support roll bones
  • Character Maker: new nodal editor to convert skeletons in the Golaem Crowd file format
  • Character Maker: new tool to edit, cyclify and convert animation clips in the Golaem Crowd file format
  • New locomotion system (based on speed & orientation)
  • New feet adaptation system (with full adaptation to the ground)
  • Behavior Editor: Behaviors can now be disabled/enabled without removing them from the flow
  • Behavior Editor: Behavior feedback (visual feedback for misconfigured Behaviors)
  • Flock Behavior to simulate flocks of birds, fishes...
  • Steer Behavior to make flocking Entities steering/fleeing a target with weight management
  • New Population Tool Sphere shape to generate flocking Entities
  • Flock Locator to define the flocking Entities environment
  • Physicalize Behavior to activate/deactivate physics on the fly for each Entity
  • Dynamics Behavior (was Ragdoll Behavior) can now apply a constant force in addition to an impulse
  • Entity Surface Shape can display the real geometry diversity, skinning and shaders directly in the viewport
  • Entity Surface Shape can display PPAttributes
  • Entity Attribute Node to attach PPAttributes to EntityTypes
  • Attribute Behavior to easily control Entities PPAttributes
  • Crowd Render Proxy Tool shelf button to automatize Render Proxy creation
  • Population Tool can gather slots to create groups of Entities
  • Golaem Crowd now generates dump report when crashing 

Fully Integrated With Your Maya Pipeline
No need to adapt your existing Autodesk Maya workflow to Golaem Crowd: Golaem Crowd is built with ease of integration in mind. By relying mainly on Maya workaday objects, (particles, fields, etc) it ensures you can mix Golaem with your existing tools or customize it, saving production time & eliminating switching and tweaking between software applications.

  • Totally integrated into Maya
  • Usable with Maya tools (Maya fields, per particle expressions...)
  • MEL/Python API & Scripting

Believable Crowds
Golaem Crowd can generate believable crowd diversity in your shots without extra work:

• Reuse existing motion choreographies on any ground and any character;
• Create asset variation (at geometry or shader level) using the asset manager.

Quick Learning Curve
Creating crowd shots is usually challenging and needs a lot of training time. Golaem Crowd is user friendly enough to be operated by Maya artists trained within a day. They can now create crowd shots themselves or test their assets before sending them to the crowd TD.

No Need to Deal With All the Crowd Complexity At Once
Respecting the standard animation workflow, Golaem Crowd allows you to incrementally build a scene. Step by step, you can validate assets, flows, population then behaviors, before the animation is processed and exported, ready to be rendered.

Animation Engine
Golaem Crowd's animation engine enables to use, or re-use, motions with different characters or in different situations. It reduces dramatically the amount of motion capture or keyframe animation to produce.

  • Motion Retargeting
  • Automatic transitions between motions
  • Motion Mixing on different parts of the body
  • Automatic ground adaptation.
  • Locomotion system.

Behavior Creation
Create character's behavior using a graphical behavior editor. No surprises, what you draw is what you get!

  • Graphical Behavior Editor
  • Behavior Operators (Alternative, Random, Parrallel...)
  • Built-in triggers (zone 2D/3D, frame number, motion duration...)

Automatic Navigation
Assign target to your characters, they will automatically find their way while avoiding obstacles and other characters.

  • Automatic navigation mesh computation
  • Ready-to-use navigation behaviors
  • Customizable navigation attributes
  • Various target modes (static, dynamic, random) 
  • Groups formations

Physics Simulation
Golaem Crowd can use the Bullet physics engine integrated in Maya to create explosion or make your characters fall.

  • Customizable Ragdoll behavior
  • Physics masks, apply physics only to some parts of the body to create different effects

Placement Tools
Easily generate thousands of characters.

  • Parametric placement (distance, noise...)
  • Obstacle aware (avoid unreachable areas)
  • Various placement shapes, custom shapes
  • Placement on maya mesh
  • Placement on anchors (e.g individual stadium seats)

Wether you want to preview the result of  a scene or you are doing previs, Golaem Crowd provides advanced previsualization capabilities. With Golaem Crowd, you can preview thousands of character in Maya interactively.

  • Skinned mesh preview, complete with diffuse textures and lighting
  • GPU Display
  • Multithreaded simulation

Render crowds quickly and easily add variety in your shots. Golaem Crowd provide free procedural rendering plugins optimizing the rendering process. 

  • Assets Manager, define available props & shaders for your characters and easily create diversity in your crowd.
  • Procedural Rendering, inside Maya or for standalone versions
  • Simulation data are independant from cameras, lights or asset repartition, you can change all these and re-render without simulating again
  •  Export & Render:
    • Pixar® Renderman®'s RIB and 3Delight & RenderManCompliant plugins
    • Autodesk® FBX®
    • Open format simulation cache
    • V-Ray Rendering Engine

Scene Setup

  • Automatic navigation mesh computation
  • Automatic and editable skeleton mapping
  • Crowd asset manager (meshes, props, shaders...)
  • Population types descriptions (behaviors, morphology and assets)
  • Parametric and navigation mesh aware characters placement


  • Predictable path finding and configurable steering behaviors
  • Biped & quadruped dedicated animation engine
  • Automatic motion re-targeting, blending & ground adaptation
  • Easy-to-configure behaviors
  • Geometry instancing*
  • CrowdField: a mesh (animated or not) can be added as a ground support in addition to the navMesh
  • IK Behavior: New behavior to add a kinematic constraint on a body chain (arms, legs)
  • LookAt Behavior: New behavior to make a character look at a specific position



Golaem 5 Workflow Overview from Golaem on Vimeo.


Specifications & Licensing

System Requirements

Software 32 bit

The 32 bit Version of Golaem Crowd works as a plugin for Autodesk® Maya® 2011, 2012 32 bit (with or without subscription advantage pack) and the following OS.

  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional (SP1)
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional (SP3)

Hardware 32 bit

At a minimum, the 32-bit version of Maya 2012 software requires a system with the following hardware:

  • Windows: Intel® Pentium® 4, AMD Athlon processor with SSE3 instruction set support (or higher)
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 10 GB free hard drive space
  • Certified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card
  • Three-button mouse with mouse driver software
  • DVD-ROM drive

Software 64 bit

The 64 bit Version of Golaem Crowd works as a plugin for Autodesk® Maya® 2011, 2012 64 bit (with or without subscription advantage pack) and the following OS.

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (SP1)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 (SP3)
  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 5
  • Fedora™ 12, 13, 14
  • Open SUSE 11
  • Cent OS 5

Hardware 64 bit

At a minimum, the 64-bit version of Maya 2012 software requires a system with the following hardware:

  • Windows and Linux: Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon processor with SSE3 instruction set support (or higher)
  • Macintosh® computer: Macintosh computer with a Intel
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 10 GB free hard drive space
  • Certified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card
  • Three-button mouse with mouse driver software
  • DVD-ROM drive

Rendering Engine

Golaem Crowd is compatible with the following render engines

  • Pixar® Renderman®'s RIB
  • Autodesk® FBX®
  • Open format simulation cache
  • V-Ray Rendering Engine
  • Mental Ray  .mi files export and a dedicated procedural rendering plugin, Mental Ray Standalone and Mental Ray for Autodesk® Maya® supported



Free 30 day evaluation licenses are provided as node-locked.

Commercial Licenses for Golaem crowd are floating

RLM (license server system) is required for floating licenses, binaries are provided upon purchase.

You will need to register a generic user license file with the Golaem License Tool.

The procedural rendering plugin does not require a license and can be installed on any number of computers for distributed rendering.

Commercial licenses are available as a perpetual, 1 year or 3 month term.

Additional Info

Upgrades / Support

Golaem offers the following upgrade and support options.


  • Yearly maintenance renewals are available for perpetual licenses only.
  • Maintenance is included for yearly and monthly licenses.


  • Free upgrades for perpetual licenses with current subscription.
  • Free upgrades for yearly and monthly licenses (except new add-ons/plugins)


RFX is available for all your support needs.

  •  Golaem provides email based support for Perpetual licenses with current Maintenance and all rental liceness


Related Products

Enhance your Maya pipeline with the following products:

    • Autodesk MotionBuilder
    • Autodesk Mudbox
    • Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite: Maya + MotionBuilder + Mudbox
    • Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite Premium: Maya + MotionBuilder + Mudbox + Softimage
    • Chaos Group Vray for Maya
    • Pixar Renderman
    • Craft Animation Director Studio
    • Joe Alter Shave and Haircut
    • Pixologic Zbrush
    • Syflex Cloth Simulator


Training / Resources

Go to  Golaem YouTube Channel to view tutorials on how to use Golaem Crowd

Go to  Golaem Vimeo Channel to view tutorials on how to use Golaem Crowd

Go to Golaem Works for overview videos

Go to Golaem Blog for general information

Go to Area for Maya tutorials, tips, downloads and forums