Agent - Crowd Control - Overview

Platform: Plug-in (MAXSCRIPT & C#)

Platform: 3ds Max 2009-2011
Status: In Production

Agent is a crowd simulator designed around the automation and flexibility required for modern day visual effects. Just some of the features for Agent include the ability to define delegate mesh generation in a powerful, yet user friendly environment, and the extra power of paint generation of agents onto a surface, perfect if you want your agents to start scattered.

As flexibility and customization is a main goal of the package, the agent nodes have the ability to re-generate the cosmetic mesh and textures allowing for the changing of similar looking agents. To save processing power, every agent can generate a custom mesh, and then delete the mesh keeping the link to the original mesh’s and textures for an extremely quick mesh restoration.

Please check out the first tech video outlining Agent now, and feel free to raise any questions you might have.

Agent - Teaching the Masses

See the video "Agent - Teaching the Masses":

Agent - Teaching the Masses from Black Shack Studios on Vimeo.

Agent – Generating the Masses

See the video "Agent – Generating the Masses":

Agent - Generating the Masses from Geoff Samuel on Vimeo.

Features of Agent

The current features of Agent include:

A graphical node based interface to create complex rules for agent geometry and texture creations, giving artists the power to create complex rules without the need to programme.

Features the ability to dynamically change texture rules based of multiple files of similar naming conventions, all with the same ease as it is to bring in a single texture.

An artist friendly agent painting tool for the initial placement of the agents, giving artists the freedom to choose the agents they create, the random spawn radius on the brush, the amount of agents to create and the jumps between generation points. This tool can help break up the totally random scatter generation and the row based agent placement systems whilst bringing in the artist into the loop.

Automatic skinning of the rule based mesh based of the custom skeleton used by the Agent, with the ability to go in and tweak it on a rule based method to get a better skin for the agents.

Easy to use agent tools on an agent level, such as the controls to delete the mesh, but retain the values, giving the agent the ability to rebuild the mesh at render time and keeping the uniqueness, and the functionality to generate another mesh conforming to the rules originally set out if agents are looking too similar.

Fuzzy logic based Agent brain allowing for natural looking agent behaviour, giving the user the ability to create many layers of Fuzzy logic controlled behaviour, each one being used for each frame.

An artist friendly, yet extremely powerful and natural Brain AI interface system, taking full advantages of a node based interface and allowing for complex brains to be programmed and tweaked without having to write a single line of code. With the ability to create pre-compiled nodes to accomplish a certain task, to reduce the complexity of the node based interface with additional nodes.