The crowd system in character studio uses
two helper objects: Crowd and Delegate. The first step in creating
a crowd simulation is the creation of these helpers. The crowd helper
serves as the command center for setting up and solving crowd simulations,
while delegates provide stand-ins for animated objects. The crowd
helper controls are used to animate the delegates, then later you
link objects to delegates to create the finished scene.
A crowd helper object
appears in viewports as blue tetrahedron. The location and size
of the crowd helper does not affect the simulation. For the easiest
workflow, create the crowd helper with a relatively large size,
and place it where you can easily select it. You'll rarely need
more than one Crowd helper object per scene.
After you create delegates,
you use the crowd helper to clone delegates and distribute the clones,
add behaviors, apply behaviors to delegates, link delegates to animated
objects, and much more.
The Crowd system in character
studio uses Delegate helper objects as intermediaries
between the crowd simulation and the influenced objects. A delegate
is a non-rendering pyramid-shaped object. Its apex points in the
direction the crowd system uses as “forward” when it moves the delegate
Use one delegate per
object to be animated by the crowd system. You can add delegates
one by one, or use any of the standard 3ds Max methods for cloning
objects, including Shift+clone
and the Array function. However, the Crowd object offers a convenient
Scatter Objects function
that lets you clone delegates and distribute the clones over a surface
or within a volume, with options for orientation and scaling.
To create a Crowd helper object:
- On the Create panel, click (Helpers).
- Click Crowd, and drag the helper object
to a convenient size.
TipMake the crowd helper object large enough
so you can easily select it in two or more viewports. The size of
the helper does not affect the crowd simulation in any way.
To create a Delegate helper object:
- On the Create panel, click (Helpers).
- Click Delegate. Drag in a viewport to
set the delegate’s position and its size.
TipThe delegate always points "up" in the viewport
where you create it. So if you want it to point "forward," that
is, toward the positive Y direction in the World coordinate system,
you should create it in the Top viewport.
To clone and scatter delegates:
- Create a Crowd helper and a Delegate
- Decide how to distribute the delegate
clones, and create an object to define how the clones are to be
positioned: a grid object, a primitive box or sphere, a shape, or
any object to serve as a surface. Alternatively, you can choose
to distribute clones in a circular area without the use of a distribution
- Select the Crowd object
and go to the Modify panel.
- Click (Scatter
Objects) to open the
- On the Clone tab, set the number of clones
to create, and select the object to clone.
- Click Generate Clones.
This produces the specified number of clones
in the same location. To vary positions, orientations, and/or sizes,
proceed with the following steps.
- On the Position tab Placement Relative To Object group, choose
a distribution option. Click the None button, and then select the
distribution object you created earlier.
Alternatively, to distribute delegates in a
circular area, choose Placement In Area group In Radial Area and set a center and radius.
- Click Generate Locations.
This distributes the clones.
- On the Rotation tab, choose which of
the cloned object's local axes are to look forward and up. Optionally,
specify source and target objects for the clones' orientations,
as well as limits for randomized deviations from the calculated
- Click Generate Orientations.
- On the Scale tab, for each axis, specify
Average, Deviation, and, optionally, Same As settings and a random
- Click Generate Scales.
At this point, you're basically finished. However,
to create a series of randomized positions, orientations, and/or
sizes for clones, follow the next two steps and repeat as necessary.
- On the All Ops, turn on Positions, Rotations,
and/or Scales. To vary the randomized positions, rotations, and/or
scales, turn on the corresponding Inc Seed check boxes.
- Click the Scatter button.
You can combine the cloning, position, rotation,
and scale functions in one operation by setting the options on their
respective tabs without clicking the Generate buttons, and then
using the All Ops tab to apply any or all scatter operations simultaneously.
Also, you can use the All Ops tab Select Objects To Transform to specify any objects
to scatter; not just clones.