Massive Software announces Massive 5.0
Massive Software announces Massive 5.0 at Siggraph 2012 in Los Angeles, and also announces the surprise 3DS Max Massive Plugin.
Here are just some of the improvements in Massive 5.0.
Faster Even though Massive is orders of magnitude more efficient than some other animation software, 5.0 introduces new technology that enables simulations to run up to 3.9 times faster again on typical workstation PC's. Simulations that might have taken hours before can now be done in minutes, and scenes of a few hundred agents can even run in realtime.
More interactive One of the many improvements to interactivity in Massive 5.0 is the new patent pending 3D manipulator. "Other applications mostly have the usual 3D manipulator but we wanted to do something better, easy to use and requiring no complicated key switches. So we came up with a design that utilises screen space better, is easier to handle and doesn't slowdown the user with key switches for selecting modes." says CEO Stephen Regelous.
Sim scrubbing Also as an aid to interactivity is the new scrubbing and transport control interface. Previously, users would write out image sequences to be able to review the results of large simulations, but the new scrubbing technology allows for immediately visiting any frame in a huge simulation of many thousands of agents. Quickly scrubbing through simulations allows users to easily review details of epic scenes from any camera angle. This new feature also works with cloth and hair simulations, and handles spawning and deletion of agents during the simulation.
Agent Fields improvements Introduced in Massive 3.5, Agent Fields has proven to be a very successful hybrid of particle animation and AI functionality, especially useful for interaction between neighbouring agents. Massive 5.0 extends this functionality with group behaviour parameters, field offsets and several other improvements inspired by user feedback.
Placement improvements The placement editing in Massive has received significant upgrades. Maintaining consistency of crowd variation throughout continuous revisions of placement has always been challenging. Massive 5.0 takes a new approach to solving this problem which provides much more consistent crowd variation, unaffected by significant changes in crowd layout. The new 3D manipulator has been leveraged to provide much more convenient control of placement. And many new placement features have been added to increase interactivity and improve workflow.
3D Lanes Now lanes don't have to be constrained to the terrain, and they can be used for flying things such as birds, planes and spaceships. The ranges of lane.x and lane.y have been extended to -2 - 2 to allow following of lanes even when agents are outside of the lanes. New lanes channels have been added and the lanes code now runs faster.
Better brains Input nodes can now reference environment variables. The search option in the brain page now has an option to find output nodes that have the "manual" button on. Output nodes have improved behaviour. The "parent" channel has added functionality. Plus other brain enhancements.
Terrain animation Terrain geometry can now be non-destructively translated, rotated and scaled. And Terrain nodes now support actions using the same action file format as agent actions and camera animations. Terrain node actions can be keyframed in the action editor.
Z up Some studios work with Z-up scenes rather than Y-up, and sometimes particular projects require Z-up. Now the world up axis can be specified with the -yup and -zup commandline options.
3DS Max Support
The famous production proven quality of Massive will finally be available for 3DS Max users. "We know that 3DS Max users like to work within the Max environment so we are giving them what they've been asking for: a Massive plugin for 3DS Max." revealed CEO Stephen Regelous. The new plugin allows Max users to easily and conveniently load scenes of many thousands of characters and see the Massive agents in the scene just like any other 3DS Max objects. V-Ray rendering is fully integrated, and all the user has to do is click the render button to see the Massive agents rendered along with the other objects in the scene. The plugin is expected to be released shortly after the release of Massive 5.0.