After an exhausting week stuffed with submission dates and presentations I was finally able to finish my force field based crowd simulation. For the final submission a video introducing the script/tool is necessary as well, so I wanted to share it to conclude the previous posts. The algorithm works quite well and has especially proven itself to work well for high numbers of individual actors rather than multiple swarms crossing.

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While playing around with Maya I started trying to achieve a form of crowd-simulation without scripting. What I did was simple: Every object in the scene had an invisible sphere attached that was pointy where the object was looking. The sphere itself was an elastic physics body without contact friction.

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Since I am still working on and researching techniques for crowd simulation I stumbled upon the pathfinding in Supreme Commander 2. Everyone who ever worked with pathfinding probably used or at least knows of a variation of the A*-algorithm. When a few objects move around A* has proven to be a good and fast solution for pathfinding. Unfortunately A* is not reliable when a lot of objects move around.

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One of my coursework this semester is to develop a crowd-simulation algorithm realised in Maya. The first major problem I encountered is the lack of information on crowd-simulation. I don’t mean there are no research papers on crowd-simulation, but most game-related or programming-related topics are well documented and have lots of examples.

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For the procedural methods coursework I am currently working on I wrote a small framework to hide away the DirectX API completely and make it easier to use and simpler to prototype with. The procedural real-time terrain generation is running on the GPU and therefore heavily relying on Shaders.

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For my provisional summer project I will need grass, so I started investigating how to deal with grass efficiently in WebGL. This simple approach was a technique I used to render grass in one of my first OpenGL (2.1) programs years ago.

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In need of a new UNIX – system on my desktop pc I recently stumbled upon Linux Mint. I previously mostly used Fedora and Ubuntu, but had a bunch of personal problems with Gnome 3 and Unity, since I really liked the simplicity of Gnome 2.

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