New Softimage Graphics Animator Draws Crowds

Avid subsidiary Softimage has released the BEHAVIOR system, which completes behavioral animation for film and broadcast.

The system lets users create characters and choreograph 3D animated crowds with people, animals or objects that are capable of responding to objects, other characters or changes in the environment.

Users can individually control each character in the simulation through a combination of graphical editing, scripting and debugging tools, but can also use a library of predefined behaviors. Characters can be created with "brains" made to respond and interact with their environment and other characters.

The character engine features real-time IK, animation blending and warping, dynamic path planning and automatic obstacle characters in the simulation. Any character can be implemented into a crowd event and then blended into a live action shot. Using the BEHAVIOR system with the SOFTIMAGE XSI, a 3D non-linear production tool, produces a pipeline where graphics can be exported to the BEHAVIOR crowd simulation engine.

The BEHAVIOR system has been used in the feature film "The One," and the four-part A&E series "Napoleon."