There's something undeniably compelling about this test footage by VFX artist Dave Fothergill which sees a few hundred CG souls unleashed into the path of a spinning block. Demonstrating the power of Miarmy, some of the runners make it through, but most trip, fall down and, well, wiggle around...
Fothergill is senior VFX artist at CG house RealtimeUK and uploaded the 'crowd dynamics' test clip to Vimeo a few days ago. According to his post, it uses Maya's Miarmy and "shows the new 'servo force' feature which allows struggling animation once the agent has become dynamic".
Miarmy is, as the name suggests, a plugin specifically designed for crowd simulation, AI and "behavioral animation". And Fothergill's clip is full of lovely detail which add to the cruel realism: the way the approaching crowd ready themselves for the run, oblivious to the odds stacked against them and the will of their human overlord, is almost heart-breaking. And check out the fate of the last man to run – classic.
Fothergill's 44-second test was rendered with Arnold.