Working in the architectural industry I love to see the fantastic visualisations that my customers create from their designs. From concept models to full photorealistic visuals of something that does not yet exist.
Getting your visuals to look more functional means adding more than just a building. We need to give our buildings a purpose. Adding characters to these scenes gives the feeling that there is a purpose to that space, it also helps to give a scale to the image. We also need to be careful not to give these characters too much attention. Adding characters, if we are not careful can become a distraction from the true purpose of the visual which is ultimately to show off our designs.
Harder still is if we are creating a video to showcase our designs, do we want our characters to be stationary or do we want them to be animated. If we go down the animated route, do we need to learn complex animation techniques before we even start? Or do we need to employ someone from Pixar or Dreamworks to created our very own Shrek or Buzz Lightyear. Autodesk 3ds Max offers plenty of options when it comes to animating characters from the BiPed system to CAT(Character Animation Toolkit). Although these make animation quite simple, there is a lot of work involved and if you wanted a crowd of people then this could result in hours of work.
However, what if I told you that you can create a fully animated Crowd, or a street of people walking up and down, with animated interaction between the characters, even to the point where these characters will avoid each other if their paths cross.
This is where the populate tools come in. A section of tools that allow use to easily create Character Flows and Ideal Areas.
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