Would you like to see a crowd generation/crowd simulation plugin for Blender?

Hi folks,

Wouldn’t it be great to have a robust and reliable open source or reasonably priced plugin to do crowd generation/crowd simulation for Blender or other software?

Currently the existing software for crowd are in the thousands, some over $3,000 too and even hundreds of dollars for a few months’ rental.

Why allow people to capitalize on those plugins?

Currently there is no reasonably priced crowd generation/crowd simulation plugin for Blender or Maya which can produce industry standard results.

By reasonably priced I am setting the bar as high as $1,000 for a PERMANENT license, and there is no plugin that can do industry standard crowd simulation/crowd generation work that sells for at least $1,000 for a PERMANENT license. People should not have to pay more than this amount for a PERMANENT license for such a plugin and should not deserve to rent the plugin either.

We cannot sit back and let plugins like these hold on to a high priced status in the market. As we know, Maya and Fusion for example were highly priced in their time previously, but now they have different cost structures. I can understand renting Maya as a subscription, but a crowd simulation/crowd generation plugin should not be rented.

I am sure there are very brilliant programmers who can formulate a great solution for industry standard crowd software, and at the right price, I am also sure many will be interested in buying those.

This expensive crowd plugin market needs a wake up call to reduce their license drastically.

How can this project be started?

Coders, programmers, developers how can we get an army of ten thousand people of 10,000 dogs running down a street interacting with each other and with animations etc.?

I have faith in the brilliant developers out there and hope someone has heard or will hear this call and start work on a plugin that can change the industry’s mindset where crowds are required in CGI!

Definitely if possible! I like the upcoming game “The Division” I would like to create something like it but instead of a game, it would be a cgi but very realistic movie. I have been working on the script for a year now.

Before one starts on crowd simulations, one should have scripted walk animations.
If you got that working, then you need boids (like we have particle boids in blender), to get some (random/goal) walking.
Currently there is no good scripted walking, there are some scripts, but then the people walk like robots.

… then consider this is still relative simple walking, the people dont fight, or climb on eachother or making arm/hand signs, and they dont pick stuff like bags etc…
This might give you an idea why such a plugins are so expensive.

On the other hand Blender has rigify and it could be a great spinoff for more.

Sure it would be great, but all the “supporting reasons” you have brought here
are… wtf.

i can understand that you think this is a very high prize, but who pays for the research and development over years?
why do you think this is something you can regain with a price cap upfront?

it just makes me upset if people say “its to expensive” but dont think about the work that went into the product.

Why do you think 3000$ is unreasonable, but 1000$ is reasonable? The next guy is gonna say only 500$ is reasonable, then the next guy will never spend anything on software, at all.

Those companies charge 3000$ because they can, but their market is also really tiny. 3000$ after taxes isn’t even enough to pay a single programmer a proper salary for a month, if you’re based in the US.

How can this project be started?

Start a company, hire programmers, develop your product, then compete on price with your 1000$ crowd sim product. Try staying in business. If your company doesn’t fold and is profitable at 1000$/license, you were right: crowd simulation software only needs to cost 1000$. Your competitors may have to adjust their prices.

If you don’t have the money, you’re gonna have to find investors, but unless you’re bringing any proven skills to the table (being an “ideas guy” is not a skill) you will fail.

As we know, Maya and Fusion for example were highly priced in their time previously, but now they have different cost structures.

In the earlier days, the computers that ran this software were equally expensive. Then technological progress made 3D graphics hardware a commodity. The market became much larger and other software companies rushed in. However, as you may have noticed, the price for a 3D suite has settled at around 1000$-4000$ since quite a while now.

I have faith in the brilliant developers out there and hope someone has heard or will hear this call and start work on a plugin that can change the industry’s mindset where crowds are required in CGI!

All I hear is that some guy on blenderartists doesn’t want to spend an extra 2000$ on a software license. That’s not very convincing. Maybe you could do some market research, try figuring out approximately how large the market is (company earnings are often in the public record).

JUST MY LITTLE OPINION, I think focusing on blender game engine and PBR/PBS is much more efficient here, yesterday I saw a plugin that make use of Panda3d in Blender like blender game engine

Using panda3d like in Blender is an advantage that logic like crowd can be implemented. removing blender game engine and adding more rebust engine to blender is more useful and can be use in variety of works. not only crowd but also realtime simulation and visualizations.

I think focusing on game engine is little waste of time, because on market there is a lot of free or very cheap game engines that can handle everything a lot better than blenders game engine. They are light years ahead and because they are also do cheap, why should BI waste their time on developing same tricks again? Modeling and animation instead is the area where you don’t have on market very good cheap software, so that is where Blender can be very useful.

Of course nobody denies if somebody wants to develop the blender’s game-engine, or games with it, but it should not be main goal for the whole community.

My points was focusing on real time solution or something not completely on game engine. realtime that can easily implement crowd and then render the whole scene in cycles by using game engine functionalities.

Wait a minute. So you are here proposing a plugin with a set price that you have nothing to do with?

What makes you think that you have any right to decide the price at all?

I’ve developed many addons myself, & if a crowd simulation system is needed, then I will put my WIP auto retopology addon on hold and start on maybe a node based system or simply using handlers in a clever way for randomness. May call it “CrowdFX”

Do I wish to see a stable, maintained crowd-simulation add-on for Blender?
Sure. I think it would be a cool addition to Blender’s arsenal of tools for small graphic houses & hobbyist filmmakers.

Would I use it personally?

Not likely. I’m focused on game development and if I need a crowd simulator for something, it would need to be much more optimised than what I expect a Blender add-on to get away with.

Do I think we should be setting the price at the level considered “reasonable” in the OP?
Nope. Developer time costs money. A lot of developer time needs to go into both the development and maintenance of the suggested plugin. Telling that developer (or developers) that they cannot set the price of their time as they see fit strikes me as unreasonable. One isn’t forced to by the add-on. One shouldn’t be forced to a fixed price for the add-on either.

Agree but what if we sticked to a lower aim.
Automated walking, so blender games could be made easier as well.
And i also think of architects having some people walking around their scenes.

Do it, but small something that you could sell in 50 bucks, and get lot’s of sales instead of getting it for $1000 and sell it once a year.

There has been a crowd plugins long time ago. But I have forgotten its name

maybe development of this plugin could be crowdfunded :smiley:

Well, the OP was about crowd sims. Which is a much larger task and also something that really only benefits a subset of filmmakers.

If we are talking about a walk cycle generation add-on, I’d be all over that. Hell, I’d settle for a reasonably good retargeting plugin/add-on. Yes, I know of the one that exists at the moment. It’s not production quality by any means.

I was going to say the same, it is called BlenderPeople:



yes, BlenderPeople, but it stops at blender 2.4x
what a pity

Yup, it was a pretty awesome effort. Took some setup and all, but it was impressive nonetheless. Especially for a one-man-band project.

Also worth talking to the man about what turned him away from developing on/for Blender if you ever get a chance.