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Crowd Simulation in Films

This dissertation is about the study of crowd simulation and why the crowd simulation is in need in the movies. Particularly concentrating about the computer generated movies simulating a large crowd is the most difficult task in the production pipeline. So finding a better way to give the audience the feel of crowd is the challenge. Researching about the silhouettes and its uses will help to implement the silhouette to establish the crowd. Silhouettes helps in many ways to create a mystic mood. . As implementing silhouette in the crowd simulation will helps to reduce the secondary animation and facial expression. As there are so many softwares exist to helps the crowd simulation, This paper will focus on a procedure which will create a crowd simulation by transferring the animation from one character to another character in a simpler and easier way.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Animation gives the life to the character. Animating a particular character takes a long time to give the feel. This dissertation is about researching the animation, animating the entire crowd is the difficult task in the animation pipeline. So this dissertation is mainly carried out to find a way to transfer the animation from one character to another character in a simpler and easier way.

Crowd simulation is a process of simulating a group of members, objects or characters. When simulating a large number of characters in a live feature film is not a big deal. Man power is more important in simulating a crowd in feature film. Particularly concentrating on the computer generated movies, replicating the characters animation and behavior from one character to many character is a big deal. A lot of research is done about the crowds and the formation of crowds in society. For example, social gatherings, meetings, assemblies, religious ceremonies and sport events.

1.1| Aim:

The main aim of the project is to achieve an essential method for crowd simulation for animation.

1.2| Research question:

The research question for this study will be.

  • What is crowd simulation?
  • Why we need crowd simulation?
  • Researching the existing crowd simulation method.
  • Disadvantages of existing crowd simulation method.
  • How silhouette helpful for the animation poses?
  • How silhouette will be useful for simulating a crowd?

1.3| Statement of problem:

Animating the entire crowd is the most biggest problem. Technically, creating the crowd is not a big deal but at that same time transferring the animation to each and every character with the different timing is the big deal. The another problem is that the rendering the whole scene with lots and lots of character in a particular scene will make the scene the most complicated one. So finding a better solution for creating the entire scene in Maya with lots and lots of character which has the different timing in their animation. There are several methods for the development of crowd simulation. The major method is using Maya’s Dynamics. There are several external softwares which helps to simulate a entire crowd. But the method which said by this dissertation is quite simple and easier than comparing to another external softwares and Maya’s Dynamics.

1.4| Objectives:

  • Various types of crowd simulation method.
  • Silhouette/ Various types.
  • To study the golden poses for animations.
  • Explore the secondary motion for animation.
  • New methods of producing crowd simulation.

1.5| Significance of study:

Most of the computer generated movies currently released like Madagascar, Horton hears a Who, had a clear idea about the crowd simulation. The focus of the study in this dissertation is about the simulation of crowd in a simpler and easier way and developing a simple procedure for transferring animation from one character to multiple characters.

This study is carried out for developing a better technique for crowd simulation in future upcoming CG projects.

1.6| Hypothesis:

The hypothesis of this dissertation is an animator can easily transfer the animation from one character to multiple character for simulating a crowd and also using the silhouette to visualize the crowd shot with a different perspective.

Chapter 2: Review of literature

This chapter will discuss about the article, books, Internet websites, publications which are related to this dissertation.

There are few important topics are covered related to the cinematography, photography, silhouette, animation poses, crowd simulation.

2.1| Book and Internet websites:

1. Malcolm Le Grince,2001.,Experimental Cinema in Digital Age

It explains about the experiment carried over Cinema from olden days to modern age. This book mainly concentrated about the cinemas that are experimented in modern ages. They experimented using the different types of cameras and various shots that enhances the scene.

2. Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristian,2001.,Film Art- An Introduction

It explains about the art of film making, this gives the introduction about the film making. This book is referenced particularity to study about the lights and its uses. This gives a clear idea about the back lighting is and how essential to shoot a silhouette shot.

3. Beazley, Mitchell and Ang, Tom,2008.,Fundamentals of modern photography

It explains about the photography and how photography helpful to convey the moral to the audience. This book concentrates about the camera and its uses for the photography. Rules and techniques for achieving the Silhouette stills.

4. Frost, Lee,2003.,Photography

It explains about the various types of photography in various mood setup. How different light setup enchants the scene. This book clearly explains about the advantages and disadvantages of different styles in photograph in different environment. This book is mainly referred to study the advantages and disadvantages of silhouette shooting.

5. Emma Rutherford, Lulu,2009.,Silhouette: The Art of the Shadow

It explains about how the silhouette is oriented with the art and craft. This book gives a simple definition for the silhouette as ‘Silhouette is the simplest of art forms’. This says about the fascinating history of art and craft in Europe and America.

6. Popular Mechanices (Hadly, Paul, 1947.,Silhouettes for salons,From Pg No. 171 to 173)

This book meanly concentrated on the mechanics of machines in 1947. But from the page 171, this book has a quote about the silhouette photography. Hadly had a clear definition for the silhouette photography and he particularity chosen the early morning and late evening time because that light sources will be perfect for silhouette photography. This light sources naturally become the back lighting when the still is taken by aiming the sun.

7. Thalman, Daniel.,Crowd simulation

This book is referenced for the purpose to have an clear idea about simulating a crowd and crowd AI. Artificial intelligence is applied on the crowd with speed control, locomotion control and personification control. This book explains from the modeling to the final rendering of the simulated crowd. Also this book gives an idea about simulating the environment sources like clouds, skies, plants, lakes and terrains.

8. Brinkmann, Ron.,The art and science of digital composting: Techniques for visual effects

This book is referenced to have a clear study about the digital compositing in the post production pipeline. It has a clear idea about the replication of the rendered mesh. This consumes the render time the 3D softwares like Maya, 3D Max and so on. Simulating a crowd in the post-production level is more better than production level.

9. (Accessed on 02-10-10)

This website is analyzed to study about the ways to achieve the silhouette photographs in a simper and easier way. This website gives a tutor to the viewer about the ways to take silhouette photography.

10. on 02-10-10)

This website is referenced to study about the poses of different anatomy models in silhouette mode. Professional animators use the silhouette mode to value the animation key poses. This website has a library of silhouette poses of props, male, female, mammals and so on.

11. on 02-10-10)

This website is referenced to study about the crowd AI. Artificial intelligence is one of the most important guide to achieve the realism in simulating the crowd. This website gives an idea about the particle effects and the collusion. Energy control, Personification control, direction control, locomotion control is easily achieved in AI.

12. on 02-10-10)

This website gives a method to create a simple crowd using the particle simulation. The basic idea in this tutorial is developing a crowd with low mesh ans defining a collision point using locater. The character is animated using the clip and four different clips is imported to 15 characters. These characters are guided using the expression editor. This method is based on the MEL(Maya Embedded Language.)

2.2| Interpretation:

By reviewing the literatures like books, magazines, articles and Internet websites, the researcher had a better idea to develop a simple procedure to simulate the crowd and a crystal clear vision about the crowd AI (Artificial Intelligence). This literature review is also concentrated on the silhouettes and its uses in the production field. Silhouette is the best way to represent the enthusiasm. This research helped the researcher is present the entire crowd in the silhouette mode for the enthusiastic feel.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1| Types of research: Analytical

This dissertation is of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the title,’Silhouette an essential method for crowd simulation animation’. This research document carries the content from the Internet website, books and articles. This research is mainly done to develop a procedure to simulate a entire crowd in a simple and easier way and also to research about the silhouette is how essential to visualize the crowd to get a enthusiastic feel.

This dissertation is carried out with the information collected through different sources like:

  • Magazines
  • Journals
  • Forums
  • Research papers
  • Books
  • Internet Websites
  • Articles

Google search engine and wikipedia are the two major sites helped a lot to gather information from various websites around the web.

3.2| Population:

The people who are suitable for this population are Animators, cinematographers and visual effect artists.

They were examined by series of questions regarding the simulation of an entire crowd using the silhouette. The population of this research work carries the production experienced person, students, Animation tutors.

3.3| Sampling:

Judgment Sampling

3.4| Scope and limitation:

This research is limited to the simulation of crowd.

Chapter 4:Crowd Simulation

4.1| Definition

A crowd is defined to be collection of people or group of people[1]. The term crowd is mainly referred to the collection of humans as well as animals[2]. Crowds in also defined as the sharing of emotional experience. A crowd can be named by the purpose or different types emotions, such as riot, social gatherings, meetings, assemblies, religious ceremonies, general meetings and sport events[3].

4.2| Crowd:

Scholars differ about what classes of social events fall under the rubric of collective behavior. In fact, the only class of events which all authors include is crowds. Clark McPhail, who treat crowds and collectives as synonyms. His important contribution is to gone beyond the others to carry out empirical studies of crowds. He finds them to form an set of types.

The treatment of crowds is Gustave LeBon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1896), in which the author, a frightened aristocrat, interpreted the crowds of the French Revolution as irrational reversions to animal emotion, and inferred from this that such reversion is characteristic of crowds in general. Freud expressed a similar view in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1922). Authors thought that their ideas were confirmed by various kinds of crowds, one of these are the virtual economic. In Holland, during the tulip mania (1637), the prices of tulip bulbs rose to astronomical heights. An array of such quotes was quoted by the authors from the different part of the world. Mainly and other historical odds is said by Charles MacKay’s Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841).

At the University of Chicago, Robert Park and Herbert Blumer approved with the speculations of LeBon and other that crowds are formed by emotional. But a crowd is capable of any emotion, not only the negative ones of anger and fear.

A number of authors modify the common-sense of the crowd to include episodes during which the participants are not assembled in one place but are dispersed over a large area. Turner and Killian refer to such crowds, examples being Billy Graham’s, their expanded definition of the crowd is justified if propositions are compact crowds do so for diffuse crowds as well.

Some psychologists have proved that there are three fundamental human emotions: fear, joy, and anger. Neil Smelser, John Lofland, and others have proposed three corresponding forms of the crowd: the panic (an expression of fear), the craze (an expression of joy), and the hostile outburst (an expression of anger). Each of the three emotions can characterize either a compact or a diffuse crowd, the result being a scheme of six types of crowds. Lofland has offered the most explicit discussion of these types.

4.3| Types of Natural crowd:

There are already many types of crowd in the society, mainly they are classified into businesses and projects based crowd formation. But when we study about crowd sourcing and the crowds that influence it, we always like to the talking about one big crowd, one only crowd type that can fulfill every task.

Well that’s not what happens in reality, and Author Nicholas Carr had a interesting blog post which states about this and his mind thoughts over the typology of crowds, after studying about the crowd sourcing we can find a piece for the PBS Digital Nation site.

He suggests the following 4 types of crowds in crowd sourcing:

– Social production crowd: consists of a large group of individuals who lend their individual talents to the devolved creations like Wikipedia or Linux.’

This one basically fits in the most examples of crowd sourcing.

– Averaging crowd: classifies exactly as a survey group, giving an average judgment about some complex matter in some cases, is more accurate than the judgment of any one individual person in the society.’

Nicholas Carr defines that prediction markets are a typical examples of this different types of crowd, or even the stock market for that matter.

– Data mine crowd: A large group that, the basic common knowledge and understanding of all its members who produces a collection of behavioral data or information that can be collected verified by the authors from various country put under a series of examine in order to gain insight into behavioral or market patterns.’

The example are defined here is the crowd that are mainly feed Google’s search engine and Amazon’s search engine. So here we all are involving ourselves in this crowd sourcing effort without knowing that we’re particularly helping the system.

– Networking crowd: a group that exports and import information through a shared communication system such as the phone network or Internet service. Internet service are mainly concentrated on the social networking like Orkut, hi 5, Facebook or Twitter.’

Here we’re not aware about being members of information collection, and if not handled carefully by the companies, could put a backfire on this type of services.

After these 4 types, two were suggested. One by Clay Shirky, who was also, involved in this discussion, and another one from a suggestion by a commenter on the blog, Tom Lord. That’s crowd sourcing working right there!

– Transactional crowd: a group used to coordinate what are mainly point-to-point transactions, such as the type of crowd collected by eBay,, Innocentive, LinkedIn and similar services.’

– Event crowd: A group organized through online communication for a particular event, which can take place either online or in the real world and may have a political, social, aesthetic, or other purpose.’

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