Crowd simulation software vendor Massive said the forthcoming Massive Prime Version 9.0 will include a new universal plug-in that it says should allow “nearly any” third-party vendor to implement Massive support in 3D animation and rendering applications.

Massive Prime UI

The company said software vendors and post-production studios will now have the ability to place AI-controlled Massive agents in renders or in software viewports. “Every year, we receive multiple requests to support various animation and rendering applications,” said Massive founder and CEO Stephen Regelous in a prepared statement. “We want to make it easy for anyone to utilize Massive’s tools, which is why we decided to make a straightforward universal plug-in that would allow Massive agents to appear in renders or even directly in software viewports.”

Also new in v9.0 is a shader network feature allowing Masive users to build, import and edit shading networks. Shading networks created in tools like Autodesk Maya or 3ds Max should look and function the same in Massive, the company said.

“Lanes as Generators” is a new combination of lane-assignment for agents with generators controlling where the agents appear and what geometry they occupy. Meant to simplify the process of automating crowd movement, including escalators and moving walkways, the feature was added at the request of users from architectural visualization.

All of the new updates will be included in Massive for Maya and Massive for Max at no additional charge, the company said. Massive is demonstrating the new software at SIGGRAPH, but didn’t say exactly when it will ship.

Massive also announced that it had developed a new Horse & Rider Agent, one of its line of Ready to Run Agents, allowing the creation of crowd simulations that incorporate pre-assembled agents. The Horse & Rider is built with a skeleton, motions, brains, geometry, cloth, textures, shaders and control, as well as dynamic hair simulation controlling manes and tails, the company said. Motion capture efforts were provided by Profile Studios, which tracked horse movements indoors and outdoors, using biometric sensors to monitor muscle movements in modes including gallop, canter, jump, dressage, and trot.

Massive Prime is $16,000, including a year of maintenance and support, while Massive for Max is $595/quarter or $1,995/year. Massive for Maya is $3,500. Customers who bought Massive within one year of the new version’s release will be upgraded at no charge. Ready to Run Agents can be rented for a limited time or purchased outright; exact costs depend on the agent but start at $500 for a rental and $3,000 to purchase.