Understanding Behaviors

In the real world, different crowds exhibit diverse behaviors, and even members of the same crowd can conduct themselves in various and sundry ways. Included with character studio's Crowd system is an assortment of behaviors that let you simulate a range of crowd activities. And if you need custom behaviors, you can create your own.

Following is a list of available behaviors:

Using Behaviors

To use a behavior, you apply it to a delegate or a team of delegates using the Behavior Assignments and Teams dialog. In this dialog, each assignment of a behavior to a delegate is given a weight. You can modify and/or animate these weights to influence the simulation.

Behavior assignment weights can profoundly effect a simulation. When applying two or more behaviors to the same delegate, the weights define the relationship between the behaviors, making one more or less powerful than the other. One way to visualize a behavior assignment weight is to examine the behavior's force vector during a crowd simulation. The vector's length indicates the behavior's weight upon the delegate.

Each behavior has its own parameters which appear in the Behavior rollout, available in the Crowd object's Modify panel. These parameters describe how the behavior works, and can sometimes contribute to the behavior's strength as well. For instance, Seek, Repel, Wall Seek, and Wall Repel, all have specific volumes of influence. Outside these volumes they have no effect and essentially have a weight of zero. This rollout lets you specify whether or not you wish to see behavior's force vector dynamically displayed during a Crowd simulation, and what color that vector should be.

When working with the Crowd system, it is critical to play with behavior assignment weights, as well as each behaviors' parameters. Typically, you run the simulation repeatedly, changing the weights and parameters to get the desired result.

A few behaviors cannot be weighted. These are Avoid, Surface Follow, and Orientation. Avoid and Surface Follow take over after all of the other behaviors have been applied to a delegate. They can take stringent measures to affect the delegate, possibly overpowering other behaviors in order to meet their constraints. Orientation simply sets the delegate's facing direction. It cannot be weighted and does not apply a force.

Behavior Tips

A few helpful things to know about behaviors in character studio: