November 25th, 2002 | Published in Uncategorized
Popular Science devotes five pages to ‘Massive’, the software driving the battle scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies:
Until recently, relatively simple simulations of physical interactions have driven digital crowd sequences. Using basic rules governing attraction and repulsion, designers aimed single points called particles at each other. Each particle represents a different individual, and when a satisfactory mix is achieved to portray the movements of a group or crowd, animation is added: The particle is rendered as a digital human or creature. The result is cost-effective but not always natural-looking; particle trajectories emulate pool-table-level physics across a two-dimensional space. The movement of real people, especially in battle over rough terrain, is a hugely more complex challenge for the programmer.