Crowds and Ambient Life (Day #1)

Join experts from Pixar Animation Studios, Ubisoft Montreal, MPC, Unity Technologies and the INRIA labs for a day-long course on industry-leading applications of locomotion and avoidance algorithms in groups, whether in constrained environments or crowds in open spaces. Find out about the techniques used in real-time games and simulations for visual effects.

Now in its 7th edition, nucl.ai brings together hundreds of developers from creative industries and interactive media to resolve the biggest technical and design problems with Artificial Intelligence. One of the event's tracks focuses specifically on “Crowds and Ambient Life” for an entire day. (Day #1: Monday, July 20th)

19 Day Tickets Left! Attending Companies & Studios

  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Square Enix
  • CD Projekt Red
  • Creative Assembly
  • Unity Technologies
  • Lionhead Studios
  • Iron Galaxy Studios
  • CCP Games
  • Ubisoft Montreal
  • Moving Picture Company
  • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Bohemia Interactive
  • Epic Games
  • INRIA Research Lab
  • MASA Group
  • ...

I had a great time attending the AI Conference and met so many amazing and nice People there. Once again thank you for giving us students the Oportunity to visit this great Conference!

Jonas Jentsch

Gamedesign Student

Mediadesign Hochschule, GERMANY

The most informative and conference I've been too. Great value and great people. I'll be back.

Chris J. Rock

Wooga, GERMANY

This year's Game/AI Conference was the best one I've gone to so far. The programme was a great balance of high- and low-level, tech and design, as well as academia and industry. The organization was flawless and the location was great.

Jurie Horneman

Independent game designer / programmer

Awesome conferences, where professionals are sharing their knowledge, and their passion. It's quickly going to be the reference in the AI community.

Xavier Dolci

Lead AI Programmer

Ubisoft, FRANCE

This conference was a real deal — cutting edge presentations and experienced speakers. My take away list from this one is impressive! I feel this event can really push Game AI forward!.

Mieszko Zielinski

AI Programmer

People Can Fly, POLAND

I thought the conference was a great success. I learned a lot from the speakers at the conference, as well as interacting with the attendees.

Frederik De Caster

AI Programmer

Creative Assembly, ENGLAND

Thank you for this amazing conference! Great speakers, interesting subjects and nice people. Ten years that I’m looking for a good conference on AI in video games, I’m really happy to have found it.

Gabriel Robert

Senior AI programmer

Ubisoft, PARIS

Well done for putting on such a great conference, the program was varied, interesting and inspiring. Definitely hoping to return next year.

John Lusty

Lead Coder

Ninja Theory, CAMBRIDGE

The quality of the talks was consistently high and the event well organised. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss AI with so many people passionate about the subject and hope to return next year.

Vicky Smalley

Senior AI Programmer

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Thanks for organising a thoroughly enjoyable conference. It's nice to meet so many people with a common interest in AI. It was great to finally meet a number of people who I've spoken to via email over the past 2 years...

Neil Armstrong

Lead AI Programmer

Blitz Games Studios, ENGLAND

Thanks for hosting such an excellent conference. I found it great to meet such a broad cross section from the AI development community. It has certainly given me some inspiration for my upcoming projects. I will definitely try to come back next year!

David Partouche

Senior AI Engineer

CCP Games, ENGLAND

Congrats once again on pulling the conference off: it was by far the most inspiring work-related event I've ever been to. I hope it will become a regular event.

Remco Straatman

Lead AI Programmer

Guerrilla Games, AMSTERDAM



Day Tickets
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All Access
(3 days)

Early Bird (limited)

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Early Worm (timed)

Available in batches of 25 tickets until price increases.

from € 256

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Notes

  • The main amphitheatre (including some talks in this track) are accessible with regular Conference tickets, starting at €119.
  • Discounts are available for small teams and for those between jobs; email events(at)aigamedev.com for a coupon code.

Image Credit: Pixar's Ratatouille

Making a world believable almost always requires bringing it to life. This track focuses on digital extras and entire crowds that can interact with their environment and perform plausible actions without taking up too much computation power! Whether you're building AI technology for runtime or reusing tools as part of a creative process, you'll learn the tricks and techniques to help your scenes come to life.

Keywords

  • crowd simulation
  • obstacle avoidance
  • smart objects
  • actor interaction
  • world annotation

Format

  • Keynote
  • Presentations
  • Panel Discussion
  • Expert Q&A

Track Schedule (Day #1: Monday, July 20th)

Download Crowds and Ambient Life schedule in .ics format.

Track Schedule (Day #1: Monday, July 20th)

Day #1: Monday, July 20th

Crowds and Ambient Life

Real-time Decisions

Virtual / Augmented Reality

Paul Kanyuk, Pixar Animation Studios

16:45 The Evolution of Crowds and AI in Feature Film Animation (Amphitheatre)

François Cournoyer and Antoine Fortier

14:45 Building the Massive Crowds of Assassin’s Creed Unity (Amphitheatre)

Julien Pettré, INRIA

14:00 Crowds Patches for Populating Virtual Worlds (Masterclass)

Mikko Mononen, Unity Technologies

11:15 Believable and Responsive Locomotion for Simulated Agents (Masterclass)

Michaël Rouillé, Adam Davis, Julien Pettré, François Cournoyer

16:00 Cross-Pollination Panel: VFX, Simulation, Games (Laboratories)

Mikko Mononen, Unity Technologies

12:00 Unity Navigation Mesh and Pathfinding Clinic (Laboratories)

Download Crowds and Ambient Life schedule in .ics format.

Keynotes and Presentations

The Evolution of Crowds and AI in Feature Film Animation

At Pixar, crowds are important because they provide spectacle, make worlds more realistic and react believably to the character’s action. But they’re also hard to do! So if you want to know more about how Pixar Animation Studios created crowds for Cars 2, Ratatouille and Up, Paul's talk will lead you through crowd pipelines for feature films, highlighting AI usages in service of Animation.

Paul Kanyuk, Pixar Animation Studios

Paul Kanyuk is a Lead Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios with credits on Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Cars 2, Brave, and Monster’s University. His specialty is crowd simulation, shading, and rendering, and he is responsible for the procedural animation and rendering of numerous crowd spectacles, including the hordes of...

Read full biography »

Paul Kanyuk, Pixar Animation Studios

Paul Kanyuk is a Lead Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios with credits on Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Cars 2, Brave, and Monster’s University. His specialty is crowd simulation, shading, and rendering, and he is responsible for the procedural animation and rendering of numerous crowd spectacles, including the hordes of...

Read full biography »

Building the Massive Crowds of Assassin’s Creed Unity

With the limit of 40 real AIs and 120 high resolution models, we could create scenes in Assassin’s Creed Unity where 10000 crowd NPCs are on screen at the same time. In this presentation, we will introduce a new technique of AI Level of Detail that has allowed us to create thousands of replicated, persistent, interactive NPCs at very low cost. We will go over how we created a pooling system that allowed us to swap a small number of legacy NPC with cheap low resolution NPCs without the player noticing. This talk will then explain how to create a simplistic AI brain to handle the behavior systems of the cheap NPCs. We will also give insights on the problems that came with integrating this technology in a huge legacy system.

François Cournoyer, Ubisoft Montreal

Francois has been working for 5 years as a programmer at Ubisoft Montreal. His background was originally in physics but he moved to game development and has worked in multiple fields including tools, networking, online, game play and AI. Recently, he has been focusing on designing new AI system that...

Read full biography »

François Cournoyer, Ubisoft Montreal

Francois has been working for 5 years as a programmer at Ubisoft Montreal. His background was originally in physics but he moved to game development and has worked in multiple fields including tools, networking, online, game play and AI. Recently, he has been focusing on designing new AI system that...

Read full biography »

Antoine Fortier, Ubisoft Montreal

Antoine graduated BSc from Electrical Engineering with a specialty in Computer Vision and worked as a Software Developer for 7 years in the field. He then made the move to gaming and has been working at Ubisoft Montreal for 8 years as an Engine Programmer with a specialty in AI...

Read full biography »

Antoine Fortier, Ubisoft Montreal

Antoine graduated BSc from Electrical Engineering with a specialty in Computer Vision and worked as a Software Developer for 7 years in the field. He then made the move to gaming and has been working at Ubisoft Montreal for 8 years as an Engine Programmer with a specialty in AI...

Read full biography »

Crowds Patches for Populating Virtual Worlds

We traverse virtual worlds more and more often. Their size is always getting larger, up to the entire earth in the eaxmple of virtual globes. Populating such virtual worlds remain a difficult challenge. Populating virtual cities like Los Santos (GTA V) raise huge design, animation and coding efforts. Crowd simulations systems are generally used in such contexts, and raise many difficulties for their users. In this talk, we present the crowd patches solution to populate large virtual environments. Crowd patches are sort 3D animated textures which capture elements of precomputed crowd animations. Internal animation trajectories are computed so that they periodic in time and have controlled boundary conditions. This way, patches can be assembled together to form large animation, while their content can be endlessly played in loops thanks to periodicity. In the computational point of view, animation costs are reduced to data replay. The talk we put into evidence that the main difficulty when using crowd patches is the way to compute internal trajectories, that have to pass through sets of spatiotemporal waypoints to satisfy some imposed boundary conditions. The talk will also demonstrate that, beyond those difficulties, crowd patches offer opportunities for designers to design crowd animations and to populate virtual places according to new paradigms, high level control, without need of expertise on crowd animation systems.

Julien Pettré, INRIA

Julien Pettré is research scientist at INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (www.inria.fr) since 2006. He received M.S. degree in 2000. He prepared his thesis under the supervision of Jean-Paul Laumond and obtained his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Toulouse III in...

Read full biography »

Julien Pettré, INRIA

Julien Pettré is research scientist at INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (www.inria.fr) since 2006. He received M.S. degree in 2000. He prepared his thesis under the supervision of Jean-Paul Laumond and obtained his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Toulouse III in...

Read full biography »

Creating The Epic Sky Battle In Guardians of the Galaxy

A look at how MPC used new and old technology to create both highly art directable and autonomous simulations during the final sky battle for Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy.

Adam Davis, MPC

Adam began his VFX career as a Crowd Simulation TD at MPC in 2006 after graduating from University with a Bachelor of Science in 3D Computer Animation. From 2007 he worked on movies including 10,000 BC, Watchmen, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince as Crowd TD and The Wolfman...

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Adam Davis, MPC

Adam began his VFX career as a Crowd Simulation TD at MPC in 2006 after graduating from University with a Bachelor of Science in 3D Computer Animation. From 2007 he worked on movies including 10,000 BC, Watchmen, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince as Crowd TD and The Wolfman...

Read full biography »

Believable and Responsive Locomotion for Simulated Agents

Creating believable and responsive locomotion animation for simulated agents is a common problem for small indie projects as well as large productions. In this presentation we will take a peek at recent R&D from Unity where we have explored a solution to the locomotion animation problem. The talk will take a close look at both the velocity based obstacle avoidance as well as parametric animation controller to find a common interface. We will propose a method that can be quickly set up for a small project with limited resources, and allows fine tuning for better quality animation.

Mikko Mononen, Unity Technologies

Mikko Mononen has been working on AI for almost 10 years. He is the author of Recast and Detour, a widely used open source pathfinding library. Mikko works at Unity and is working on AI navigation tools.

Read full biography »

Mikko Mononen, Unity Technologies

Mikko Mononen has been working on AI for almost 10 years. He is the author of Recast and Detour, a widely used open source pathfinding library. Mikko works at Unity and is working on AI navigation tools.

Read full biography »

Cross-Pollination Panel: VFX, Simulation, Games

Crowds & ambient life have become increasingly popular in this last decade in the VFX, Animation, Games and Simulation industries; formerly reserved to a few number of high end studios and blockbusters, crowd simulation is now commonly used in TV shows, commercials, console games and simulators. In this panel we will discuss the similarities and differences between the Media & Entertainment industries population solutions, tools and challenges.

Michaël Rouillé , CTO at Golaem

Adam Davis , Global Head of Crowd Sim & MoCap at MPC

Julien Pettré , Research Scientist at INRIA

François Cournoyer , Gameplay Programmer at Ubisoft Montreal

Unity Navigation Mesh and Pathfinding Clinic

In this open laboratory, Unity expert and AI wizzard Mikko Mononen will let you ask questions about the AI features in Unity. Whether it's the navigation system, integration with animation and movement, feel free to drop by and ask questions about their usage or underlying implementation.

Mikko Mononen, Unity Technologies

Mikko Mononen has been working on AI for almost 10 years. He is the author of Recast and Detour, a widely used open source pathfinding library. Mikko works at Unity and is working on AI navigation tools.

Read full biography »

Mikko Mononen, Unity Technologies

Mikko Mononen has been working on AI for almost 10 years. He is the author of Recast and Detour, a widely used open source pathfinding library. Mikko works at Unity and is working on AI navigation tools.

Read full biography »

Speakers & Organizers

Paul Kanyuk

François Cournoyer

Antoine Fortier

Julien Pettré

Adam Davis

Mikko Mononen

Michaël Rouillé

Browse Conference Tracks

Character Animation Technology

Real-time Decisions

Agent Behavior

Procedural Content Generation

Virtual / Augmented Reality

Crowds and Ambient Life

Advanced Analytics & Data Science

Systemic Design, AI Directors

Cognitive Bots & Language