Golaem : simuler des mouvements de foules dans Game of Thrones


The final season of Game of Thrones was released at 3 a.m. in France on Monday April 15. This gives us the opportunity to study Golaem , a crowd simulation startup.

Named in reference to the Golem of mythology, an artificial being made of clay, Golaem allows the creation of characters (human or not), sometimes even objects, animated and each unique, to allow the creation of impressive scenes at the screen.

An entirely Breton startup

Created in 2009 by researchers from Irisa (Institute for research in computer science and random systems), Golaem is a Breton startup. Originally incubated at Emergys (the Rennes Atalantes incubator), it is now located on the Technicolor campus in Cesson-Sévigné, near Rennes.

Golaem was founded by a dozen partners from the laboratory, including Stéphane Donikian (the current CEO), Alexandre Pillon and Michaël Rouillé. Basically, the field of special effects was not targeted. They wanted to allow companies like the SNCF to make the descent of passengers more fluid in order to to optimize the frequency of circulation of its trains . For this, they needed a crowd simulator to anticipate the movements it may have when descending this train.

But quickly, this software proved useful in the world of cinema, TV series, video games and advertising. It allows to populate 3D scenes  by humans, horses, birds, extraordinary creatures and more. Thus, Golaem can fill stadiums, concert halls, armies, streets.

Examples of scenes populated by Golaem

On Sunday, April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, the Golaem team was presented with the 2018 Emmy Technology and Engineering Award for their significant impact on the television industry. Indeed, Golaem has allowed the film industry to spend less money and less time on these often laborious special effects.

Golaem crowd: software that stands out

Golaem crowd (Golaem’s software), responds to a request for reduced budget and deadlines  compared to before. Series and films are coming out faster and faster, and have a lower and lower available budget. Some items are even offered for free.

However Golaem does not position itself as a low-cost solution. The rendering can be very good. This software meets both basic requirements but is also suitable for more advanced users. It is a ready-to-use tool, an easy-to-use and scalable software. It does not require the intervention of a crowd simulation specialist.  It integrates into daily editing software.

Its use is simple. After having positioned (orientation, number, distance, etc.) the characters, we then define the behaviors that we wish to give to these characters. They will have an awareness of the environment, which will make it possible to avoid collisions for example. They can be given a target to run towards and then given an individual animation so that they are no longer fixed and that they all behave in unique ways . This uniqueness of behavior is one of the strengths of Golaem crowd.

Comfortable with all universes, this software is very useful in many productions.

Renowned international clients

Golaem’s turnover is mainly achieved abroad. But their customers remain varied whether in terms of their source or their use of the software.

Golaem crowd has been used in several episodes of the Game of Thrones series since their first collaboration for season 3. This software was notably used for season 5 and to create an army of white walkers surrounding the Brotherhood in an episode of season 7.

We also saw the use of this software in a  Orangina pub  by Mikros Image, in a clip  “centuries” from Fall Out Boy , or more recently in the Love Death + Robot series.

For the future, Golaem is interested in artificial intelligence. For example, it would be conceivable to create simulations of situations in order to train the AI to react according to the situation that presents itself to it. For example, the behavior of an autonomous car in a crowd.

You can also  download this article in PDF format  here. 

To know all about the  chatbots and AI, subscribe to the Newsletter

Need help with your Chatbot project?


The essential

Posts not found

Ce que vous lisez à l'air de vous plaire...

Et si vous vous inscriviez à notre newsletter ?

Recevez ce type de contenu et bien d’autres (outils, actualités, témoignages, podcasts…) toutes les semaines directement dans la boîte mail de votre choix. Désinscrivez-vous à tout moment.