Maya ‘Marching Agents’ (3D)


The Marching Agents can also function in 3D allowing the consideration of further levels – simulation of pedestrian activity from London underground stations for example. It also allows the formation of 3D objects which could, for example, provide analysis of crowd control, generate objects as obstacles or 3D visuals.


Maya particle tracking

The emission and control of particles and their properties can be manipulated to provide various effects. There are features that allow the tracking or creation of a trail from a moving particle or that can make the particle take on the behaviour of smoke. for example. Although not sure of an application yet it may prove useful in terms of tracking the path of an agent or particle from location to origin.

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Maya Fluid Dynamics: Application to Site

I wanted to apply my experiments using Maya Fluid Emitters to my investigative British Library site at Kings Cross to determine whether they could be used to simulate, reproduce or illustrate the effects of pedestrian and vehicular activity.

car morn
MORNING: Map illustrating fair pedestrian activity early in the morning.

car lunch
MIDDAY: Map illustrating increased pedestrian activity during work lunch hour.
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Maya Fluid Dynamics: Digital Crowd Simulation?

There are a number of tools within Maya which simulate organic or natural intelligence and/ or processes. I was interested in Maya dynamics_fluid emitters and whether their interaction with obstacles within the digital environment could be used to provide a digital crowd simulation.

Below are some initial tests into the creation of singular direction vector fields and their interaction with preset objects over time.

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The Great Library of Alexandria


Thought of as the largest and most significant Library of the ancient world, the Ancient Library of Alexandria functioned as a major centre of scholarship under the Ptolemaic Dynasty for some 3oo years; from circa 300BC until the Roman conquest in Egypt in 30BC. There are many myths surrounding its destruction; from Julius Caesar accidentally burning the library down in 48BC, Theophilus ordering its demolition and the burning of its scrolls circa 400AD to the Moslem invasion in 600AD with Caliph Omar destroying the great library.

Whatever its fate, I am interested in the cultural significance this library was believed to have played. It was not a Library as we might know one to be today but combined many purposes with a much higher significance on society. It facilitated not only the archive but also the creation or writing of many scrolls, said to have contained between 300,000 and 500,000 scrolls in its archives. Alexandria was a major trade port at the time and whenever a ship came into port the crew were required to submit an inventory of any scrolls possessed on board to the library. It was then at the Library’s discretion which of these scrolls they would keep, replicate and return, or leave with the ship. A vast workforce was required at the Library duplicating scrolls for its archives. Often whole families would live and work at the library with accommodation and travel also being provided to the families of scholars conducting their own research. The library contained not only archives but accommodation, gardens, rooms for shared dining, reading, meeting rooms, lecture halls and a museum perhaps similar to a large university today. This created a community at the site not only producing new research and scrolls but also duplicating existing scrolls that were both archived within the library and sold or traded to the wider world. This not only brought wealth to the port but created an intentionally significant place of research and study with a vast number of people interacting with one another and researching, developing and disseminating their ideas.

alexandria diagram2
Programmatic diagram of the Great Library of Alexandria.