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ICE Flocking is a beginner level training kit covering rules and techniques for flocking behavior using Softimage ICE. It's targetng the users who would like to take advantage of the immense power that ICE provides, but are too intimidated by its apparent complexity. The title aims at presenting the flocking problem as a series of rules, and use ICE as a tool to tackle these rules, solving them one at a time.

The topics in this title focus mainly on manipulating particles using velocity vectors, thus rendering the resulting flocking compounds fully compatible with other factory compounds, also operating on velocities.

It's important to note that the author does not use any third party compounds available on the net. Instead, all the compounds are custom built from scratch, exposing the user to all the mathematical intricacies involved in developing an intelligent flocking behavioral system.

Scene files and compounds are included with this DVD.

Duration: 2 hrs 31 mn     Platform: Softimage 2011 and above     Author: Charbel Koueik


Flocking rules were first documented by Craig Reynolds in 1986. The basic model consisted of 3 simple rules that affect the steering of particles, namely cohesion, separation and alignment. This title covers these rules and their (custom) application in ICE, and adds several extra rules to enhance the interaction of particles with other objects, and the surrounding environment.

This training title, ICE Flocking, assumes that the user has at least a basic understanding if ICE and its nodal system and workflow. The title does not cover ICE basics, like connecting nodes and the difference between a vector and a scalar.

Autored by Charbel Koueik, the titles starts with the theory of flocking behavior then moves on to particle neighbors, and tytpical methods to access them in ICE. After the theory has been laid out, Charbel moves on to the application of the 3 basic flocking rules.

After the 3 basic rules have been defined in ICE, Charbel then creates a container compound inside which the particels will swim, or fly. This is very useful in many kinds of situations, where the user need fine control over the location of the flock at any time.

The next step is goal seeking, where the boids (particles in a flock) will fly towards a target geometry. Any arbitrary geometry can be used, and the particels will fly towards it. After goal seeking, Charbel moves on to describe the flee effect where boids are chased by a predator, and builds a compound for the effect as well.

When working with particle velocities, it is easy to align the orientation of the particles to the velocity vector in ICE. The problem with the default compound is that it does not take an UpVector into consideration, and this results in repeated flipping when the particles change direction. To overcome this problem, Charbel builds a simple but effective compound to align the particles to their motion vectors without flipping.

Flying along a curve is then covered, giving the particles in the flock the ability to fly nicely along a curve while maintaining their flocking behavior.

The last section of the training course deals with fish procedural motion, where Charbel explains how to animate fish geometry procedurally ising ICE, and then use the resulting geometry in the flock.

This DVD is a must for everyone wanting to go deeper into the heart of computer graphics and animation, and understand how behavioral systems work under the hood. This title is great for technical directors (TD's), students, researchers and educators. It can fit perfectly within a university course covering interesting topics not found in common, ubiquitous programs. 

The topics covered are as follows:
  • Compounds Demostration
  • Introduction To Flocking
  • Patricle Steering
  • Neighboring Particles
  • Cohesion
  • Separation
  • Alignment
  • Aquarium Container
  • Goal Seeking
  • Predator
  • Align To Motion
  • Fly Along Curve
  • Procedural Fish Motion 1
  • Procedural Fish Motion 2
  • Swimming Fish



ICE Flocking for Softimage Demo

Technical Specs

ICE Flocking is released as a downloadable DVD. The total size is around 1.5 Gb. The Ice Flocking interface needs a minimum of 1400 x 800 px screen resolution. If you are on a slow connection, you can take all the time you need to download. We recommend using a download manager. Once downloaded, the training can be burnt on DVD for backup.

ICE Flocking requires Quicktime installed on the user's machine.

It is highly recommended to have the latest version of Quicktime installed on your system for optimal viewing experience.

ICE Flocking is node locked, which means that it can only be viewed on one machine, the one you got the license for, not necessarily the machine you downloaded from. Up to 2 extra licenses can be provided free of charge if so required.

3DQUAKERS Licensing

This training title is licensed to be used by the buyer only. Sharing is prohibited. 

I have started watching the videos and I can only say I am smiling from ear to ear. This is exactly what I've been looking for. I joined a course at my local college last September and have learned more in 5 minutes from your videos than in all the time at college. Highly recommended! G. Nixon

Purchase info

Once the order is placed, you will instantly receive an email with instructions to our download area. Once downloaded, you should send us your Name and the Hardware Fingerprint to authorize it on your machine. All credit card processing is handled by Esellerate. No credit card info is passed to 3DQUAKERS.