On Blade Runner 2049, I have created the 35.000 bees rig that was applied to all the shots using Houdini. Initially, I have tested crowd for solving this system. But due to the number of characters, I have proposed to use animation cycles to the CG Sup for avoiding to bake 35.000 bees on each frame.
Animation department had created cycles of bees (walking, standing, and flying) and transition in between this cycles. I used a total of 50 cycles. In a DopPop network, I have coded the motion and the switch of the cycle using Vex. I use point cloud for calculating the avoidance of the beehives, character and the bees in between them.
When the simulation was done a first post process was done to find any buggy bees passing thru any object. A pass of killing bees by id was available if some bees trajectory wasn’t nice.
Finally, the last post process was done to adapt the bees resolution based on the distance.