Defining a crowd rendering system Defining a crowd rendering system

Crowds of people can be an impressive spectacle and are often employed effectively by films to convey occasion and grandeur. Although posing a unique set of challenges, bringing crowds to the real-time domain can greatly enhance the perceived realism of a virtual environment. However, current attempts commonly fall short of increased user-expectations with the sense of immersion quickly dispelled when members cease to appear realistic and distinct.

Thus, in defining a crowd rendering system, there are three immediate objectives:

  1. The ability to handle a large number of characters
  2. High quality, convincing appearance and animation
  3. Individuality

The University of East Anglia's Crowd Simulation Group create real-time simulations of populated environments. In particular, the group is focusing their research on a real-time simulation of a crowd of visually realistic, naturally moving, virtual humans.Their work also extends to clothing simulation and enhances the work of the Urban Modelling Group.


  1. Lister, W., Day, A.M., Stream-Based Animation of Real-Time Crowd Scenes, Computers and Graphics Journal, Vol36, No.6, p. 651-657, ISSN 0097-8493, 2012.
  2. Laycock, S. D., Brown, P.,G., Laycock, R.G., Day, A. M., Aligning Archive Maps and extracting footprints for analysis of historical urban environments, Computers and Graphics Journal, Vol.35, No.2, p242-249, ISSN 0097-8493, 2011.
  3. Lister, W., Laycock, R.G., Day, A.M., A Key-Pose Caching System for Rendering an Animated Crowd in Real-Time, In Computer Graphics Forum, Vol.29, No. 8, ISSN 0167-7055, 2010.
  4. Simnett, T., Laycock, R.G. and Day, A.M., Simulating Real-Time Cloth with Adaptive Edge-based Meshes, Journal of WSCG, Vol.18, No.1-3, p.625-636, ISSN 1213-6972, 2010.
  5. Haciomeroglu, M., Laycock, R. G., Day, A. M., Dynamically populating large urban environments with ambient virtual humans, Computer Animation & Virtual Worlds - Special issue: Computer Animation & Social Agents, 19(3-4), p.307-317 2008.
  6. Haciomeroglu, M., Laycock, R. G., Day, A. M. , Automatic spatial analysis and pedestrian flow control for real-time crowd simulation in an urban environment, The Visual Computer, 24(10), pp889-899, October, 2008.

Research Team

Prof. Andy Day, Dr. Stephen Laycok, Dr. Robert Laycock, Mr. Michael Molnos, Mr. Chris Applegate, Mr. Wayne Lister