After announcing the latest version of its top 3D Studio Max plug-in at this year’s SIGGRAPH show in New Orleans, Discreet has released Character Studio 3.0. Version 3.0 of the package adds two main new features – as well as many smaller updates and fixes. Crowd is a behavioural-based animation tool that allows crowd scenes to be created in an autonomous way. Each element in a crowd, which can be made of any type of object, is given a task and a set of reactions to external stimuli – and will proceed through a scene at their own pace until the scene is completed. Extra features have been implemented for bipeds in crowds that should allow for actions in a crowd to seem individualistic. The application also includes the ability to add up to six animatable pivot points onto a character’s hands and feet. These can be used to increase the fluidity of motion, following the real-world system of the pivot moving along the base of the foot as a step is taken. The pivot points work fully with inverse kinematics (IK). Character Studio 3.0 costs £995, while an upgrade from version 2.0 costs 400 Euros (around £395).