[Bf-committers] Alembic

Roger Wickes rogerwickes at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 22 16:49:51 CEST 2010

Industrial Light and Magic and Sony Pictures Imageworks have just released 
(7/27/10) an alpha version 

of Alembic,  a co-developed open source project focussed on creating an 
interchange  format for storing 

and sharing animation and visual effects. Alembic  will allow Sony Picutures 
Image Works and ILM to 

create interchangeable  and customisable pipelines for animation creation.

Alembic is an open computer graphics interchange framework. Alembic  distills
 complex, animated, 
scenes into non-procedural,  application-independent, baked geometric results.  
 distillation of 
scenes into baked geometry is exactly analogous to the distillation of  lighting 
and rendering scenes 

into rendered image data. 

The project involves creating a format that handles the massive data sets  that 
represent animated 

scenes, distilled from the animation generation  processes used by the 
animators, but not the 

computations or  dependencies that would be used to create final rendered 
scenes. The  developers 

say Alembic could be used, for example, to pass creature  animations to a 
clothing or flesh simulator,
or a physics simulator and  save the results, ready for lighting and rendering. 

Alembic Would Be Used...
	* To bake the results of an animated scene for hand-off to lighting & rendering 

	* To hand off an animated creature for cloth or flesh simulation 
	* To store the results of a cloth or flesh simulation for use in lighting & 

	* To hand off animated geometry to a physical simulation engine 
	* To store the results of a physical simulation engine for use in lighting & 

The alpha release of Alembic is incomplete, as it lacks an API for  plug-ins and 

The two companies plan to work together to  remedy that soon, finalising the API 
and adding 

documentation, code  samples and other resources. 
 references and direct quotes from: 




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