[Bf-committers] New Alembic support branch

Esteban Tovagliari ramenhdr at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 22:09:50 CEST 2011

Hi all,

I've started a few days ago, a new Blender branch, to add Alembic support.
I think Alembic is a very important file format for the future. It's already
supported in Maya,
Nuke, Houdini, Softimage, Renderman, ... It's small, very efficient for
baking any type of
animation and fast to read. It's really great.

I already have a basic exporter, similar to the Collada one, written in C++.
It exports
object hierarchies, meshes with animated modifiers, normals, uvs and
also cameras.
I posted some screenshots here: http://ramencomp.blogspot.com

For the import part, I was thinking about using python drivers for object
and a new modifier for the geometry animation. I added a bpy.alembic module
and ported the code from Alembic's Houdini plugin. I can use the functions
in bpy.alembic
in drivers, to get the data from the archive. I haven't started the modifier

Everything is optional, using a CMake option (WITH_ALEMBIC). Alembic depends
on Boost,
OpenEXR's Imath ( both already being used in blender) and also HDF5 (new)

There are other possible uses of Alembic inside Blender, like replacing the
fluid and particle
caches with Alembic files, that could also be interesting.


project page: http://www.alembic.io
siggraph presentation: http://youtu.be/I__MeR8jsFk

Thank you!


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