Alembic I/O in Blender

This thread is only about the progress of Alembic, and Alembic + Blender.

on the Alembic front, there are some updates I didn´t know about …

A faster Alembic back-end: Ogawa

Fortunately, Alembic’s API design has an abstraction layer atop the underlying data format (on disk or otherwise). We initially chose HDF5 as the container format based on its history of successful use within ILM/Imageworks but we designed it to be swapped out if the case arose in the future.

HDF5 is out, or kept for backwards compability. Ogawa is their new custom written solution.

  1. File sizes are on average 5-15% smaller. Scenes with many small objects should see even greater reductions.2) Single-threaded reads average around 4x faster
  2. Multi-threaded reads can improve by 25x (relative to the same operations in the existing HDF5 back-end) on 8 core systems.

We’re pretty enthusiastic about it.

Hope to see alembic for blender as soon as possible !

yeah me too.

To see it in their repo, a blender folder :slight_smile: I guess… it´s not the most fun project to work on a I/O. But BF I hope puts aside some fund for dev-ing a native C support… maybe python is fast enough. To call the PyApi of alembic. I dunno.

But if Sergey or Campbell did work on it there would be 100s or 1000s of happy blender users. :slight_smile:

Lukas Toenne is working on it. Check this wiki page, week #5 and #6 he shares how it’s going. Along with particle nodes and compositor related stuff he’s on a lot of awesome things, really glad BF has been able to hire him.

With the update of the next version of octane having the implementation of alembic support.
I would love for blender to have this feature :slight_smile:

Yes, but no news :frowning:

I’m wondering, if Alembic was in Blender tomorrow, how many Blender users would have immediate application for it and the tools to take advantage of it.

That’s not to say Alembic is somehow not desirable, not at all - Alembic is neat for non-trivial productions. It’s just that Blender’s userbase largely consists of amateurs and hobbyists.

I wonder what percentage actually knows what it is and how to use it.

The people I work with work elsewhere, and they know about it, even asked about it when I helped them migrate a year and a half ago. Seeing that it has some progress is a good thing, and maybe this will help the idea of bridging in a pipeline way.

Raises hand.

FaceRobot or MotionBuilder to Blender via Alembic would be awesome, so sign me up as well.

Another one in here.

also raises hand

I use Blender to add FX stuff to Maya shots at work reasonably often. Alembic would make sending over reference/mask geometry so much simpler.

Likewise, I can’t wait to see it supported in Blender!

I use Alembic all the time, even just within all-Houdini projects; it’s a really, really good way to cache animation. And it’ll help those who’d like to use Blender professionally as well as on their own.

I believe Lukas Toenne is working on it, he had an implementation started before bconf and while there I had a brief chat with him about it…


There´s no hiding it that alembic is THE interchange format. Comparing to send animated scenes over OBJ it´s just smashing in performance and file size.

We´re super a tiny web production house, me and another dude doing the 3d when we have work require 3d. I guess we could use FBX but we could really make use of alembic just to combine me with blender and him with modo.

The v1 release of guerilla will be available on December 4th and it will be free for commercial use, so I really need alembic to work with blender and guerilla.

Mercenaries Engineering is proud to announce the release date of Guerilla Render V1.0, the Next Generation Renderer focused on Production’s requirements.

On December 4th, 2013, future customers will be able to download Guerilla Render upon registration via Guerilla Render’s website.

At the occasion of the world premiere, one free license of Guerilla Render V1.0 per IP will be granted to registred users, commercial use included! See details in Guerilla Render V1.0 - License FAQ


Guerilla is a powerfull renderer, as good as Arnold, renderman, vray and other, maybe better ! So it will be really great to blender to have the possibility to work directly with guerilla.

And for that, we need alembic.

I’ve added a design task on our new developer website to explain the issues with point caches and the way Alembic would be integrated into Blender:

Note that this is not totally finished design and has open questions - the point of design tasks is to give a basis for discussion, so it can go beyond mere “we want it” :yes:

I was just about to post that link Lukas!

Idk if you´re german but if you are I would like to just greet you like the german football team!
speaker voice lukas!
blender community TOENNE!

beyond “we want it” have in mind 3rd party developers, make it easy for them, via documentation or something. That the .abc cache file is accessible in the bundled .blend

Or in your proposal as I get it there will be option to save it to disk just as cache works now.

I’m waiting for alembic since 2 years ago. It’s great to see this. And yes, I think it won’t be used by hobbyist, but most of professionnal who are interesting in blender can’t do the full jump. Alembic will help them to leave their old softwares, step by step.

phonybone : I don’t get where we can discuss of this project’s design? At the bottom of the phabricator page, with comments?