Alembic I/O.

+1 !

Also, since I can not use the build, maybe I can guve you ABC scenes from maya.

Tell us what do you need :wink:

I haven’t relayed the information, but this implementation is primarily for character animation, which should include hair and fur. If you do provide some abc archives for testing, then, just in case, it can also be interesting to have a little video/image sequence of how it looked like in the original software (nothing fancy, screen capture is enough). And preferably, archives with complex hierarchies, not just single characters. Basically, the real deal.

I’ll update the first post with that piece of information.

Take two. Only the windows version.
Re-compiled Alembic from latest git and managed to get blender to compile with it.
No HDF5 support and no blenderplayer, so it’s not really a clean build. Hope this one at least works.

Here is a linux portable build for testing, done same way like i distribute to match almost all distros:

Sidenote: compiled with hdf5-1.10, which can “only” go back to hdf5 1.8 archives!

Cheers … Jens

The windows build works !!!


What about varying in vertices mesh sequences? Supported? Like RealFlow? What about particle sequences? I can provide RealFlow sequences in ABC, both mesh or particles.

I was able to export a fluid sim from blender to maya using alembic.
However, i can’t import back the simulation cache into Blender, i got only 2 frames

Your portable build is working well in Kubuntu 14.04 and Kubuntu 16.04. Thank you!

@KWD, with your build I get:
Kubuntu 14.04:
illegal instruction

Kubuntu 16.04:
error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory


AWESOME WORK, THANK YOU!! Works very well on Windows 10 so far, with limited tests. Deformed characters export perfectly. Only issue I’ve noticed so far is that if subsurf modifiers are on in the viewport, meshes seem to be exported with them applied.

I need to bring Realflow sims into Blender. Would love to see this work.


Made some tests and identified 3 problematic ones that I hope can help You:

  1. 3dsmax: Character ( uses CAT skeleton ):

Outcome: Partial success. Mesh animation is perfect. Skeleton on the other hand is frozen. Tested in Houdini (import) and all works there. Refer to attachment please

Alembic file:

  1. Houdini: Dynamic Fragmentation (mesh is broken up dynamically based on impact / no prefragmentation) :

Outcome: Failure. Blender import loads until frame 70 and stops after (point of impact and fragmentation). Just incase attached 2 versions, one with a heavily simplified scene structure stripping all attributes.

Alembic file:

3. Realflow: Blood splatter:

Outcome: Failure. No objects are loaded at all. Important note: RF exports sequence of files instead of 1 single .ABC file. I hope they can be loaded with #frame expression or so? Potential problem non “Ogawa” as I use win build

Alembic file:

Note: Using WINDOWS build! Hope to get Linux set up today.

Thank You once again for your hard work!


Nice tests cgstrive, that will surely help a lot debugging!

@YAFU: well, maybe some day I’ll manage to make a truly portable build :).

@ohsnapitsjoel: the exporter was originally written by someone else and I’m not too familiar with it, but if I’m not mistaken, there is a toggle in the exporter’s UI to apply or not subsurfs.

@cgstrive: thanks for the tests! quick feedback:

  1. I started working on a fix for such cases yesterday based on someone else’s file (which is using empties/nulls instead of bones for animation, it’s the same issue though), will continue fixing next week.

  2. this case will not likely be supported (at least not for the first implementation) since Blender lacks a way to import or stream meshes with varying number of vertices. But it is still interesting to have such a test file.

  3. It imports fine here (most likely it is because I have HDF5 in my build). I would need to check on reading file sequences, though, same as point 2., varying number of vertices won’t probably be supported at first.

@Rangiz: as per point 2 & 3 above, particles sequences won’t likely be supported, though I’ll probably still add some basic code to read in static particles/points/point clouds.

So import of meshes with varying # of verts will be limited to a single frame in the initial implementation?

Yes, unless I find a quick and easy, decent, and acceptable solution.

For the final implementation, you will support all of this or the goal is only for characters ?

Alembic is really important for a lot of peoples and having only some features supported will not be great IMHO, so I hope we could have a full support, I really hope.

Thank You KWD

I’m also carefully echoing opinion of others that meshes with varying vertex count and sequence reading are the most important features from VFX standpoint (fluids, fragmentation, particles). You can already transfer char anims with fbx/obj and mesh cache(pc2, mdd).

At the same time I understand that full feature implementation is a lot of work. Perhaps it would simply be possible to enable mesh_cache to import sequences ( filename + frame.zfill(3))? It’s no problem to generate them from houdini and realflow - it would already open door for serious vfx work!

Here’s an interesting link demonstrating such behavior:

Thanks again for your hard work!

I know it’s not simple, but without varying in size meshes sequences, particles etc ALEMBIC is just not needed.
Can We somewhere support You, so You can work on this? PayPal, anything? This is as CGSTRIVE mention, this is most important to use for VFX from other softwares like Houdini, RealFlow, 3DSMax to just use with Blender rigging and Cycles. Character animation already works with FBX, MDD, PC2. Ok basic implementation, but the main goal should be as mentioned, to fully support any possible types of files with sequences etc, else yeah it just a waste of time.

KWD- Try ask people from I read on developers topic about ALEMBIC, they get it to work, and They are working, but I don’t know what they really export/import. I mean I think You know that story, but anyway I like to help, so I mention it now.

Blembic stores the mesh Caches in a binary format so it is pretty fast.
It also allows flipping normals so that should not be an issue either. Give it a try if you find some time.