Point Cache modifier

I believe it’s something that would really allow companies to include Blender in their pipeline, a simple modifier that would allow to save (and load) mesh animation using the most popular extensions .pc2 or .xml. Now it’s really hard to export any movement from Blender to other software, including camera animation. With tracking on board that would be quite exciting feature, don’t you think?


I cannot test it because of OS still I don’t see any support for pc2/xml format here…

Yes, but most of the work is apparently complete. I’d suggest you contact the developer and inquire about contracting him to include support for the format you need. But if you can’t be bothered to either get linux or compile yourself for whatever you’re working with, it leads me to believe you’re not really serious about this.

I suggested that such point cache modifier would help to include Blender in pipeline involving other software, there’s no problem with exporting/saving animation from Blender and importing/loading it back to Blender using .txt format. That’s not the point of this thread.

And naturally you have such a pipeline in place, no? You can generate the .mdd in any application that supports .mdd. If you need another format it will need to be coded. If that’s not the point of the thread, then I don’t know what is.

Dude, I’m working in quite a large 3d company and I’m trying to convince people here that Blender deserves a chance. I tracked a motion in Blender and I’m stuck, I cannot import it to 3ds Max. With a Point Cache Modifier I would be able to save mesh animation. .dae exporter doesn’t work properly. Besides it’s not just another silly request but the fact about industry. And yes our pipeline in the company depends on .pc2 (the most popular extension in any software that creates some kind of a motion).

OK, .fbx exporter finally did the trick. Still my suggestion for Point Cache Modifier is open.

Looking over the patch from that link the mesh cache modifier does indeed support .pc2.

Finally, the last piece in is place for Total Blender Domination!!!

Great news indeed!

I just want to say that I’m working at a great company here in Brazil and we use Blender and Cinema 4D as 3d software.
In one of the biggest work we’ve done here we had to use booth softwares. The animation was done entirely in Blender by me and to render the whole thing we used V-Ray trough Cinema 4D.
The .mdd worked very well and we have no problems using this format. It’s easy to use and to modify something in animation… once you work with a low poly mesh(needs to be the same mesh on boot software) you can keep the UV, materials, etc… just re-import the .mdd with the new animation…
It was very handy!

i really really would love to see blender gain some improved options for sharing data. i’m working on a fairly sizeable project with some animators in modo, lightwave, maya. we’ve had pretty decent success getting stuff between packages, but its not without its headaches.

we had to constantly be switching between .lwo, .fbx, .obj, .dae, .mdd depending on the needs of the info we were sending, and some things were still not possible. animated cameras were particularly headachy, having to create secondary control objects that would store FOV changes in their translation channels, since nothing else would translate.

anyway, i agree with the op’s general sentiment that the ability to collaborate with external packages is an area where blender would really benefit from some extra love, especially to make inroads into larger productions.

one thing i do love is the after effects export script… it works amazingly well!

I use blender tracker a lot recently and export the tracks to 3ds max with fbx. It work perfectly well. Just don’t forget to set the animation to 25 img/s in the render panel.

I have never used .mdd extension (and I believe Blender 2.6x does not support it yet?). How does it work? Does it “produce” .mdd that contains model+deformations or just deformations that are loaded to a model in other application?

What’s so good about point cache is that you do not have to export the whole scene but just deformations and load them as a modifier in e.g. 3ds Max for desired model.

There are mdd and pc2 exporters in Addons just not enabled by default.

Loading pintcache as modifier would be useful indeed. There was many small brainstorms about using pointcache mesh in Blender. This probably will be better reviewed when designing of deps graph will start.
I dunno what exacly the plans are.

Disabled add-ons, of course! Thanks, n-pigeon, I totally forgot about these ones!

OK, that’s me again. I tested that pc2 exporter with an object with armature animation, cloth modifier and animated simple deform modifier all at once and… it works great! However what I really miss is importing of .pc2 files, glad it looks like it’ll be taken care of in the near future.

The .mdd workflow is simple.
You will need:

  • A .mdd importer to your other software, 3D Max, Maya, Cinema4D… when I searched for it for Cinema4D I found it for free.
  • that’s all you’ll need… :slight_smile:

The workflow:

  • Select your animated, deformed, shape keyed mesh in Blender… anything that have its vertices deformed;
  • Export it as .obj(or any other format…) BUT JUST THE LOW POLY MESH AT REST POSE!!! Make sure to disable all modifiers…;
  • Select you blender mesh again and enable all modifier again(except subsurf);
  • Go to File/Export/Export .mdd;
  • In the left panel set the desired frame rate and the start and end frame;
  • Import the low poly model into your other software;
  • select the imported mesh and run the plugin/script that will import the .mdd file that you exported from Blender;
  • The software will ask you to select the .mdd file and you’re done!!!
  • Just playback the animation

If you face errors, try to check the poly count of your base mesh, THE POLY COUNT MUST MATCH WITH YOUR BLENDER BASE MESH!!!

I didn’t said that it will ^^’ Those discussion were more about using some new ways to load data, maybe using Alembic maybe not, more Blender-centric design problems. What about using piont cache geo with other software combo is unknown.

wow, we really need this modifier to be included in the trunk as soon as possible. I’m working on a project right now at I’m stuck without this modifier, would be awesome to have it already.