Alembic support

#1
Alembic support

Cheetah has a really simple, fast system which is really good even on big productions to use for certain tasks like modelling, particle/dynamic simulations. Faster to set up a simple simulation like in Houdini or Maya.
Sony Picture Imageworks has a really straightforward open source interchange format, Alembic, which can be really helpful to use Cheetah with the other 3D packages in production.

http://code.google.com/p/alembic/

or in the far future:
https://sites.google.com/site/field3d/
 
#2
+1

When Octane Renderer 1.5 is released it will support Alembic files (customer release candidate versions since 1.27 already supports them) so animations can be rendered in Octane!

If Cheetah exported to Alembic it would really increase its usefulness and extensibility (at least for me).

As dlondon mentions, the Cheetah particle and physics engine is really easy to work with and even object animation should get better when support for non-linearity is added. Being able to export Cheetah sims to other applications or renderers via Alembic would be a very powerful and attractive addition to Cheetah.
 
#3
Bump.

I know this is old, but I would also like to see Alembic export from Cheetah.

Import would also be wonderful, but the export (to allow working with other rendering engines) would be a good start.
 
#4
Bump. Count me in. Alembic is a must for me since my sole intention for C3D is to export animations of rigged characters to be composited with live action.
 

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#5
+1 for Alembic support. Hit film Pro 4 (Win/Mac) just added alembic import support. HFP4 is an excellent lower-cost alternative to After Effects with 3d object support. Cheetah3D->HFP4 would be excellent especially considering Alembic support is currently limited to some really high-priced apps like 3DSMAX, Lightwave, Cinema 4D, Maya, and other $$$ software. It would be great to have a lower-cost alternative to these expensive programs.
 
#6
Alembic support is currently limited to some really high-priced apps
FYI the newly available Blender 2.78 release candidate implemented Alembic support. It seems pretty rudimentary at the moment but 2.78 rc is, after all, a test build. Once it is officially released and thereafter, I'm sure Alembic functionality in Blender will steadily improve. So I would reiterate my desire to see Alembic support in Cheetah.
 
#7
FYI the newly available Blender 2.78 release candidate implemented Alembic support. It seems pretty rudimentary at the moment but 2.78 rc is, after all, a test build. Once it is officially released and thereafter, I'm sure Alembic functionality in Blender will steadily improve. So I would reiterate my desire to see Alembic support in Cheetah.
Yes, me too. Can we hear from Martin about whether it will be included in the near future ? The beta versions of Cheetah 7 do not have Alembic support.
 
#8
Yes, me too. Can we hear from Martin about whether it will be included in the near future ? The beta versions of Cheetah 7 do not have Alembic support.
Hi,
I'm sorry but I won't integrate the Alembic SDK by myself in the near future. The reason is that Cheetah3D already uses quite some external libraries which cause considerable work to keep them up to date.

So I'm looking for a solution which causes less work and that solution is luckily already in the works. Autodesk will add Alembic support to the FBX SDK

http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fbx-forum/state-of-alembic-with-fbx-sdk-2017/td-p/6605119

So it's just a matter of time until I can use the FBX SDK to load Alembic scenes.

Kind regards
Martin
 
#9
Hi Martin.

Thanks for letting us know your intentions. I can understand that when you are on your own, you need to compromise and make some hard calls how to best allocate your time.

Can you confirm : for the end user, will there be any noticeable difference between the way you are choosing to implement Alembic support, and the other way ?

Thank you.
 
#10
Autodesk will add Alembic support to the FBX SDK

http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fbx-forum/state-of-alembic-with-fbx-sdk-2017/td-p/6605119

So it's just a matter of time until I can use the FBX SDK to load Alembic scenes.
That's great a solution integrated into FBX is forthcoming. But I'm a little confused by that link. Where does it say Autodesk is actually implementing Alembic support into FBX? Rather, The Autodesk representative states that
...at the moment we have no immediate plans regarding the Alembic format."
In fact - the rep seems to advise the poster to make his own importer.
 
#11
From my reading, the 2017 fbx SDK already has limited Alembic support (1st paragraph), but they don't seem to be very interested in taking it much further. Sort of sounds like it's very low on the priority list for Autodesk.
 
#13
Hi,
I don't know how serious Autodesk is working on Alembic support so it might take some time. But that was the same situation when they started to add the Collada file format and now the FBX SDK has very good Collada support.

The FBX SDK 2017 which I added for Beta 18 already has some basic Alembic support but I haven't tested it so far.

Are there 3D applications which only support Alembic but no FBX or Collada? I'm surprised if there is too much usage for the Alembic file format.

Bye
Martin
 
#14
Hi,
I don't know how serious Autodesk is working on Alembic support so it might take some time. But that was the same situation when they started to add the Collada file format and now the FBX SDK has very good Collada support.

The FBX SDK 2017 which I added for Beta 18 already has some basic Alembic support but I haven't tested it so far.

Are there 3D applications which only support Alembic but no FBX or Collada? I'm surprised if there is too much usage for the Alembic file format.

Bye
Martin
Lightwave 2015.3 (current version) and Cinema 4D 15 (not the current version), both have separate importers / controllers for Alembic, FBX and Collada.
 
#15
Are there 3D applications which only support Alembic but no FBX or Collada?
FBX and Collada do not support physics simulations. Alembic does. Alembic appears to be a workhorse sold way of transferring animation between multiple applications. I often use more than one app, though my preference is for animating in Cheetah, especially with physics. Alembic would be the only way for us to export those animations for use elsewhere and so if Cheetah supported that it would be much more versatile in a multi application work flow.

Exporting to Alembic would allow easy use of other rendering apps, such as Octane. The only way to get animation into Octane, if one using just the stand alone version, is via Alembic. Being able to export simulations from Cheetah through the Alembic format would also allow the use of programs such as ChronoSculpt (https://www.lightwave3d.com/chronosculpt/), which enables one to modify the simulation in various ways with sculpt tools. It could also fix instances in the simulation where objects intersect or jitter.

And what about the other way around? What if I have a simulation in Blender that I want to bring into Cheetah? One can try to do that using the multi OBJ importer script, but it is not a good solution.
 
#16
Is there a difference between your reference to "physics simulations", and the Wikipedia article on Collada, which indicates that as of version 1.4, Collada support physics ? Is this different to what you are referring to ?
 
#17
Hey Paul P that article is very interesting and I was erroneously assuming Collada didn't support physics because in Cheetah 3D, such simulations ARE NOT retained in the exported dae file.

I also tested a simple physics simulation in Blender and its exported Collada file also failed to contain the animation.

However - Alembic export from Blender ( which it now supports as of 2.78 ) worked perfectly. I could import the physics animation back into both Blender itself, and a third party renderer like Octane.
 
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