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Growth Animation Alimbic Sequence

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  • Growth Animation Alimbic Sequence


    When exporting growth animation we need to have the ability to export it as a alimbic sequence, one .abc file per frame.

    Since the polycount changes between every frame when exporting a growth sequence a lot of programs have problems when reading those files.
    Maya can handle them but with some very annoying hiccups.
    Vray can't read them if you don't convert them to vrmesh before loading them. And if you grow a 100 plants that conversion will take some time.
    If instead I had one .abc file per frame I could skip that conversion altogether.

    I don't know if this is something you are already aware of or if it's a option somewhere that I have missed.
    But please try and get this in to a version soon.

  • #2

    Alembic files only cache what changes between frames. That's why they're such an optimal format for geometry caching, plus the fact that they're the only format that supports changing topology between frames (unlike FBX). I'm not saying we can't save a file per frame, but it will take up a ton more space to save those files since it can't optimize the data. It could be any format at that point, though (FBX, OBJ, etc), not just Alembic.

    What problems are you having with Alembic? In our tests, they work fine in Maya, Max, Houdini, and Cinema4D.

    VRay supports Alembic as of v3.6. You don't have to convert to a vrmesh, you can use a proxy ( )


    • #3
      The biggest problem is that when loading a single .abc file in to a vrayProxy it is having a lot of problems trying to get the UVs right.
      The UV's flicker from frame to frame if I don't convert it to a vrmesh first.
      We have a lot of plants that are growing so we would have liked to skip that conversion step and load the plants as a alembic sequence instead.

      Also I don't think maya handles the .abc fils well. When you set the alembic to "Hold" in the cycle Type. I get floating branches when I jump a few frames backwards in the animation.
      The floating braches I solve right now by playing the animation backwards(or converting it to a vrmesh).

      I do realize that the size would get bigger. But right now speed is more important then memory.
      As I have heard it the alembics works well for geometry that is deforming but not so well when the amount of geometry changes in the object it self.


      • #4
        I have a problem,how to exporting growth animation for 3dsmax or maya ?


        • #5

          You have to export the alembic format to export a growth animation. FBX does not support changing topologies.


          • #6
            Thanks for your help.I have another problem, Can i edit key frame animation of growth or wind ?


            • #7
              See the above docs page again. You don't edit keyframes, you edit the overall speed on the timeline bar, and then various growth scales on each object.

              Be sure to start with the growth wizard, as it will get things set up for you initially.