Alembic in C4D R14

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  08 August 2012
Alembic in C4D R14

Hey Folks,

Here's a demo of what for me is the best new feature in R14 - Alembic.

Ok not as sexy as some other features but I've been using it for a while now and it's already made a huge difference for the kind of work I do. I'm keen to make sure it doesn't fly under the radar Here's a video showing it in action.

https://vimeo.com/46766746

Hope people find it useful.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  08 August 2012
Thanks. That's one of the features I was most interested in.
 
  08 August 2012
+1, yes the alembic support isone of the great new 14 features i for me too, very happy Maxon brought this to c4d so fast!

cheers
stefan
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  08 August 2012
Guess I could google it, but does Alembic export from apps other than Maya?
This really opens up the world of possibility when dealing with trying to find animators.

Thanks for the demo
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  08 August 2012
I am also excited about Alembic - it opens a lot of interoperability with other packages.
Houdini is also Alembic capable.

Cheers
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  08 August 2012
Thanks guys.

Alembic is natively supported in Maya (it came in on 2012.5 SAP version but it's now in the regular 2013 version, both work fine with Cinema). I believe it's also native in the latest version of Modo and there's a plugin in the works for Max. I think Nuke also supports it but no idea to what extent.

More info about it here - http://www.alembic.io/ and a video on the introduction of it from the creators of the format here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I__M...eature=youtu.be

Considering Sony Imageworks and ILM are behind it I think it has some good pedigree
I'm very happy to see Maxon invest in pipeline interoperability like this, for me no one program really works in isolation these days, being able to combine parts of each in a practical and streamlined way opens up a huge range of possibilities that weren't there before.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  08 August 2012
Brian have you used this for any point level animation for character meshes?

It seems like it would be much more powerful than mdd, or fbx pla.

I'm wondering this because with some of my high res mesh mdd imports c4d crashes. I have an i7 with 24 gb ram, so i don't think its my hardware.
 
  08 August 2012
That's what I did in the video I made pretty much, the character meshes only were exported from Maya as an Alembic cache which bakes the animation to PLA in the Alembic format. I've also used it to import nCloth sims from Maya to Cinema and it works just as well.

Yes, it's much easier to work with in my experience compared to baked PLA, or even OBJ sequences. It also streams a lot faster so the scene in Cinema is a lot more responsive than it would be if reading an OBJ sequence.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  08 August 2012
Originally Posted by Horganovski: That's what I did in the video I made pretty much, the character meshes only were exported from Maya as an Alembic cache which bakes the animation to PLA in the Alembic format. I've also used it to import nCloth sims from Maya to Cinema and it works just as well.

Yes, it's much easier to work with in my experience compared to baked PLA, or even OBJ sequences. It also streams a lot faster so the scene in Cinema is a lot more responsive than it would be if reading an OBJ sequence.

Cheers,
Brian


Haha, yeah i hadn't watched the video yet. Sorry. Got excited, about the idea and had to ask right away.

Do you know anything about Alembic with game engines? I've read somewhere that the point level animation may replace joint animation in games, because its more efficient.

Then again I haven't kept up with that side of things so it could already be a part of games, or not at all.
 
  08 August 2012
I'd be surprised if point level animation became common in games, it seems to me that joints have a lower overhead (especially if you use some animation compression like Unity does) so I think FBX will be around for a while yet. Can't say for sure though.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  08 August 2012
Originally Posted by hsrdelic: I am also excited about Alembic - it opens a lot of interoperability with other packages.
Houdini is also Alembic capable.

Cheers


softimage (plugin) and realflow2013(native) also supports alembic.
 
  08 August 2012
Nice demo Brian. Alemebic was definitely a good decision for Maxon, as I thought it would have taken a few more releases before inculsion. Pity there is still no native mdd though.

Now, I am hanging out for decent support for Alembic in Blender, as I have been doing a lot of renders in the stunning Cycles renderer and using ob/mdd export from C4D. Not exactly as convenient as Alemebic but useable.
 
  08 August 2012
Thanks. Interesting about Cycles, I've not looked at that yet. I did the OBJ/MDD thing too a while back so that I could incorporate some Blender Fluids for a C4D animation gig and it did the trick , but Alembic is neater as it's just one file of course.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  08 August 2012
Cycles is definitely worth checking out, and is improving at an impressive rate. I have Vray which I use a ton and Octane, which doesn't get touched anymore, but still there is something compelling about Cycles.

It is somewhat adopting an Arnold type of render philosophy as a brute force ray tracer based on the Open Shading Language. Except it also runs on a GPU , though from what I hear Arnold is still much faster just running on a CPU. Would love to try Arnold but not sure I will ever get a chance

I have done some promising tests exporting C4D animations and mograph using mdd into Cylcles. The workflow is very compelling, having a powerful node based shading system with the realtime feedback of the GPU renderer....and a built in node based compositor. Really hoping to see Maxon going this direction eventually
 
  08 August 2012
Cool, thanks for the info, I'll have to check that out, it's a while since I've used Blender.

Cheers,
Brian
 
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