Importing Alembic help

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Old 08 August 2013   #1
Importing Alembic help

I'm importing an Alembic file that was exported from Maya. And it's a complex model that has over 25000 pieces. C4D is bringing EACH OBJECT in as Alembic linked objects. My viewport has slowed to a crawl (2 fps) and it takes 2 seconds to select any menu item or anything in the OM.

Is it possible to bring in an Alembic as one encapsulated, self-contained, un-editable object? Is there something I need to do in Maya to make it one object? Is there something I can do in Cinema to treat it as one object, and not try to manage 25000 things in my object manager?
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Last edited by Navstar : 08 August 2013 at 06:59 PM.
Old 08 August 2013   #2
As far as I know there's no option to get around this, it's just the way it works. It's the same in Maya AFAIK, when I bake out a character where there are several meshes (ie eyes, teeth, head, body etc) and load it back in I get a transform+shape node for each one, all connected to the cache node.


Last edited by Horganovski : 08 August 2013 at 07:19 PM.
Old 08 August 2013   #3
[Edit -I assume you are using Alembic because the various objects are animated? If they were static you could just do a mesh>combine (go get a coffee if the object count is that high!) in Maya and then export as a single object.

The Combine command (poly menu) is pretty much the same as the Connect objects command in C4D.

Old 08 August 2013   #4
Originally Posted by Horganovski: I assume you are using Alembic because the various objects are animated?

Yup, it's an animated character. Each one of those parts move(!)

I have an FBX of the same file. I'm trying SteadyBake on the imported FBX, but it's slooooow going.
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Old 08 August 2013   #5
Well, if Steadybake manages it you could then cache out that PLA to an Alembic cache and load that in instead, the file will then be much smaller and easier to scrub.

I'd also do a search on Creative Crash, I'm sure someone has already written a script for Maya that can combine multiple animated objects and bake them down to a single animated object, maybe exporting to an OBJ sequence or something like that. Then you could cache that with Alembic too and send to Cinema. (Alembic caches will play back several times faster than OBJ sequences in either app).

Old 08 August 2013   #6
It seems SteadyBake calculates everything to RAM first?
With 2M points per frame to cache and 100 frames, my 48GB machine is out of space at frame 85!

I'll try your other idea on Creative Crash.

Extra note: Xrefs has a helpful checkbox called "show objects". Turn it off and the Xref doesn't display any component pieces. Wish C4D's Alembic was like that!
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Last edited by Navstar : 08 August 2013 at 07:53 PM.
Old 08 August 2013   #7
Did a quick search there myself out of curiosity and found this, seems like it might do the trick, it mentions it can combine several objects into one while exporting.

Old 08 August 2013   #8
Good find. So I would export an OBJ Seq from Maya using this script... and then import it back into Maya and then do an Alembic cache out?
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Old 08 August 2013   #9
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