Alembic questions


Hey there,

I´ve got a few alembic questions, since I´ve been using that more and more:

  1. We usually start animation at frame 1000 and I´ve found the retiming to be a bit erratic.
    Lets say Original animation range is 1000-1500 and I wanna have several copies starting lets say 50 frames later…
    I´d copy the alembic, put playback mode to “Custom start” and set the frame to…well, I´ve tried 1050, 50, -50 and either one of those worked or none worked, I can´t quite figure out which is the correct way to do it.
  2. i´ve done numerous things to teh imported alembics, including adding displacement. Usually I have to put an edit poly modifier above teh alembic baseobject or I´ll get normal issues.
    Not a question, just mentioning it for future reference…:wink:
  3. Is importing of particle still not supported in Max 2019? I can export and import meshed particles, but I´m looking for a way to just import position/rotation/scale info and then replace the particles with my own. Reason for this: I have someone doing particle FX in houdini for me, but I don´t wanna have to shovel dozens of gb over the internet, if I an just replace the particles in Max somehow.

Right now, the only way seems to be to export via PRT from houdini and then use krakatoa PRT loader.
I remember it being free sometime ago, but I can´t find any info on that…


well Custom Start just works for me.

0 means no change

  • 10 means start the animation 10 frames earlier (or effectively shift all keys 10 to the left)
  • 10 means start the animation 10 frames later (or effectively shift all keys 10 frames to the right)

(yes tested with several at the same time…not just one)


Hey vu, damn, gotta figure out what I´m doing wrong with my caches then…I´m guessing you teste with caches created with Max?
And you´re on max 2019?

For the PRT sequences: just confirmed with chaosgroup: using the phoenix PRT reader and plugging that into the Vrayinstancer should work.
At least for my current case, would be neat to have a bit more control over the shapes, but thats for the chaos people to do…


I’m on 2018. FYI, I used default alembic export settings, OGAWA.

I tested on a simple bending cylinder…


H, I have to double check, maybe I just used wrong export range or something.
I´m also guessing you started animation on frame 0?


my cylinder bends from frames 30 - 60 coz I anticipate I may offset - or +.

if I start bending from 0 - 30…then if I offset by -10 then you would see its movement right away at 0…which IS still correct tho…

Export range I just used Active Time segment. Then when importing, use Fit Time Range (of course, assuming time range is the same)


do you have transform animation?
Then you need to retime transform controller, too.

Technically Alembic format could store particle information.
But, Most of DCCs doesn’t support or have own way of storing data.
It is virtually unusable.
As of now, PRT is the best format for particle.