Alembic gets materials, lights and collections

Alembic gets materials, lights and collections

Industrial Light and Magic and Sony Pictures Imageworks released a major update to Alembic that brings several key new features to the open framework.

If you are new to Alembic, it's an open source framework built around a file format for exchanging data between various apps in a VFX pipelines. Basically, you bake procedural data into Alembic files and pass it to another application for further processing.

So, those key new features in Alembic 1.1.0 are:

  • Materials, that can be a standalone data or a supplemental object attached to another object.
  • Lights, that are distinct objects which contain both a camera (with all relevant camera-like light data) and a material schema (controls shader settings).
  • Collections, also known as groups and object sets (in Maya's terminology).
  • Python bindings, which should be self-explanatory for developers.

Apart from that the new version got better performance, Maya plug-in updates and removal of dependency on Boost libraries.

We encourage you to read the complete release notes for more details. Source code is available for downloading.

The release was announced shortly before SIGGRAPH 2012 that starts next week. Alembic Birds of a Feather meeting that focuses on practical application of Alembic is taking place on Tuesday, 7 August, 3:00-4:30 PM, in Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 410.

Most recently support for Alembic was added to a newly released Maxon's Cinema 4D R14:

Unfortunately, there's no news on Alembic support for Blender. The code written by Esteban Tovagliari last year was removed from Github for some reason. We hope to see it back and, if possible, merged into the main development branch.

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