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View Full Version : Alembic in 2015.3, could use some assistance



fishhead
08-15-2015, 09:47 AM
As the title says: I could use a bit of assistance with Alembic import.
I had some hopes that with the 2015.3 version/service pack some little more options to control how LightWave deals with alembic imports would find a way into the package.
But either it is very well hidden or all changes are only internally...

I work in a pipeline where we get characters exported from Maya and Softimage, the base meshes we get are static and the animators are outputting just pointCaches (i.e. points but no polygons to keep the data small enough to be able to keep the network traffic etc. low). Unfortunately some of the characters consist of up to 92 single parts - a robot in this case. I know, thats rather insane, but it is the way it is... No way to change it now... :-\

I am having a hard time to merge the point caches of the single parts into their counterparts that already exist inside Layout.
It loads them up correctly in most cases. The thing is, though: they are not at all attached to the base mesh. I could of course go for the the long winded road and attach them all manually one by one - but this is really close to a nightmare as we are not just having this one character alone and would have to do this for about 140 Shots... :-\

We very thoroughly took care that all the naming of the parts matches a 100% but the *.abc-imported animation just doesn´t get attached...

Is it just me/us or is it to blame on Lightwave? It should work, right?


I had it to say, but the guys in the Max department (using 2014 with an Exocortex-Alembic PlugIn) having no problems of that sort... Everything seems to simply fall into place...



So, thats one thing, the other one would be that I cannot really reliable control - or even predict for that matter - where LW saves out the single objects that it creates for each part at importing the *.abc-files. I really had hoped the the implementation in 2015.3 would offer a way of choosing a location to save the files to. Instead it seems to pick a random location/folder somewhere from a selection where you last loaded objects from... :-\


Any help is greatly appreciated...

- lorenz

fishhead
08-21-2015, 01:19 AM
Hmm, is there really no one out there that has a similar experience or an idea? not even a hint if its a bug or for some odd reasons meant that way?
BTW, I made a feature request for the folder-browsing at import, maybe I have a chance that someone from the coding team looks into that at least...

fishhead
08-25-2015, 01:32 AM
really? no one? :-(

bobakabob
08-25-2015, 02:26 AM
Hi fishhead,
Check out this thread below. I use Export Geocache in Maya (not got round yet to using Alembic) and it works perfectly in LW.
You should be able to apply the mdd files to the original LW objects, or alternatively Fbx or obj exported objects from Maya.
Some advice about separate objects associated with a character - try *combining* them in Maya first. You should then only need 1 mdd file which really simplifies things.
There's a thread here - note Lino's response about the importance of freezing deformations before export. I also discovered ticking the World radio button in the Geocache options was essential.
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?145018-Maya-animation-gt-baked-Lightwave-MDD-files
See also
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?145603-Maya-character-animation-to-LightWave-problem-with-cache
Let us know how you're getting on as it's a very interesting topic regarding speeding up workflow between apps.

fishhead
08-26-2015, 01:00 AM
Hi bobakabob,

thank you. I just glanced through the threads you have posted. Seems they hold some very interesting bits...
Problem might be, though, that I only have few influence about how the meshes arrive here - Most animation is done externally using Softimage. And the pipeline in general relies on Alembic for exchange. But I will give it a go when I am back in the office - I had to take a leave for this week to organize some private things and have no access to the assets now...
I still hope, though, the developers will take another look at the alembic exchange process, it should not be to hard to get LW to do what the Exocortex tools do when it comes to reconnecting, should it?
Again, thank you!
-lorenz

bobakabob
08-27-2015, 03:00 AM
Hope it goes well. Some threads here might help if you haven't seen them. The first one starts with Fbx but moves to Alembic.

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139356-Maya-to-lightwave

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?140919-Alembic-export-from-Daz-Studio-4-5-to-Lightwave

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?145114-Maya-2015-SP5-Alembic-Works-now-with-Lightwave-11-6-Multibaker

J Westmas seems to have good knowledge of Alembic - might be worth pm-ing him.
Cheers,
Rob