You can use Alembic Caches in Maya to transfer assets between different stages of your production pipeline. Alembic Caches plays in the creating process of a 3D configurator a important role. The content of the Alembic cache files is evaluated as Maya geometry and can be edited with polygon, NURBS, and subdivision surface editing tools.

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When you import Alembic caches into Maya (Cache > Alembic Cache > Import Alembic) or open (Cache > Alembic Cache > Open Alembic), the object hierarchies in the file are preserved. Alembic caches do not contain shading information and appear in scene view with default shading. After loading an Alembic file, you can assign shaders to objects that use the same materials and workflows as Mayan geometry.

You can specify export and import options that allow you to merge Alembic files with the shading information of the source geometry. Shaded Alembic objects can be rendered with Maya Software or Mental Ray.

Alembic export and import options.

You can specify Alembic export options (Cache > Alembic Cache > Export All/Export Selection to Alembic >) to do the following:

  • Store UV and crease information from the source geometry in the Alembic Cache (see UV Write and Write Creases).
  • Dynamic and user-defined attributes in the cache.
  • Use Euler filtering for rotational data.

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You can specify Alembic import options (Cache > Alembic Cache > Import Alembic >) that allow them:

  • Add parent selected objects in the scene to the imported Alembic objects,
  • Add or remove scene geometry that matches their imported geometry,
  • Merge cached animation data with source objects.

Alembic import options are not available when you use the Open commands.

Alembic Cache Plugins.

To save and load Maya objects and scenes as an Alembic cache, load the AbcImport.mll and AbcExport.mll plugins. To load the plugins, open the Plug-in Manager (Windows > Settings > Plugin Manager).

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