In this task I'll lay out the targets for my work on Alembic. Everybody who uses Alembic, or is interested in its use, is invited to discuss and help with testing, importing, exporting, rendering, etc.
For this month, i.e. April 2017, I'll be working towards successfully exporting and importing a Blender Studio character with animation and hair. In short, I want to make this possible:
- Export an animated Rinky from Rinky-scene.blend, both with and without hair.
- Import those exports in other software, such as Maya, Houdini, or RenderMan.
- Export an animated character from non-Blender software (Maya, Houdini, etc.) to an Alembic file, and import that successfully into Blender.
- Apply shading and texturing to the imported character in Blender, and render in Cycles.
- Fix "lagging hair" issue (on hold, after discussion with @Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) we found that this would likely require ugly hacks or a major update of the modifier stack, so better to do this properly in 2.8)
- Make the import operator synchronous so that script and import, wait for the import to finish, and then do something with the imported objects.
This is a still of the Rinky scene:
Here is the test scene, which contains Rinky-scene.blend, linking the character file Rinky.blend into a scene and (crudely) animating it:
Reference video rendered with Blender/Cycles (so without any Alembic import/export):
Apart from functional changes, I also want to create a set of unit tests to improve future stability.
My question to you: help with testing, importing, exporting, rendering, using the latest master branch (either build yourself or take from the buildbot from the Buildbot. Also: provide us with test files that do or do not work, so that we can test and improve the Alembic-based character animation workflows.