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Activity Forums Maxon Cinema 4D Export multiple object animations as one object in Alembic (.abc)

  • Export multiple object animations as one object in Alembic (.abc)

    Posted by Yaleryn Tan on July 8, 2019 at 2:53 pm


    I would like to to export the animations of multiple objects as one combined animation in Alembic format.
    However, I’m unable to do so.

    Did I miss out something in my Alembic export and/or import settings

    I have attached my .c4d working file.

    Alembic export settings

    Alembic import settings

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    Alfie White replied 2 weeks, 2 days ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Sam Treadway

    July 9, 2019 at 3:00 am

    Add a connect object to the scene and immediately turn off “Weld” on the connect object
    In the “Objects” field, link to the null containing all the petals.
    With that connect object selected, export to alembic and make sure “Selection Only” is checked.

  • Yaleryn Tan

    July 9, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Hi Sam,

    I really appreciate you taking time to reply.
    The solution you proposed worked well, all the object animations were combined into one!

    I have another question. The original c4d file format is 17,700 KB.
    After exporting to alembic format, the file size is 7,600,000 KB.
    The file size becomes significantly larger.
    Is there any way to reduce the .abc file size ?

  • Yaleryn Tan

    July 9, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Alembic Export settings (after putting objects under Connect)

  • Sam Treadway

    July 9, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Think of the exporting to the alembic format the same way you think about exporting a video.
    With video, larger resolutions, deeper color and a longer timeline will result in a larger files sizes.
    Each frame in a video can be considered a unique image but with certain compression algorithms, data for spatial and temporal redundancies is stored efficiently which can reduce file size.

    With alembic you are baking out each frame (or subframe) without any dependencies / deformers, etc…a point cache with extra details.
    You can think of it as a single file where each frame contains version or independent representation of the mesh.
    So the denser the mesh and the more frames you export, the larger the file.

    One way to reduce the file size is by increasing the frame steps.
    The motion between frame steps can be interpolated.

    To test it yourself, do two exports.
    Set the start and end frames the same for each and then set the frame step to 1 on the first export and set it to 10 or 20 on the next export.
    When you import set the “Interpolation” option in the alembic object to on.

    With the motion in your scene you can probably get away with a frame step as high as 15 or 20. The motion may not be exactly the same as the frames between exported frames are interpolated.

  • Yaleryn Tan

    July 11, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Sam, many thanks for taking the time to explain in detail!

  • Alfie White

    September 14, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Hi sam, is there any way of doing this in blender?

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