Exocortex Technologies has released Exocortex Alembic Suite, a collection of plugins implementing the Alembic open-source data-interchange format in a range of 3D software.
Originally developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks and Lucasfilm to alleviate problems that arise when scene files have to be converted between different proprietary formats, particularly when two or more studios collaborate on a project, Alembic support was recently implemented in Houdini 12, released last week.
The Exocortex Alembic Suite adds Softimage to that list, with 3ds Max and Maya plugins currently in closed beta.
Better than the native versions?
Autodesk already has its own implementation of Alembic within Maya, of course, and – we presume – must also be working on support in 3ds Max and Softimage.
However, Exocortex’s toolset has the advantage that it’s available now, and also includes plugins for Python and the much-talked-about Arnold renderer. According to the 3ds Max plugin page, Exocortex is also “explicitly designing” its implementation of Alembic to be compatible with V-Ray, Thinking Particles and Ornatrix.
Exocortex intends to sell the plugins in bundles focused around particular software packages. Currently, the Softimage bundle (Softimage, Arnold, Python) is the only one available, price CAD $250 (also around USD $250), with additional Arnold and Python licences available for CAD $100.