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Blender Alembic pipeline


First post on this forum so I hope I do this correctly ^^

I've just begin to try Prism and have a question regarding the workflow around Blender...

  • I've prepared an .abc output from an asset modeling task.
  • Used it as input in a Blender Lookdev task to do the surfacing of my asset.
  • I've created a shot animation task and an output in .abc
  • Now I can't find the Prism way to get the surfacing mixed with the animated geometry

Is there a way to merge an asset look with its animation on a shot using blender and alembics ?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Not sure if that works with Blender, but for Maya I had the same question just the other day


Thanks Dovydas !
I've read your post but I think it's a bit different in maya.

Maya alembic import system is not ideal but far more advanced than blender's XD

You have access to multiples feature of alembic's system like layers etc... So you can merge an animation onto an existing fixed geometry. Therefore it need some specific requirements. In order to merge an alembic in maya, the geometry order have to be managed and extremly controlled. When the animated geometries are exported, the order of selection matter and have to be the same for the merge. For example, you export a whole animated shot in a single abc then use it in a lighting scene but need to export de new version of the animation, if you export your animation scene again but without keeping the exact same order of selection for each geo, you won't be able to merge it ^^'

In Blender the workflows have to be different. You could either do the surfacing of your asset in a blend file then at shot step you link your assets, add sequence cache modifiers and set the path to alembic files, or you could prepare the alembic modifiers at surfacing step but you would need to export at least 2 frames from modeling with animated vertices to have blender's default alembic importer generating the modifiers, or you could add modifier at an in between step...

There are multiples way to do it ^^' Each one having advantages and inconvenient....
I was wondering if there was an automated way of doing it using Prism ?

I'll continue to test Prism in order to understand its logic and where further process need to be implemented in order to create a pipeline around blender and maya but if you have tips for doing it feel free to share 😉

Currently there is no way to merge alembic animation with Blender objects using Prism. That might get addressedd in Prism 2.0 though. Thanks for the feedback.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your answer.

Is it possible to test Prism 2.0 ?


Not yet, it's still in development. The Beta will start in the next weeks though. If you would like to join, please send a quick mail to to get notified, when it's available.

I have just finished one animation project in which I used prism and alembic in Blender. It's possible but you'll have to do some manual work with file paths.

  • MOD = asset modeling scene
  • LDV = asset lookdev scene
  • ANM = shot animation scenes
  • LGT = shot lighting scenes

    MOD -> prism export .blend to RIG (model)
    -> RIG -> prism export .blend to ANM (armature + model)
    -> ANM -> prism export .abc to LGT

    MOD -> prism export .blend to LDV (model)
    -> LDV -> prism export .blend to LGT (model + materials)
    -> LGT -> prism export render (not using prism import here, instead linking model + surfacing from exported LDV scene and using Mesh Sequence Cache modifiers with manually placed paths to exported abc version)

    This worked suprasingly well for our small project. There was one asset, one rig. Changes to model and rig during production were minimal so we eneded up making only 2 exports for model and rig scenes. Thanks to that there was not much of manual relinking for ANM and LGT scenes. There were 10 shots and many many versions for both anm and lgt scenes and it all went really smoothly even tho we had to place new abc filepaths manually for each version.