More and better Geometry Import and Export information pending. I will create a screen cast very soon showing the features.
Since Alembic was introduced in Maya 2012 SAP I would call this : “Geometry Cache for the rest of us”. I hesitated about releasing this tool in the public pipeline because of Alembic but after a few months with 2012 SAP we still find the Sunday Geometry Cache tools useful.
This tool requires Maya 2012. It does not have to be SAP – It doesn’t use Alembic but Mayas own/old Geometry Cache. From 2012 and up it possible to store vertex data (points). This is considered an early alpha version – test it before using it in production
– Create an Asset using the “Asset Export” tool and enable Geometry Cache Asset.
This exports the selected model/asset/rig + a geometry only (mesh) version. It’s very Important that the Asset Export is used because it’s creating a “SUDNAY STUDIO” attribute under every transform node. This attribute is used to find the correct or corresponding mesh when importing an cache. Because of the “SUNDAY STUDIO” attribute is very hard to break an asset after it has been referenced or altered and it’s easy to import the cache to multiple references of the same asset (hard to do manually because of namespace issues etc.)
– Import/reference the model/asset/rig (not the GeoOnly version) in to a scene and animated the hell out of it.
– Select it and run the GeoCache Export tool. Choose a name (it guesses on the top group of the asset) and set start and end – It’s a good idea to set Start Frame one frame earlier than needed when using motion blur. Then press Export.
– Import/reference the GeoOnly into a new scene (or the same scene). Select it’s top group and run GeoCache Import. press the wanted cache and *pow* you got cache!!
On OSX (and maybe on Linux and Windows too) there is a limited on how many cache nodes there can be loaded in one scene it depends on how many files Maya has open. In a clean scene it possible to have 200-250 cache nodes (there is a CacheFile Nodes counter in the import). If the limited is reached then Maya is doomed and will crash very fast (it can’t load scripts, textures etc).
The Workaround: Set the “open files” limit to more than default (hmmm, can’t remember what the default is in the maya environment, 256/512 or something like that).
from the console run: “ulimit -S -n 5000” and then run maya from that terminal.
It has to be set before Maya runs, I have submitted this a bug to AutoDesk in spring of 2011.