The Reason And Solution When Maya Reference Alembic Can Not Be Read


This article is organized from the leading cloud render farm in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm. If your Maya can’t read the Reference Alembic, here is a sharing about the reason analysis and solution, I hope it can help you.

About the problem

When using the alembic cache in Maya, in general, one is directly imported to the scene, and the other is through the reference of Maya, which is referenced to the scene. The problem is in the case of the reference to the scene.

Maya Reference AlembicMaya Reference AlembicMaya Reference Alembic (3)

In the process of using the reference abc cache to multiple machines on the render farm, there will be reference’s abc can be loaded normally, and some can not be loaded, open the scene abc will find that the loading is not successful. By looking up the reason, we found that the AbcImport plugin on the machine that can load the reference abc is loaded automatically, but the plugin of the machine that can't load the abc cache is not loaded.

There are now two scenarios, one is to directly import the abc scene, and the other is the reference abc scene.

Maya Reference Alembic

The situation of without the abc plugin:

Maya Reference Alembic

After the import abc scene is opened, the loading of abc is normal. The reference abc scene is empty in the scene after opening, and abc does not load normally.

In the case of adding the AbcImport plugin, the import abc scene and the reference abc scene can be loaded normally after the abc cache is opened.

The reason analysis

In the past, we deliberately saved the scene in the format of ma, because the main problem is in ma.

Open the ma scene with the text tool notepad++, we can see that in the Maya scene it will first use the plugin used in the scene to require,

Maya Reference Alembic

In this way, when the scene is opened, there is a required plugin, which will automatically load the plugin. If there is a node of the corresponding plugin in the scene, the node can read normally. The above is the ma scene of import abc. And in the scene with a reference file:

Maya Reference Alembic

You can see that the reference file is before they require, which causes the reference abc cache to not trigger the require plugin. Without the AbcImport plugin, the abc reference has problems and cannot be loaded properly.

About the solutions

After finding out the reason, now the solution is to let AbcImport to be loaded automatically before the scene is opened. A few methods as follow:

  1. On a machine, after opening Maya, load the AbcImport plugin itself, so that when the Maya is opened, the AbcImport plugin will be loaded automatically. The requires of the scene will be triggered to add the plugin.

Maya Reference Alembic

  1. Writing an automatic loading of the AbcImport plugin in Maya's userSetup.mel

Catch(loadPlugin "AbcImport")

Maya Reference Alembic

  1. Or directly add a ‘requires’ in front of the reference node in the reference scene's ma file.

Requires -nodeType "AlembicNode" "AbcImport" "1.0"

Maya Reference Alembic

Maya's ma format scene file can be used to see the entire scene in Mel's language description of the scene. In some specific cases, the scene can be edited by directly opening the ma file with a text tool.

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