Alembic Mesh export with Material ID
Hey everyone, i have setup tyflow to give random material ID 1-4, which renders fine using tyflow.

however, i may need to render these on the render farm, so trying to export it as alembic mesh and render it.

when exporting to alembic mesh, mesh comes through fine, but seems to loose the material ID, so it comes in as a single material ID mesh.

i have setup tyflow material ID to random and "bake with particle mesh" turned on.

is this limitation of alembic file format? or am i missing something here?


Are you using Export Particles? Or max's abc exporter?
(10-06-2019, 01:45 AM)tyFlow Wrote: Are you using Export Particles? Or max's abc exporter?

i have tried both.

when i try tyCache from the exporter, it obviously works best.  it kept all the material IDs, smoothing groups, file size was small

+Alembic from tyFlow exporter
it creates the alembic mesh file.  however, i can't get it to save out material ID, which i am generating randomly using [Material ID] event in tyFlow (as per previous post screen capture.

+Alembic from 3ds max 
i actually could not get this to work.  i selected tyFlow itself, and tried exporting.  it succeeded, but ended up getting a very small file, and when imported, nothing came in.  is there other ways of doing this?


basically i am trying to render tyFlow in commercial render farms (rebus).
they are not supporting tyFlow just yet, as its still in beta (i have already contacted them about this).

so i thought i could get around this issue by exporting Alembic file from tyFlow. however

1. file size is huge, even for a relatively simple particle work, alembic file generated was approaching 50 gig for about 300 frame animation.
2. its not exporting material ID
3. the smoothing group seems not exported

is there better way of rendering tyFlow on render farms?
is there any renderfarm that has tyFlow (which i know is not likely due to its rapid development cycle)

thank you in advance for any help!
Yea unfortunately abc is a tricky format to work with in max.

Max's own importer/exporter uses outdated methods in the Alembic SDK to do things like matID save/load. Also the way it processes matIDs is broken to begin with. So while its importer "works" with its exporter, it isn't compatible with "properly" exported abc files in some cases. This is probably what you're running into. VRay's Proxy object can import .abc files and does a good job of it. Try to default to that as your importer if possible.

The reason why export isn't working from max's exporter is because you do not have Mesh operators in your flow with "render only" turned off.

As for the large file size, you're not going to get around this with the abc format.

There are some farms that do support recent version of tyFlow. Check/join the tyFlow facebook group for recent discussions about which ones.
So I found a way to make this work. As Tyson suggests add a mesh operator to the end of all your flows and uncheck render only. Then add an edit poly modifier to the tyflow icon. Then export selected as alembic from the max file menu. Make sure to check Material ID in the export dialog. This seems to work for me. When I reimport the alembic the material ids are present. Hope this helps.

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