At the ACM SIGGRAPH conference today visual effects houses Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Sony Pictures Imageworks announced a co-developed open source project titled Alembic. At its core, Alembic is a computer graphics interchange format focused on efficiently storing and sharing animation and visual effects scenes across multiple software applications. It was designed to handle massive animation data sets often required in high-end visual effects, which are routinely developed and produced by companies such as Imageworks and ILM. The code base for Alembic is available for download on the project’s Google Code site and more information can be found online at:

Alembic is an open computer graphics interchange framework. Alembic distills complex, animated scenes into a non-procedural, application-independent set of baked geometric results. This ‘distillation’ of scenes into baked geometry is exactly analogous to the distillation of lighting and rendering scenes into rendered image data.