Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures Imageworks Release New Version of Jointly-Developed Alembic

The Avengers - film still

The open source exchange format has already been used on features including "The Avengers," "Men in Black 3," and upcoming "Hotel Transylvania."

Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks have released an updated version of their jointly-developed Alembic open source system aimed at helping VFX companies easily store and share complex animated scenes across facilities, regardless of what software is being used. The announcement was made in connection with annual CG confab Siggraph, which runs through Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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"We've been very grateful to see Alembic broadly adopted across the VFX and animation industries application providers and studios around the world,” said Rob Bredow, CTO at Imageworks. “This new release continues to add requested features while maintaining the speed and compatibility the industry has come to expect.”

Since Alembic’s debut last year at Siggraph, Lucasfilm and Imageworks have integrated the technology into their production pipelines. Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light + Magic used Alembic for its work on The Avengers and Sony Pictures Imageworks on Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, in addition to Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming Hotel Transylvania.

Software developers including Autodesk, The Foundry, Solid Angle, Side Effects and Luxology have added Alembic support in their products.