FBX - Transferring Point Cache data
We occasionally see users reporting problems in transferring scene files with Point Cache data through FBX. The FBX Plugins support transfer of Point Cache data, though there are a couple of settings to be aware of when transferring between the different Autodesk apps.
3ds Max Point Cache-
For 3ds Max- the Point Cache is typically setup through the Point Cache modifier. The cache can be recorded to XML format from the modifier and file loaded/unloaded per object in scene (see left screenshot below)
Typical usage for using Point Cache would be where you want to ‘bake’ vertex animation onto a model that is deforming using the Skin Modifier- baking Point Cache for meshes can help to improve performance when working on larger scene files with animation or simulation and can help you transfer data that is not supported in other applications.
For export from 3ds Max-
The Point Cache should already be recorded for the mesh. Other modifiers which were previously deforming the model should be removed (as the vertex animation is now stored in cache file)
Meshes with Point Cache data should be added to Selection Set within 3ds Max before export. On choosing File>Export to export to FBX- The following options should be set (see middle screenshot above)
Include>Animation>Point Cache File
Set > - From the Drop-down, select the Selection Set the model was added to before export.
Files created on Export-
After export- the FBX file that contains the scene models is exported. Along with the FBX file, a folder with same name and _fps suffix is created in same directory (see right screenshot above) The XML and MC files in the folder store the Cache data which is referenced by the FBX file.
• On Re-import of the FBX file to 3ds Max- the cache will be loaded through Point Cache modifier as before.
• On Import of the FBX file to Maya- the cache will be loaded for the mesh, the Cache location and other options can be modified from the Attribute Editor (Ctrl+A)
• On Import of the FBX file to MotionBuilder- the cache will be loaded for the mesh, the Cache location and other options can be modified from- Navigator>Deformers>VertexCache_.xml>Property View.
As long as the _fpc folder with the cache files is in same folder as the FBX file- the cache will be loaded automatically when Importing the FBX in 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder or Softimage.
Further information on using the FBX Plugins is included in the documentation that can be accessed in Windows from-
Start>Programs>Autodesk>Autodesk FBX Plug-ins
Note: The 2012 releases of 3ds Max and other Autodesk products include a number of functional enhancements around FBX and data transfer. The new ‘Send To’ and ‘Update’ functionality allows you to transfer data seamlessly between each of the installed applications without using manual Export and Import.