alembic - Project Hosting on Google Code
"Alembic is an open framework for storing and sharing 3D geometry data that includes a C++ library, a file format, and client plugins and applications. It was initially developed in 2010 by teams from Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic, and development continues today.
OK, what is Alembic?
At the highest, most simplistic level, Alembic is "merely" a hierarchical sampled data storage format. It is intended to be used to store a baked representation of animated 3D geometry, in the same vein as GTO or OBJ. It was designed to facilitate handoff of data between disciplines, vendors, and applications.
"At a lower, less simplistic level, Alembic is designed to be very efficient with its use of memory and disk space. Much effort has been directed towards automatic and transparent mechanisms for data de-duplication and reading/writing as little data as possible in order to fully represent the data that has been given to it.
"Alembic is not a live scenegraph, an asset management system, a renderer, or replacement for OpenGL.
"Why was it made?
To create an open standard for geometry sharing
To support a baked geometry workflow
enable easy hand-off between disciplines
enable faster workflows leading to greater productivity."