EMBERGEN : Export VDB scale issue / import (Alembic + Camera) issue


I’m trying to put together a Maya <> Embergen workflow and it’s incredibly painful so far.

I need to apply an effect to a deformed geometry. It’s not just skinned or blendShaped, there are plenty of deformers so I can’t export it in fbx, I need to use Alembic.
I can import properly the geometry in Embergen, and first thing I have to do is scale it by 1000 in order to have a result.

The problems start when I need to get my result from Embergen.

1/ if I want to render an image sequence directly in Embergen, I would need to be able to import my camera in addition to the geometry, which is NOT possible because “a maximum of 1 import node is allowed”.

2/ if I want to export the VDB sequence in order to render it in Maya/Arnold (which would be the best solution), it doesn’t work because the size is simply just WAY too big in Maya.

When I scale my Arnold volume node in Maya, there’s nothing I can render.
At 1 1 1 scale I need to put a 10000000 far clip plane on my camera and nothing renders.
If I scale down the node to 0.001, nothing renders either.
If I import a VDB sequence from the Embergen examples, the scale is acceptable and it renders correctly, how did you do achieve the export? If I load an example and export it myself with a VDB export node I can’t render anything.

Someone mentionned that there’s a VDB scaling option in the Embergen volume node, I can’t find it.

If I check the “apply imported mesh transform” on the VDB node the result size is multiplied by 1000 instead of beind reduced by 1000.

I really need help here I need to deliver a project this week and I can’t find any solution so I’ll probably have to get back to Houdini.

Thank you.

Embergen version : 0.7.5
Maya version : 2022

1 Like

Edit : I managed to have a render in Maya with a VDB export with a primitive as emission object.
It seems like Maya can’t understand the boundingBox of the incoming VDB.
“apply imported mesh transform” needs to remain UNCHECKED

So for the camera issue, we’re planning Alembic camera support soon. Normally with FBX for instance you’d put the camera and animated mesh in the same file. It’s a bit complicated as to why multiple import nodes aren’t allowed but we are working on allowing it. As for the scaling issues, that’s just how 0.7.5 is. We are also working on major fixes for EmberGen 1.0’s release. I’d expect all of these issues to disappear when the new version is out. So unforutnately no solutions at this time, but just know it’s being fixed.

Ok thanks a lot for answering!

Hello again,
I manage to fix all scaling issues, but I would like to have some more information about the camera issue.

1/ can animate a camera in Embergen?

2/ if so, can I export it to another software?

3/ I really need to use Embergen to render my simulation because I can achieve visual results I can’t with a vdb export to another software.

If 1 and 2 question don’t work, is there at least a way to translate Embergen camera attributes (focal, aperture, etc) in Maya attributes?

4/ Do you have an eta for the ability to use a camera within an alembic file, or even better multiple import nodes?
We would love to use your software on a wider scale in our studio but for now it’s not usable in production as it is due to those limitations which is really a shame.

Thanks a lot,


Zagtoon Studios

Hi David, I’ll address your questions in order.

  1. Yes you can animated your camera in embergen
  2. You cannot export this camera though. I would suggest creating your camera animation in Maya, and then importing that in combination with the mesh as 1 fbx object. At the moment only fbx files support both animated mesh and camera.
  3. I know what you mean, I think this is the best approach to using embergen in combination with 3rd party software
  4. We are working on both of these issues at the moment actually, we can’t make any promises on features or deadlines, but we are doing our best to optimize this experience for our users.

I hope this answered your questions, let me know if you have any more!

Ok thanks, it’s a bit frustrating so I can’t wait for the next update!

I can now confirm multiple import nodes and alembic camera support are coming in 1.0

Oh this is great !
When will version 1 be released?


For licensed users we have QA versions available on discord. But in general, the hope is in a few months.