Importing OpenVDB into Flame

I have a number of X-Particle setups I’ve been using. Was looking for a way of combining Flame setups with external particle animations.

I’m familiar with how to bring in the basic geometry from Cine4D to Flame via Alembic or FBX into action, and then texture and light it in Flame. Pretty straight forward.

This particular X-Particle setup (condensation on a can) generates all the geometry with an OpenVDBMesher. Easy enough inside Cine4D, can use Redshift to render it. I can also bake the geometry of a single frame down and export that into Flame. But the goal would be get the animated version of the condensation into Flame. Because it relies on reflections and transmission it should be textured inside Flame. Can’t texture it Cine4D and bring it over, unless I have identical scenes - which of course is an albeit cumbersome option.

So I think the path would be to either convert the OpenVDB meshes into animated polygons that can be imported via AMB or FBX (could be a huge file), or find a way to bring the OpenVDB directly into Flame. Both options seem like dead-ends based on Google searches though. Does that just not exist (yet)?

This is not urgent, I’m just experimenting to understand if this workflow is even feasible in case it comes up.

Thanks in advance for any pointers/thoughts.


Alembic route is most likely the only way with read from file. It’ll be brutal I’d imagine. There are no VDB tools in Flame… there’s Eddy for Nuke but that’s more about fog volumes than sdfs that one would surface.

I’d imagine the other alternative would be faking refraction in Flame/Comp via normals and some other aov’s you could render in RS alongside the bty.

Sorry it’s not a better response.


There also used to be a mechanism for reading numbered obj sequences which in truth might be easier on your network although admittedly it’s been a hot minute since I tried that.

Have done a few test in Flame… all bad results.
Resolve/Fusion can do the job if you want to go there.
Here is a test I did I while ago.
pass: resolve_abc

Sim and export from Houdini. Imported and lit in Resolve’s Fusion Module. One thing to keep and eye on is motion blur. It may not be straight forward to get it working properly, but that depends on how it gets exported.


Thanks. Unfortunate, but good to know.

I think rendering in C4D/RS and adding some AOVs may be the way to go then, just so most of the energy goes towards the result and not fighting the software.

Yes I think so. Even in Fusion and Nuke doing this kind of stuff with heavy geo is just asking for trouble. That said… keep an eye on Nuke 14, as its 3d engine is now USD based. Eventually a Hydra delegate for any of the common engines will drop.

Some experiments here:

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