ALEMBIC is an interchange file format for computer graphics used by visual effects and animation professionals. It was announced at SIGGRAPH 2011, and has been widely adopted across the industry. Its primary focus is the interchange of geometry (models) between different groups working on the same shots or same assets. This is often within different departments in the same company or different studios working on the same projects. Alembic supports the common geometric representations used in the industry including polygon meshes, subdivision surface, parametric curves, NURBS patches and particles. Alembic also has support for transform hierarchies and cameras. With the latest version comes initial support for materials and lights as well. Alembic is specifically NOT concerned with storing the complex dependency graph of procedural tools but instead stores the "baked" results.
Alembic was developed as an open source library primarily by Sony Pictures Imageworks and Lucasfilm.