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Is there a way to bake/cache geometry deformations (in this case, an animated character)? This would be handy if I wanted to import an animation to another scene, or just to save computation power if I wanted to add, for instance, a cloth-simulation on top of it.

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You can export most animations as point cache files (*.pc2) and read them back in using the Mesh Cache modifier. The export addon is not active as default so you have to enable it beforehand.

Export Pointcache Format

To read it back in, use the Mesh Cache modifier. The option to read PC2 files is under the format option.

Mesh Cache modifier

The PC2 format works well with 3dsMax's Point Cache modifier as well, so you can use it to transfer animations between the two programs. Not sure about Maya.

One thing you should keep in mind is that PC2 cannot save fluid simulations. Point caches require that the number of vertices remain the same between objects, and this is not the case with fluids. However it seems that a modifier for reading OBJ sequences is in the works, but that's still coming.

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