Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and NVIDIA, together with the Joint Development Foundation (JDF), an affiliate of the Linux Foundation, have announced the formation of the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD), a new group that aims to promote the standardization, development, evolution, and growth of Universal Scene Description (USD) technology. The tech, which was developed by Pixar, is described as a system for encoding scalable, hierarchically organized, static and time-sampled data, for the primary purpose of interchanging and augmenting the data between cooperating digital content creation applications. USD also provides a rich set of composition operators, including asset and file references and variants, that let consumers aggregate multiple assets into a single scenegraph while still allowing for sparse overrides.
“Universal Scene Description was invented at Pixar and is the technological foundation of our state-of-the-art animation pipeline,” said Steve May, Chief Technology Officer at Pixar and Chairperson of AOUSD. “OpenUSD is based on years of research and application in Pixar filmmaking. We open-sourced the project in 2016, and the influence of OpenUSD now expands beyond film, visual effects, and animation and into other industries that increasingly rely on 3D data for media interchange. With the announcement of AOUSD, we signal the exciting next step: the continued evolution of OpenUSD as a technology and its position as an international standard.”
“At Adobe, we believe in providing artists a set of flexible and powerful solutions running on a variety of devices,” said Guido Quaroni, Senior Director of Engineering, 3D&I at Adobe. “Leveraging a common 3D data representation during the creative process multiplies the value brought by each package and device. OpenUSD was created to be one of these ‘multipliers’ and we are excited to see a diverse group of companies joining together to support this innovative and open technology.”
“OpenUSD will help accelerate the next generation of AR experiences, from artistic creation to content delivery, and produce an ever-widening array of spatial computing applications,” said Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice president of the Vision Products Group. “Apple has been an active contributor to the development of USD, and it is an essential technology for the groundbreaking visionOS platform, as well as the new Reality Composer Pro developer tool. We look forward to fostering its growth into a broadly adopted standard.”
“Whether you’re building CG worlds or digital twins or looking ahead to the 3D web, content creators need a cohesive way to collaborate and share data across tools, services, and platforms,” said Gordon Bradley, Fellow, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk. “Autodesk is excited to support the Alliance for OpenUSD as it drives 3D interoperability for visual effects, animation, and beyond, and supports our vision to help customers design and make a better world.”
“OpenUSD gives 3D developers, artists, and designers the complete foundation to tackle large-scale industrial, digital content creation, and simulation workloads with broad multi-app interoperability,” said Guy Martin, Director of Open Source and Standards at NVIDIA. “This alliance is a unique opportunity to accelerate OpenUSD collaboration globally by building formal standards across industries and initiatives to realize 3D worlds and industrial digitalization.”
The alliance seeks to standardize the 3D ecosystem by advancing the capabilities of Open Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD). By promoting greater interoperability of 3D tools and data, the alliance will enable developers and content creators to describe, compose, and simulate large-scale 3D projects and build an ever-widening range of 3D-enabled products and services.
Created by Pixar Animation Studios, OpenUSD is a high-performance 3D scene description technology that offers robust interoperability across tools, data, and workflows. Already known for its ability to collaboratively capture artistic expression and streamline cinematic content production, OpenUSD’s power and flexibility make it an ideal content platform to embrace the needs of new industries and applications.
The alliance will develop written specifications detailing the features of OpenUSD. This will enable greater compatibility and wider adoption, integration, and implementation, and allows inclusion by other standards bodies into their specifications. The Linux Foundation’s JDF was chosen to house the project, as it will enable open, efficient, and effective development of OpenUSD specifications, while providing a path to recognition through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
AOUSD will also provide the primary forum for the collaborative definition of enhancements to the technology by the greater industry. The alliance invites a broad range of companies and organizations to join and participate in shaping the future of OpenUSD.