Reducing incompatibilities in data between 3D production hardware and software across different platforms will speed up creative innovation and reduce costs.

Readers familiar with 3D graphics development will know that term OpenUSD (universal scene description). While USD is the framework for the interchange of graphics data across different platforms and software, the drive to make USD more standardized in terms of development, evolution and growth is what can improve the industry, going forward.

As a case study of technological collaboration, cooperation and openness that transcends the natural need to want to keep proprietary innovations secret and secluded, OpenUSD demonstrates that organizations can benefit even more when they can first agree to forego some benefits of controlling exclusive IP and/or standards.

In this vein, Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and NVIDIA today have announced the forming of the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD) to:

    • promote greater interoperability of 3D tools and data
    • enable developers and content creators to describe, compose, and simulate large-scale 3D projects with reduce file/data compatibility challenges
    • build an ever-widening range of 3D-enabled products and services with better efficiency and reduced incompatibilities

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.

To house the project the Linux Foundation’s Joint Development Foundation was chosen, 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 firms and organizations to join and participate in shaping the future of OpenUSD.

“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.”

Steve May, Chief Technology Officer (Pixar) and Chairperson (AOUSD)