August 4, 2023
Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and NVIDIA, together with the Joint Development Foundation (JDF), an affiliate of the Linux Foundation, announced the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD) to promote the standardization, development, evolution and growth of Pixar’s Universal Scene Description technology.
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, the organizations report.
Created by Pixar Animation Studios, OpenUSD is a high-performance 3D scene description technology that offers 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 range of companies and organizations to join and participate in shaping the future of OpenUSD.
“Universal Scene Description was invented at Pixar and is the technological foundation of our state-of-the-art animation pipeline,” says 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.”
“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,” says 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,” says 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.”
About the Joint Development Foundation
The Joint Development Foundation (JDF), part of the Linux Foundation Family, provides the corporate and legal infrastructure to enable organizations to develop technical specifications, standards, data sets, and source code.
About the Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is a home for collaboration on open source software, hardware, standards and data. The Linux Foundation focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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