Piper Piper

Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and Nvidia have teamed with the Joint Development Foundation (JDF), an affiliate of the Linux Foundation, to launch the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD), an initiative dedicated to the promotion, standardization, development, evolution, and growth of Pixar’s open-source Universal Scene Description technology.

What is OpenUSD? OpenUSD is an extensible software platform for collaboratively constructing animated cg scenes. It was designed by Pixar to meet the needs of large-scale film and visual effects production. The software allows interchange between digital content creation tools with its expanding set of schemas, covering domains like geometry, shading, lighting, and physics.

Why was this alliance necessary? The alliance was established to promote “greater interoperability of 3d tools and data.” According to a release, work done by the alliance will enable developers and content creators to better describe, compose, and simulate large-scale cg projects. More simply, the organizations have committed to making OpenUSD a more universally usable software.

How will the alliance do that? AOUSD will develop specifications that will detail the features of the OpenUSD platform. According to alliance members, this will enable greater compatibility and wider adoption, integration, and implementation of the software. The alliance will also facilitate a forum where users will be encouraged to collaborate on defining the future of OpenUSD.

Want to know more? Members of the AOUSD steering committee will present at the Academy Software Foundation’s Open Source Days on Aug. 6 and at the SIGGRAPH conference at the Autodesk Vision Series on Aug. 8. Until then, interested parties can read all about the software on the OpenUSD website which includes download links, tutorials, an FAQ, and demo assets.

Pictured at top: Pixar’s USD technology was used on the short film Piper.

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