The tech industry is witnessing a groundbreaking collaboration among industry heavyweights, including Apple, Adobe, Pixar, Autodesk, NVIDIA, and the Joint Development Foundation. This collaboration, known as the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD), aims to standardize, develop, and evolve Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) technology. In doing so, the alliance seeks to bridge the gap between creative assets in the 3D arena and pave the way for immersive experiences across various platforms. This article delves into the significance of this alliance and its potential impact on the future of 3D creativity and the metaverse.
The Alliance for OpenUSD is committed to driving the standardization of 3D creativity and fostering interoperability among tools and data. By establishing a common framework, the alliance enables creatives to design 3D projects, products, and services that seamlessly function across compatible systems. This standardization not only accelerates the adoption of OpenUSD but also helps shape the evolution of the internet from a 2D web to a 3D web, as emphasized by NVIDIA. The alliance aims to share more insights into its collaborative efforts at upcoming events such as the Academy Software Foundation’s Open Source Days and Siggraph.
The Evolution of OpenUSD
OpenUSD has an impressive history, originating as a project of Pixar Animation Studios in 2012 to serve as the foundation for its 3D feature films. It transitioned to an open-source project in 2016, and in 2018, Apple collaborated with Pixar to develop USDZ Universal, a file format specifically designed for creating 3D models for augmented reality. Steve May, Chief Technology Officer at Pixar and Chairperson of AOUSD, highlights the extensive groundwork behind OpenUSD, emphasizing its role as the technological foundation of Pixar’s animation pipeline. May further emphasizes that OpenUSD’s influence has expanded beyond the realms of film and animation into industries that increasingly rely on 3D data.
OpenUSD’s high-performance 3D scene description technology has already found significant application in various sectors, including architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing, as noted on the AOUSD website. The alliance’s goal is to expand and standardize the OpenUSD specification to enhance its use and enable its integration into other standards bodies’ specifications. The broad adoption of OpenUSD could spur advancements in AR experiences, content delivery, and spatial computing applications, as highlighted by Apple’s Vice President of the vision products group, Mike Rockwell.
The Missing Piece: Meta
Notably absent from the alliance is Meta, which raises questions about the current challenges faced by the corporation, considering its substantial investment in augmented reality. While Meta’s absence may suggest its struggles, it also underscores the significance of the collaboration among industry leaders present in the Alliance for OpenUSD.
The formation of the Alliance for OpenUSD and its initiative to establish a standardized 3D creative process mark a critical milestone in the evolution of the metaverse. As the boundaries between digital and physical realities become increasingly blurred, this united approach from major industry players sets a solid foundation for interoperability. The widespread adoption of OpenUSD could catalyze the emergence of a vibrant and accessible metaverse, revolutionizing the way we interact with digital content in various sectors.
The Alliance for OpenUSD represents a significant step forward for the tech industry and the future of 3D creativity. Through collaboration and standardization, this alliance aims to enable seamless interoperability, opening up new possibilities for immersive experiences and the metaverse. As industry heavyweights join forces, the potential impact of OpenUSD cannot be understated. With Apple, Adobe, Pixar, and others leading the charge, the future of 3D content creation and the metaverse looks promising.