Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and Nvidia Form Alliance for OpenUSD

Apple Newsroom:

Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and NVIDIA, together with the Joint Development Foundation (JDF), an affiliate of the Linux Foundation, today announced the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD) to promote the standardization, development, evolution, and growth of Pixar’s Universal Scene Description technology. [...]

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).

Conspicuously absent: Meta, which supposedly has bet its future on XR. (Likewise the word metaverse.)

I suspect some people will be surprised by Apple’s inclusion, thinking that Apple is only interested in proprietary technology. But that’s not the case. Apple’s interests tend to be at both ends of the proprietary spectrum, and the company has historically embraced open content/file formats in particular. A huge part of the original iPhone’s appeal was its groundbreaking support for the full web (as opposed to, as Steve Jobs called it, the “baby web” supported by mobile devices of the time). Nvidia executives have repeatedly made the analogy that USD is to 3D content what HTML is to 2D.

Tuesday, 1 August 2023