The newly announced Alliance for OpenUSD is a collection of industry heavyweights — including Apple — putting their influence behind Pixar’s Universal Scene Description technology.
The stated goal of the AOUSD is “to standardize the 3D ecosystem.”
Industry alliance to promote 3D Universal Scene Description standard
Apple’s interest in 3D content stems mostly from the company’s upcoming Vision Pro AR/VR headset, which will show applications and movies in 3D. The $3,499 headset, slated for release in 2024, will be Apple’s first “spatial computing” device — and a big gamble on the future for the company that amassed its fortune making iPhones and Macs.
Apple is being joined in the Alliance for OpenUSD by other companies interested in the technology, including Adobe, Autodesk, Nvidia and, of course, Pixar.
They are backing OpenUSD, an open-source version of Universal Scene Description. Pixar created this framework for the interchange of 3D computer graphics data for its 3D films.
A joint statement by the companies released Tuesday explained the benefits of 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.”
Steve May, CTO at Pixar and chairperson of AOUSD, said “Universal Scene Description was invented at Pixar and is the technological foundation of our state-of-the-art animation pipeline. 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.”
“OpenUSD will help accelerate the next generation of AR experiences, from artistic creation to content delivery, and produce an ever-widening array of spatial computing applications,” said Mike Rockwell, Apple’s VP of the vision products group. “Apple has been an active contributor to the development of USD, and it is an essential technology for the groundbreaking visionOS platform, as well as the new Reality Composer Pro developer tool. We look forward to fostering its growth into a broadly adopted standard.”
AOUSD will also take the lead on future changes to the Universal Scene Description standard.