US Big Techs Form Alliance to Develop Standards for 3D Graphics in the Metaverse

Nvidia, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk, and Pixar Animation Studios have announced the formation of the Alliance for OpenUSD.
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Quick take:

  • Nvidia, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk and Pixar Animation Studios have teamed up to launch the Alliance for OpenUSD.
  • The five tech giants are collaborating to promote the development of standards for 3D graphics in the metaverse.
  • OpenUSD is an open data format developed by Pixar to allow graphics artists to collaborate on large-scale 3D animation projects.

Five of the biggest technology companies in the US are teaming up to advance metaverse adoption across the world. Graphics Processing Unit developer Nvidia Corp., Apple Inc., Adobe Inc., Autodesk Inc., and Disney Co.’s  Pixar Animation Studios on Tuesday announced the formation of the Alliance for OpenUSD.

OpenUSD is an open data format developed by Pixar to allow graphics artists to collaborate on large-scale 3D animation projects. It allows teams to share information about 3D objects and environments that can be used in AR and VR projects. 

OpenUSD is an advanced version of Pixar’s AOUSD, a Universal Scene description first demonstrated in Pixar’s film “A Bug’s Life.” The Disney subsidiary open-sourced OpenUSD in 2016 to enable teams to work together on large-scale 3D workflows.

“Universal Scene Description was invented at Pixar and is the technological foundation of our state-of-the-art animation pipeline,” said 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.”

The Alliance for OpenUSD will work together with the Joint Development Foundation, an affiliate of the Linux Foundation to standardise the technology.

Nvidia will play its role in adapting the technology for use in metaverse applications by integrating with its Omniverse tool, an open-sourced real-time collaboration and simulation platform that allows artists and engineers to design and recreate virtual worlds. 

“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,” said Guy Martin, director of open source and standards at Nvidia.

On the other hand, Apple recently launched the Vision Pro AR/VR headset, which enables people to work, interact with and experience life and entertainment in 3D spaces. The company also partnered with Disney to bring fans closer to their favourite characters in film and TV.

“Apple has been an active contributor to the development of USD, and it is an essential technology for the groundbreaking Vision OS platform, as well as the new Reality Composer Pro developer tool,” said Mike Rockwell, Apple’s vice president of the Vision products group. “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.”


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