Universal Scene Description (USD)
USD is the heart and soul of Pixar’s 3D graphics pipeline. From the Pixar Open USD Twitter account, “Universal Scene Description is Pixar’s efficient system for authoring, reading, and streaming scene description for interchange between graphics applications.” Learn more about it on Pixar’s website or watch the introduction video below.
The latest release of Pixar’s USD came out last month, the v0.8.5a release. View the changelog here.
Real-Time Graphics in Pixar Film Production
Here is an example of Universal Scene Description view from Finding Dory from Siggraph 2016 It’s impressive!
Animal Logic’s USDMaya
Last year, Animal Logic announced that their USDMaya plug-in, aka AL_USDMAYA, is now open source. In layman’s terms, it’s a bridge between Pixar’s Universal Scene Description and Autodesk Maya.
This plug-in has been used on a number of recent films, including Peter Rabbit.
- Read the press release from Animal Logic
- FXGuide Article about USDMaya
- Animal Logic Now Offers Its USDMaya Plugin As Open Source – Lester Banks
Maya® 3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software provides an integrated, powerful toolset. Use it for animation, environments, motion graphics, virtual reality, and character creation.
Unity and USD
USD Unity SDK
Integration of Pixar’s Universal Scene Description into Unity.
Universal Scene Description importer & exporter plugin for Unity.
Pixar’s UsdMatX, MaterialX Support for USD
From their website, “MaterialX is an open standard for the transfer of rich material and look-development content between applications and renderers.” The MaterialX Library is open source. The second link below is a PDF that has some information on the bridge between MaterialX and USD.