NVIDIA and partners look to build Out Universal Scene Description

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Nvidia has announced a broad initiative to evolve Universal Scene Description (USD), the open-source and extensible language of 3D worlds, to become a foundation of the open metaverse and 3D internet.

Working with USD’s inventor, Pixar, as well as Adobe, Autodesk, Siemens and a number of other leading companies, Nvidia said that it will pursue a multi-year roadmap to expand USD’s capabilities beyond visual effects - enabling it to better support industrial metaverse applications in architecture, engineering, manufacturing, scientific computing, robotics and industrial digital twins.

The company used its SIGGRAPH special address earlier this week to share a number of updates to evolve USD. These include international character support, which will allow users from all countries and languages to participate in USD. Support for geospatial coordinates will enable city-scale and planetary-scale digital twins. And real-time streaming of IoT data will enable the development of digital twins that are synchronised to the physical world.

To accelerate USD development and adoption, Nvidia also announced development of an open USD Compatibility Testing and Certification Suite that developers can freely use to test their USD builds and certify that they produce an expected result.

“Beyond media and entertainment, USD will give 3D artists, designers, developers and others the ability to work collaboratively across diverse workflows and applications as they build virtual worlds,” said Rev Lebaredian, vice president of Omniverse and simulation technology at NVIDIA. “Working with our community of partners, we’re investing in USD so that it can serve as the foundation for architecture, manufacturing, robotics, engineering and many more domains.”

Nvidia announced that it was releasing a collection of free resources to speed USD adoption, including thousands of USD assets purpose-built to open up virtual-world building for users without 3D expertise. The company is also providing hundreds of on-demand tutorials, documentation and developer tools to help spread USD education.

“USD is a cornerstone of Pixar’s pipeline, and it’s seeing rapidly growing momentum as an open-source framework across not only VFX and animation, but now industrial, design and scientific applications,” said Steve May, chief technology officer at Pixar Animation Studios. “Nvidia’s contributions to help evolve USD as the open foundation of fully interoperable 3D platforms will be a great benefit across industries.”

Nvidia also announced investment in building USD plugins from popular 3D software ecosystems to its Omniverse, a platform for connecting and creating virtual worlds based on Universal Scene Description.

New beta releases include PTC Creo and SideFX Houdini, with Autodesk Alias and Autodesk Civil3D, Siemens Xcelerator and more in development.