Meta, Epic Games and Unity among latest companies to join the Alliance for OpenUSD

In General XR News

December 12, 2023 – The Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD), an organization dedicated to fostering the standardization, development, evolution, and growth of OpenUSD (Universal Scene Description), has today unveiled its roadmap toward becoming a standard, along with new collaborations and members.

OpenUSD, a high-performance 3D scene description technology created by Pixar, offers robust interoperability across tools, data, and workflows. AOUSD, which launched in August, is focused on establishing OpenUSD as an international, cross-industry standard with detailed specifications.

The Alliance’s roadmap aims to enable greater compatibility and wider adoption, integration, and implementation of OpenUSD. The roadmap outlines the journey toward becoming an international standard for interoperability of diverse data types in describing 3D scenes and environments.

“The AOUSD mission is to promote greater interoperability of 3D tools and data, enabling developers and content creators – including all of us at Pixar – to describe, compose, and simulate large-scale projects and build an ever-widening range of 3D-enabled products and services,” said Steve May, Chief Technology Officer at Pixar and Chairperson of AOUSD. “The new roadmap shared today shows the progress the alliance is making and unveils milestones and planned expansions over the next year to ensure interoperability and collaboration.”

As a first step in the roadmap, AOUSD’s Core Specification working group will define the foundation of OpenUSD, focusing on how low-level data is structured and interpreted to ensure portability and interoperability across various software platforms and devices. This foundation will then enable developers and users to access and work with OpenUSD data consistently and predictably.

The roadmap also includes provisions for building rules and guidelines for higher-level data types like 3D meshes and materials, with a goal to deliver final approval of the core specification by the end of 2025.

AOUSD also announced today that it has welcomed 12 new general members, including Cesium, Chaos, Epic Games, Foundry, Hexagon, IKEA, Lowe’s, Meta, OTOY, SideFX, Spatial, and Unity.

Furthermore, The Alliance announced a liaison relationship with the Khronos Group to foster better community support through idea sharing. This collaboration with Khronos Group aims to align OpenUSD and Khronos’ glTF, a widely adopted 3D asset open standard, to enhance interoperability and facilitate sophisticated 3D content creation that can be experienced on a range of platforms and engines.

Commenting on joining AOUSD, Amir Frenkel, VP XR Tech at Meta, said: “Building key interoperability for the metaverse will require an industry-wide focus on common standards, formats, and protocols. The Alliance for OpenUSD can help drive the collaboration that’s needed to make this possible and Meta is dedicated to this work. Creators, developers, and companies will benefit from the technologies and experiences that will be made possible by open standards for 3D content.”

Epic Games’ Sebastien Miglio, VP, Product Management and Engineering, added: “Epic Games recognizes the significance of USD in establishing standards for 3D content, virtual worlds, and the open metaverse. We are excited to support the Alliance for OpenUSD in its mission to standardize USD, which will propel the technology to new levels of standardization, improve interoperability with other tools, and accelerate innovation across industries.”

To view additional quotes from all of the newly announced general members, click here.

To learn more about AOUSD, its goal of OpenUSD standardization, and how to get involved, please visit the alliance’s website.

Image credit: AOUSD

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.