Siemens and Intel among new members to join Alliance for OpenUSD

In General XR News

March 11, 2024 – The Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD), an organization dedicated to fostering the standardization, development, evolution, and growth of Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD), has today announced the formation of a new Materials Working Group, a new Geometry Working Group, and a new collaboration with the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), as well as the addition of eight new members to the alliance. 

New Materials Working Group advances 3D workflows

AOUSD stated that its new Materials Working Group marks a significant milestone in the advancement of 3D workflows, and by standardizing material definitions within OpenUSD, it will help facilitate seamless collaboration for look development across multiple tools, applications, and renderers.

The organization stated that this will be particularly welcome for industries that require the long-term stability guaranteed by a normative standard definition, and will allow developers to use OpenUSD materials knowing they’ll work consistently and predictably across the ecosystem.

New Geometry Working Group to standardize USD surfaces, shapes, and volumes for virtual & physical worlds

Building upon ongoing work in the Core Specification Working Group, the new Geometry Working Group will draft specifications for describing surfaces, shapes, and volumes in USD for both virtual and physical worlds. Additionally, this group will specify interoperability standards for CAD geometry data. 

AOUSD stated that all of these areas are critical to formalizing OpenUSD geometry specifications across industries. For media and entertainment, these specifications ensure that geometry modeled in one tool will look and behave the same in all other USD compliant tools.

For industrial, manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and construction use cases, the specifications are even more critical to ensure the reliability and longevity of designs and operational data defined by USD geometry as it behaves and interacts with humans, sensors, robots, and more in virtual and physical worlds. 

AOUSD and Academy Software Foundation collaborate on advanced solutions

The foundation for AOUSD’s new Materials Working Group is a new liaison relationship between AOUSD and the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), which will foster collaboration and communication across the foundations to better support the sharing of ideas. AOUSD working groups will collaborate with ASWF USD working groups on OpenUSD and on material interchange through ASWF’s MaterialX project.

“The Academy Software Foundation is working with AOUSD to incorporate the ideas and techniques developed by our USD Working Group – that now counts more than 1,000 participants,” said David Morin, Executive Director of the Academy Software Foundation. “The formalization of our relationship will facilitate cross-collaboration and communication, accelerating open source adoption and interoperability across the industry.”

This image from Pixar’s upcoming “Inside Out 2” shows a final frame (left side) contrasted with the USD View of the same shot (right side).

Latest OpenUSD release to enhance international compatibility 

In addition to the new working groups, AOSD stated that Pixar, a key contributor to the Alliance, has announced the release of OpenUSD v24.03. This latest version introduces new features that enhance usability and compatibility across different platforms and applications. In particular, the support for Unicode identifiers in OpenUSD v24.03 allows source data originating in non-Latin-based languages to be natively representable in USD content. As a result, content creators and industrial stakeholders around the world will now be able to encode USD in their native languages. For further information on this announcement, click here

AOUSD Welcomes New Members 

AOUSD also announced today the addition of eight new general members: Ansys, Bright Machines, Intel, Maxon, Siemens, Trimble, Worley, and WPP.

“The growth of OpenUSD for 3D scene interoperability, construction, and parallelizing development pipelines is accelerating and reshaping the workflows for content creators and developers alike,” said Rob Bruckner, Corporate VP and CTO of Client Platform and Definition (CPAD) at Intel. “We are happy to announce joining the OpenUSD community to support and to deliver complete platform solutions that serve the communities building on USD.”

Also commenting on the announcement, Joe Bohman, Executive Vice President, PLM Products at Siemens Digital Industries Software, said: “Siemens is joining AOUSD to help our customers take advantage of the strengths of USD across a variety of industrial applications. Adding support for the USD format to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of industrial software and integrating the JT standard with USD will extend USD to the broad ecosystem of JT users and Siemens customers.”

To learn more about the Alliance for OpenUSD and how to become a member, please visit the organization’s website.

Image credit: AOUSD / Disney / Pixar

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.