At SIGGRAPH Asia in Sydney AOUSD presented its new roadmap toward developing USD as a standard, as well as a new collaboration with Khronos Group and a dozen new members.

AOUSD roadmap Kitchen

At SIGGRAPH Asia in Sydney, held 12 to 15 December 2023, the Alliance for OpenUSD (AOUSD), presented its roadmap toward developing Pixar's USD (Universal Scene Description) as a standard, as well as a new collaboration and a dozen new members. Launched in August 2023, AOUSD is an organisation dedicated to fostering the standardisation, development, evolution and growth of OpenUSD - a 3D scene description system that promotes robust interoperability across tools, data and workflows.

The Alliance’s two-year roadmap sets out the path toward becoming an international, cross-industry standard for interoperability of disparate data types to describe 3D scenes and environments. Its Core Specification working group will first define the foundation of OpenUSD, specifying how low-level data is structured and interpreted, ensuring portability and interoperability across software platforms and devices. Establishing a foundation means developers and users of a tool or platform that supports OpenUSD will be able to access and work with their OpenUSD data consistently and predictably.

“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.”

AOUSD can iterate further on the foundations laid by the Core Specification work group, building rules and guidelines for higher-level data types like 3D meshes and materials. The Alliance aims to deliver final approval of the core specification at the end of 2025.

New Members and Collaboration

Demand for interoperability across 3D workflows continues to drive interest in the Alliance for OpenUSD across industries. AOUSD welcomed 12 new general members - Cesium, Chaos, Epic Games, Foundry, Hexagon, IKEA, Lowe’s, Meta, OTOY, SideFX, Spatial and Unity

AOUSD Roapmap

AOUSD has also announced a new liaison relationship with the Khronos Group, which will foster better support within the community through the sharing of ideas and support. Khronos Group is an open, member-driven consortium whose members work toward interoperability standards that enable developers to take better advantage of 3D graphics, XR (VR & AR), parallel computing, machine learning, vision processing and the metaverse.

The Khronos Group and AOUSD will collaborate to maximize alignment and interoperability between OpenUSD for advanced 3D scene composition and authoring, and Khronos’ glTF, a widely adopted 3D asset open standard for efficient delivery and loading of 3D scenes on diverse platforms, including the web.

Chaos Group Visualisation Specialists

Among AOUSD’s 12 new members, Chaos Group has been designing visualisation tools used throughout the architecture, VFX and product design industries for more than 20 years. Since 2021, Chaos has been supporting USD in its production renderers, building it into V-Ray for Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, SideFXHoudini and Solaris. Along with its VFX expertise, Chaos can also offer over 20 years of insight into archviz and manufacturing, two areas that will benefit from USD in the coming years.

As part of the Alliance, Chaos will collaborate with experts from some of the most influential 3D companies in the world, who have banded together to make 3D more accessible. By contributing to OpenUSD, Chaos will ensure better interoperability between Chaos products and other prominent tools, so its users can share and dynamically update assets no matter where they start. Chaos will also gain access to the latest developments and innovations from across the industry, which it can continue to build into its products.

"Being a member of AOUSD allows us to participate in the creation of the specifications for USD and related projects, which is of huge importance to our customers," said Vladimir Koylazov, Co-Founder and Head of Innovation at Chaos. "Taking part in the alliance will also help us to continue improving our products as we gain a forum to discuss in detail changes requested by both our own development teams and our customers. We are looking forward to exchanging ideas and discussing challenges with all the members of AOUSD."