Pixar animation studios’ universal scene description to be open-sourced

Pixar Animation Studios announced today its intent to release its Universal Scene Description software (USD) as an open-source project by summer 2016. USD addresses the ever-growing need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange, and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios.

they need to rename it. when goggling usd your results are going to be u.s. dollar. looking up documentation, tutorials etc…is gonna be hell if they try sticking with usd.

time to challenge autodesk’s crappy FBX format?

I’ll be honest and admit I’ve simply skimmed the material quickly and all… but I don’t see how this will challenge the FBX format as it stands right now and especially how it is used in games & realtime content.

The videos & text I read discuss only static models & shaders. In fact, reading the Pixar USD website’s page on workflows using the standard, they explicitly state:

Because different rigging and animation packages differ in their approaches and data-models so substantially, we do not feel confident about trying to propose/define a standard rigging data-model at this time. Therefore, the USD data-model and schemas are currently restricted to geometry and shading.

With this in mind, I don’t see this being the FBX replacement people are looking for. The primary problems I’ve encountered (and seen encountered by others) with FBX in & out of Blender is in regards to animation of rigged characters. This standard does not address that use case nor does it look like it wants to.

Note: I am not in any way saying this is a bad format or will be useless. Far from it. I don’t see Pixar as being the kind of organisation that provides useless libraries to the world and I can see how, in a large organisation and for large amounts of graphical assets, how this will be useful. In fact, I reckon the Blender Cloud would be wise to look into it for their “online asset management” functionality. I just don’t see how this will be a replacement for FBX int the areas the format is used by Blender-heads (and to which BF developers have been working to address insufficiencies in Blender support).