Why You Should Learn Pixar USD & NVIDIA Omniverse | ActionVFX

Why You Should Learn Pixar USD & NVIDIA Omniverse

Why You Should Learn Pixar USD & NVIDIA Omniverse

Integrating Pixar USD and NVIDIA Omniverse into your production pipeline proves beneficial now and in the long run.

As technology, speed, and visual fidelity have rapidly evolved throughout the years in the world of CG and VFX production, the ocean of various applications and file formats previously made collaboration a bit of a challenge across the pipeline. However, two major breakthroughs in the industry have reinvented what it means to collaborate on a 3D scene in a production environment: Pixar USD and more recently, NVIDIA Omniverse.

Today, we're going to take a glimpse into what these tools are so you can learn a bit about the value of integrating them into your production pipeline.

What is Pixar USD?

Pixar USD (Universal Scene Description) is a method for collecting, arranging, and sharing complex 3D scene data for real-time review and collaboration.
The interesting thing about the USD format is that it can be used with pretty much all industry-standard CG software. Regardless of which apps your team uses or where your specialty lies, you can easily share your work across your team and studio as you work towards final pixels.

Pixar USD is open-source and can be easily integrated via third-party plugins to enable USD export of your sequence.
Pixar USD scenes can be played back and various iterations of the scene can be saved into the USD file, allowing stakeholders and artists to find the best options for each scene very quickly. It also enables a non-destructive editing process that grants maximum flexibility when it comes to preparing your scene.

What is NVIDIA Omniverse?

While Pixar USD has been around for several years now, the latest effort to massively streamline CG production is Omniverse by NVIDIA. 
Omniverse essentially takes USD to a whole new level, by offering a vast amount of tools that harness the power of NVIDIA GPUs, giving an unprecedented amount of control over your sequence collaboration. 

Omniverse takes everything that's great about USD and it makes it even better by providing more tools, as well as much better visuals thanks to support for real-time ray tracing and a high-fidelity materials library, all in addition to optimizations for systems running NVIDIA GPUs.

Like USD, Omniverse is compatible with every major CG and VFX app (including Houdini and the Unreal Engine). The beauty of learning USD and Omniverse is that it's a common language that can be shared with other artists across the pipeline that you may collaborate with in the future.

Plus, as you learn new CG or VFX software in the future, your knowledge of USD and Omniverse will continually prove to be useful.

Where to Learn USD & Omniverse

There's much, much more to learn about how USD and Omniverse can work within various departments to help you achieve the best results possible, and there are several great resources to help you get started.
First, Pixar provides a wealth of documentation on USD on their website, detailing everything you need to know to begin using this format.

Next, NVIDIA has a dedicated Omniverse training section on their website that can teach you the basics of Omniverse across a massive video series.

As you dive into USD and Omniverse, you'll be on your way to an integrated pipeline that can make your team's VFX and CG work much more efficient. You'll also have an edge in future projects by building up experience using USD and Omniverse protocols.

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