What's next for VFX - USD as an Industry format?

If any of you know me, Maddie (the person writing this), then you’ll know that I am far from savvy when it come to the VFX and Animation industry. Since starting my job here at Escape and Pearson College, I have come to appreciate not only the artistry that goes into films and games but also the extremely hard work ethic that you must have to do it right. Could I, do it? Mmm debatable!


But bear with me here...I do keep my ear to the ground and happen to know a few conversational tid-bits. Recently, the industry has heard through the grapevine that there is a new piece of publicly available software named USD (Universal Scene Description) which has the potential to possibly become the new industry format!


Let me take you through what it is and how it might just come in handy later on in your career. As you might already know, “scene description” is the term for any description language that allows us to communicate a scene to a 3D renderer. Applications within the pipeline such as shading, lighting and even rendering usually have their own form of “scene description” which will be tailored to the unique needs of said application but becomes unreadable and impossible to edit when using any other application. USD solves this problem as its software allows us to efficiently interchange, and augment 3D scenes composed from multiple elemental assets. Unlike other interchangeable software packages, USD allows for assembly and organization of numerous assets into virtual sets, shots and scenes, the translation of them from application to application and the ability to edit them without deconstruction.


So, what’s next for USD? For it to continue becoming more and more popular, the industry must establish how to best use the format so that there is a standard version used across all studios. Currently, there are constant jumps in versions of the USD software that it is hard the industry to keep up but once standardized, this has the potential to be the best solution for streamlining production pipelines.


If you want to know more, check out this article we’ve linked below: https://www.foundry.com/insights/film-tv/usd-explainer-guide

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