3D interoperability around the USDZ augmented reality format

USDZ is a 3D file exchange and augmented reality (AR) format. Based on Pixar technologies and designed for Apple's needs, it promises to facilitate the sharing of 3D resources intended for augmented reality.

As defined by Pixar, USDZ is an uncompressed and unencrypted archive that contains USD files and all their associated graphics resources. USD, which stands for Universal Scene Description, was designed for Pixar's animation system.

USD solves operational problems specific to making an animated film with hundreds of people: different artists can work on different layers of the same file, which contains the history of all modifications and can manage any conflicts.

Most importantly, the USD format allows for grouping all the necessary data to compose a 3D scene. Pixar sees four advantages in using the USD format:

  • Standardization of schemas for the exchange of geometry, shading, or deformation data
  • Improved performance for reading and generating data, including geometric instantiation
  • Possibility to integrate variants of content
  • Use of a flexible architecture that can be adapted.

The USDZ format solves the problem of viewing a project designed as a common and portable format optimized for sharing. A USDZ file appears as an archive that can be viewed without decompression, containing all the resources necessary to generate a 3D scene. Thus, 3D creation applications will be able to export a scene to a USDZ file.

CAD Interop distributes several software programs for preparing, viewing, and converting USDZ files. Below is a list of our solutions compatible with the USDZ format.