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The Common USD Plug-in for Maya #MayaMonday

common USD Maya Monday

I follow My Oh Maya on Facebook* and today and they’re talking about the open-source USD initiative. Autodesk is collaborating with Animal Logic, Luma Pictures, and Pixar Animation Studios to combine all the Maya Universal Scene Description (USD) projects into a common USD integration in Maya. The goal is to adopt open standards for Maya to make things consistent across the board for USD. The plug-in has been available now on Github since August 2017. As I understand it, in the future, the plug-in will be integrated right into Maya. This will include the plug-in and reusable libraries that provide translation and editing capabilities for Pixar Animation Studios Universal Scene Description (USD).

Integrating the USD plugin into Maya is a testament to Autodesk’s commitment to open-source and will benefit the larger industry, allowing every Maya user to embrace USD as a scene description format. USD will only grow stronger with further development on Maya’s UFE architecture. – Aidan Sarsfield, Head of Production Technology, Animal Logic

You can read more about the common USD plug-in on The Maya Blog. It will be officially available soon.

Download USD for Maya on Github

USD Universal Scene DescriptionWhat is USD?

USD is the heart and soul of Pixar’s 3D graphics pipeline and it is open source. Github is hosting the files, plus some tools for those who use Maya, Unity, or MaterialX and want to have a better workflow with USD.

Last year I put together an article on USD, Pixar’s USD & Tools for Maya, Unity, MaterialX. I’ll be updating this article soon with new information.

This plug-in has been a couple of years in the making. At Siggraph 2017, there was a press release that came out from Animal Logic: Animal Logic Open Sources USDMaya Plugin.

Last year, Daniel Flood, Technical Lead at UTS Animal Logic Academy, gave a demonstration of Pixar’s USD Maya plugin. In the video, he explains how to “build asset level sets, reference multiple sets into shot layouts, and set per-shot overrides, using the pxrUsdReferenceAssembly workflow.”

More USD Information

Peter Rabbit used USDBig Screen Effects: Peter Rabbit

Pixar’s USD was used in the film Peter Rabbit, a hybrid CG/Live-Action feature from Sony and Animal Logic starring Domhnall Gleeson, as the young Mr. MacGregor, and the voice of James Corden as Peter Rabbit.

We featured the film in our Big Screen Effects series last summer. The film was adorable and funny, even for adults, and I recommend it for a family movie night.

Big Screen Effects: Peter Rabbit

*My Oh Maya, mentioned above, is run by Autodesk Sr. Maya Technical Specialist Steven Roselle and is a GREAT source of Maya tutorials and news.


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Posted by Michele Yamazaki