In many companies, 3D teams serve as a bridge between the engineering or architectural design teams and marketing or training teams that are looking to re-purpose CAD models to create 3D visualizations. The challenge is that different teams work with different tools, and keeping track of design iterations is a complex process. 3D teams have to continually look for the latest iteration of the CAD models, sifting through folders, and trying to sync their latest changes with the final model. This is a challenge that is only getting more complex as 3D projects get bigger.
Our discussion here is focused on how USD (Universal Scene Descriptor) format, together with NVIDIA’s Omniverse platform make it easier for teams to access and manipulate CAD files to be able to re-purpose them for marketing, training and simulation applications. Whether it’s working between internal teams in a company, or delivering a project to an external client, USD and the Omniverse are an innovative solution that are transforming CAD pipelines.
During the GTC 2021 conference, NVIDIA announced the Omniverse, a powerful, real-time collaboration platform built on Pixar’s USD file format, and how it will change the future of 3D pipelines. Let’s dig deeper into the USD format and how together with the Omniverse, they bring many benefits to 3D CAD pipelines.
USD, a universal file format
Pixar created USD, a framework designed to interchange 3D computer graphics data. It’s so comprehensive that some believe that it will be the next FBX file format. As all architectural and engineering teams know, in 3D CAD pipelines, there are many applications involved – with designers working on modeling, shading, animation, lighting – each working with different software and file formats. Not only does USD create a common language for the entire 3D pipeline, but it is also much more stable compared to legacy file formats such as FBX and STEP, especially when it comes to large 3D files. The USD format also tracks the version history of the file. So, when a USD file is changed and saved, the history of who made the changes and what the changes were gets stored, and these changes can be reverted at any time.
Team collaboration for real-time projects with Omniverse
Omniverse is a powerful, multi-GPU, real-time simulation and collaboration platform for 3D pipelines – and it’s built upon Pixar’s USD format. It’s made up of two parts, the Omniverse Nucleus and Omniverse View. The nucleus is a server that hosts and syncs 3D teams in real-time by connecting their digital content creation applications. Omniverse View is what renders the 3D projects’ latest changes in real-time – so that every team member can sync their latest changes with their teams. The Omniverse Render engine is the most powerful in the market today, by a huge comparison.
With Omniverse, a designer can work separately on their portion of the project in a design software like Maya or 3ds Max, and have it come together with the rest of the team’s work in a final project file in the Omniverse platform. Say a company is trying to visualize an entire factory site. The design engineer uses a software like CATIA to update the CAD file and export it. Next, a 3D developer takes this file into 3ds Max to add animation and then passes it to the next 3D artist who uses Substance Painter to add textures to the model. In the past, these teams would have to continually go back and forth, saving and exporting their models and syncing their latest changes in a “master file.” But with the use of USD and the Omniverse platform, CAD teams can work seamlessly across multiple applications.
Meshmatic helps you incorporate USD and the Omniverse into your 3D CAD pipeline
As NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang said in the Omniverse reveal, it’s “essentially the Google Docs for 3D design” – and it will completely transform how 3D teams work. Omniverse will bring what was once a dream for 3D teams into reality.
You may be thinking, this all sounds great, but where do I start? And how do I make sure that my company is ready to take advantage of these technologies? The good news is that you’ve started at the right place! The first step is understanding these technologies and the capabilities they can unlock for your pipeline. If you are company or team that works with multiple teams across different disciplines, such as engineering, design, simulation, marketing, or training then the USD format and the Omniverse can bring tremendous opportunities for you.
These are the reasons why we have made our 3D conversion and optimization software, Meshmatic, compatible with USD format. Using Meshmatic, you can convert your files into USD format and take advantage of Omniverse’s cross-platform interoperability. While very powerful, the Omniverse is only a platform that requires development and customization before being deployed into any 3D pipeline. A good place to start is incorporating USD format into your 3D pipeline.
If you want to make sure that your 3D team is future-proofed to take advantage of these technologies sign up to our mailing list or contact us here to get a demo of Meshmatic and see the benefits in can bring to your 3D pipeline.