Why Apple partnering with Pixar, Nvidia to create 3D videos is a big deal

The Alliance for OpenUSD, which also includes Adobe and Autodesk, should benefit Apple's biggest product of 2024.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Apple Vision Pro headset demo WWDC
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple announced a partnership with Pixar, Adobe, Autodesk, and Nvidia to create a standard for the creation of 3D content. The partnership comes as Apple prepares to release its mixed-reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, early next year.

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The Alliance for OpenUSD comprises the five companies and will develop standards for 3D content to ensure it is optimized for any mixed-reality device. 

In a press release, Apple says, "By promoting greater interoperability of 3D tools and data, the alliance will enable developers and content creators to describe, compose, and simulate large-scale 3D projects and build an ever-widening range of 3D-enabled products and services."

Pixar created OpenUSD, which facilitates 3D technology to be interoperable with any tools, data, and workflows. OpenUSD is widely used by 3D artists to create cinematic productions, and Apple believes it is the ideal platform to use as an industry standard.

The Alliance for OpenUSD will facilitate the collaboration and enhancement of OpenUSD technology to encourage more companies and organizations to innovate OpenUSD and 3D technology.

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By joining the Alliance for OpenUSD, Apple is opening the door for Vision Pro developers to access OpenUSD, as the technology is essential to VisionOS and the Reality Composer Pro developer tool, according to Mike Rockwell, Apple's vice president of the vision products group.

For the Vision Pro to be the groundbreaking piece of hardware Apple is positioning it to be, applications made for VisionOS must be readily available and as polished as possible.

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And as more consumer technology products enter the 3D content sphere, it's crucial to create industry standards that foster innovation, creativity, and collaboration. 

"This alliance is a unique opportunity to accelerate OpenUSD collaboration globally by building formal standards across industries and initiatives to realize 3D worlds and industrial digitalization," said Guy Martin, director of Open Source and Standards at Nvidia. 

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