Universal Scene Description

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Universal Scene Description (USD) is a framework for interchange of 3D computer graphics data, created by Pixar. The framework focuses on collaboration, non-destructive editing, and enabling multiple views and opinions about graphics data.[1]

File formats used by the standard include:[2][3]

  • .usd, which can be either ASCII or binary-encoded
  • .usda, ASCII encoded
  • .usdc, binary encoded
  • .usdz, a package file which is a zero-compression, unencrypted zip archive, which may contain usd, usda, usdc, png, jpeg, m4a, mp3, and wav files.


  • 3ds Max version 2022, with latest update as Public Beta. Includes Import from USD and Export to USD.
  • Maya Supports as of version 2022.
  • Apple’s SceneKit supports .usdz files for 3D model interchange.[4][5]
  • Nvidia has announced support for USD in Omniverse, a graphics collaboration platform.[6]
  • Houdini includes an implementation of USD, for purposes of format interchange and scene editing.[7]
  • Blender includes support for USD export.[8]


  1. ^ "Introduction to USD". graphics.pixar.com. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  2. ^ Sanders, James (2018-06-05). "Apple's USDZ AR file format: What you need to know". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  3. ^ "USD Documentation : Usdz File Format Specification". Pixar Graphics Technologies. 2018. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  4. ^ Casserly, Martyn. "Everything you need to know about Apple's new USDZ augmented-reality file format". Macworld UK. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  5. ^ Horaczek, Stan (2018-06-15). "Apple and Pixar created a new file format for augmented reality on your phone". Popular Science. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  6. ^ "NVIDIA Omniverse™". NVIDIA Developer. 2019-03-11. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  7. ^ "Solaris | SideFX". www.sidefx.com. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  8. ^ "Universal Scene Description". Retrieved 2020-02-15.

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