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USD ALab

6 August 2021

We are pleased to announced  the open source release of USD ALab, a fully realised USD Scene that aims to encourage further collaboration and exploration by the wider community!

As an early adopter of Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD), we began transitioning our Sydney and Vancouver studios to an end-to-end USD based pipeline during production on Peter Rabbit in 2017 and completing with Peter Rabbit 2 in March of 2020.

“We believe USD to be a foundational technology for our industry and broader communities, and we encourage the release of open source assets to educate and inspire others to conduct their own exploration,” said CTO Darin Grant.

While open source data sets currently exist, USD ALab is the first real-world implementation of a complete USD production scene. It is a full scene description from global assets through to shot outputs, including referencing, point instancing, assemblies, technical variants, global assets and shot based overrides.

“There are two downloads available, including guiding documents and two sets of textures,” explains Supervising Assets TD, Jens Jebens. “The first download contains the ALab scene assets themselves, derived from our production assets and conformed for compatibility to allow them to load in any tool which supports USD. The second download is an optional extra, a “production rendering Texture Pack,” which delivers 4K OpenEXR textures with udims for production style rendering.”

“The ALab concept was born from Animal Logic’s Art Department,” notes Head of Production Technology, Aidan Sarsfield. “The brief was for something “Uniquely Animal” and the team came up with a great story that revolves around a secret backyard shed, inhabited by a mad scientist of sorts. The resulting asset suite draws on the unique aesthetic that you’ll find in our studios, and there’s also some fun easter eggs in there that link back to 30 years of Animal Logic’s branding.”

The USD ALab data set is hosted on our website courtesy of Amazon Web Services and is now available to access here!

Read the full media release here.