Universal Scene
Description (USD)

Open, Extensible Ecosystem for 3D Worlds

Building the Open Metaverse with
Universal Scene Description

Universal Scene Description (USD) is an open and extensible ecosystem for describing, composing, simulating, and collaborating within 3D worlds, originally invented by Pixar Animation Studios.

Thanks to its design and features, USD is poised to be the open standard that enables the 3D evolution of the internet - the metaverse.

USD encompasses a collection of fundamental tools and capabilities accelerating workflows, teams, and projects, whether you are creating assets and environments for large-scale, connected virtual worlds or building the tools that will make these worlds possible.

The Benefits of USD


USD is more than a file format—it’s an open, extensible framework and ecosystem with APIs for composing, editing, querying, rendering, collaboration, and simulation within 3D virtual worlds.


USD enables non-destructive workflows and collaboration in scene creation and asset aggregation so teams can iterate collaboratively.


USD is file system agnostic, providing an extensible asset resolver to support any data storage model allowing for disparate data sources. 


USD supports custom renderers in a generalized pipeline thanks to its Hydra rendering architecture that provides flexibility in visualizing data.

Collaborating on Open Standards and USD

The metaverse won’t be built by one organization or company - USD will evolve thanks to working with our partners in the ecosystem. As a core contributor to open source across many applications such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics, NVIDIA is investing in the future of USD along with our ecosystem of partners.

Universal Scene Description describes geometries, materials, physics, and behavior representations of 3D worlds and is the best open and extensible standard language for the 3D internet.

— Jensen Huang, CEO, NVIDIA

NVIDIA’s contributions to help evolve USD as the open foundation of fully interoperable 3D platforms will be a great benefit across industries.

— Steve May, CTO, Pixar Animation Studios

Beyond media and entertainment, USD will give 3D artists, designers, developers and others the ability to work collaboratively across diverse workflows and applications as they build virtual worlds.

— Rev Lebaredian, Vice President of Omniverse and Simulation Technology, NVIDIA

Pushing the Limits of USD

To accelerate USD’s evolution to be performant for use cases beyond VFX, NVIDIA continues to test the limits of the USD ecosystem through industrial, robotics, and AI applications.



NVIDIA Omniverse, is a multi-GPU scalable computing platform for virtual worlds based on USD. The open, extensible development platform serves as a foundation for building metaverse applications leveraging USD.

Isaac Sim

Isaac Sim

Built on Omniverse and USD, Isaac Sim is a scalable robotics simulation application framework and synthetic data generation tool that powers photorealistic, physically-accurate virtual environments to develop, test, and manage AI-based robots.



DRIVE Sim is an open, scalable, and modular end-to-end simulation platform built on Omniverse and USD that is used to run large-scale, physically accurate multi-sensor simulation for autonomous vehicle (AV) development.

Digital Twins

Digital Twins

USD unlocks the ability to create large scale, AI-enabled, physically-accurate digital twins for industrial and scientific use cases.

NVIDIA’s USD Contributions

NVIDIA is expanding development of USD to help our industrial and scientific communities build large-scale, physically-accurate digital twins. NVIDIA is investing in USD to include many future capabilities, such as geospatial coordinates, connections to glTF file format, real-time proceduralism, the ability to run in web browsers, and real-time streaming of IoT data.

Material Definition Language (MDL)

Material Definition Language (MDL)

Material Definition Language (MDL) allows you to share physically-based materials between supporting applications easily.

USD Physics

USD Physics

Watch a technical deep dive about the rigid body physics extension to Universal Scene Description (USD) with a real time simulation demonstration in Omniverse Create.

Python 3 Bindings

Python 3 Bindings

Omniverse Kit uses Python 3 async API to safely load and save assets between Omniverse servers and the local file system.

USDView in Omniverse Launcher

USDView in Omniverse Launcher

To visually inspect USD scenes, USDView is available in the Omniverse Launcher.

Material Definition Language (MDL)
USD Physics
Python 3 Bindings
USDView in Omniverse Launcher

Getting Started with USD

Learn the Top Five Things to Know About USD

Learn the Top Five Things to Know About USD

On Demand

Watch this Introduction to USD to Learn the Basics

Watch this Introduction to USD to Learn the Basics

On Demand

Instructor Led

Learn USD Fundamentals from the Deep Learning Institute (DLI)

Instructor Led

Experience NVIDIA Omniverse Today

Download Omniverse and get started with Universal Scene Description today.



Free to Download and Create

Omniverse acts as a central hub to seamlessly connect and enhance 3D creative applications, unifying assets, libraries, and tools for a truly uninterrupted workflow, letting artists achieve new heights of creative freedom.



Free to Develop and Distribute

Omniverse is built with developers in mind and gives them the ability to customize their 3D workflows at every layer to easily build new Omniverse Connectors, extensions, applications, and microservices.



Free Trial I Annual License

Omniverse Enterprise transforms complex design workflows for organizations of any scale. It enables real-time collaboration with multiple users and locations, using multiple applications using centralized project data.

The Developer Conference for the Era of AI and the Metaverse

The Developer Conference
for the Era of AI and the Metaverse

Discover the next era of 3D design collaboration and virtual world simulation with NVIDIA Omniverse.

  • Foundations of the Metaverse: The HTML for 3D Worlds

    • Michael Kass, Senior Distinguished Engineer, NVIDIA
    • Rev Lebaredian, VP Simulation Technology and Omniverse Engineering, NVIDIA
    • Guido Quaroni, Senior Director of Engineering of 3D & Immersive, Adobe
    • Steve May, Vice President, CTO, Pixar
    • Mason Sheffield, Director of Creative Technology, Lowe’s Innovation Labs, Lowe's
    • Natalya Tatarchuk, Distinguished Technical Fellow and Chief Architect, Professional Artistry & Graphics Innovation, Unity
    • Matt Sivertson, Vice President and Chief Architect, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk
    • Mattias Wikenmalm, Senior Expert, Volvo Cars

    Join this session to hear from a panel of distinguished technical leaders as they talk about Universal Scene Description (USD) as a standard for the 3D evolution of the internet—the metaverse. These luminaries will discuss why they are investing in or adopting USD, and what technological advancements need to come next to see its true potential unlocked.

    View Details >

  • Next Evolution of Universal Scene Description (USD) for Building Virtual Worlds

    • Aaron Luk, Senior Engineering Manager, Omniverse, NVIDIA

    Universal Scene Description (USD) is more than just a file format. This open, powerful, easily extensible world composition framework has APIs for creating, editing, querying, rendering, simulating, and collaboration within virtual worlds. NVIDIA continues to invest in helping evolve USD for workflows beyond media & entertainment to enable the industrial metaverse and the next wave of AIs. See why NVIDIA is "all-in" on USD and our USD development roadmap, and learn about our recent USD projects and initiatives at NVIDIA and with our ecosystem of partners.

    View Details >

  • How to Build Extensions and Apps for Virtual Worlds with NVIDIA Omniverse

    • Damien Fagnou, Director, Software, NVIDIA

    We'll show you how to easily extend the Omniverse platform by creating extensions—the building blocks of Omniverse Kit-based apps such as Omniverse Create or View. We'll showcase Kit’s incredible collection of powerful APIs that help developers intuitively build their own tools to optimize and accelerate their workflows.

    View Details >

  • How to Build a Custom Synthetic Data Pipeline to Train AI Perception Models

    • Bhumin Pathak, Senior Product Manager, Omniverse Replicator, NVIDIA

    Enterprise developers and AI researchers need large, carefully labeled, high-quality datasets to train highly accurate neural networks for perception AI applications. Academic datasets, While great for benchmarking, academic datasets are very limited in the classes they provide. Acquiring ground-truth data for new labels or tasks is costly, time-consuming, prone to errors, and may not capture the necessary fidelity required to create effective AI solutions. Omniverse Replicator is an open, modular SDK for building custom synthetic datasets and tools. The highly extensible framework is built on a scalable Omniverse platform that enables physically accurate 3D synthetic data generation to accelerate the training and performance of AI perception networks.

    View Details >

  • How to Build Simulation-Ready USD 3D Assets

    • Renato Gasoto, Robotics & AI Engineer, NVIDIA
    • Beau Perschall, Director, Omniverse Sim Data Ops, NVIDIA

    The next wave of industries and AI requires us to build physically accurate virtual worlds indistinguishable from reality. Creating virtual worlds is hard, and today's existing universe of 3D assets is inadequate, representing just the visual representation of an object. Whether building digital twins or virtual worlds for training and testing autonomous vehicles or robots, 3D assets require many more technical properties, requiring a need to develop and adopt novel processes, techniques, and tools. NVIDIA is introducing a new class of 3D assets called "SimReady" assets—the building blocks of virtual worlds. SimReady assets are more than just 3D objects—they encompass accurate physical properties, behavior, and connected data streams built on Universal Scene Description (USD). We'll show you how to get started with SimReady USD assets, and present the tools and techniques required to develop and test these assets.

    View Details >

  • NVIDIA Omniverse User Group

    • Edmar Mendizabal, NVIDIA Omniverse Community Engagement Manager, NVIDIA
    • Rev Lebaredian, VP Simulation Technology and Omniverse Engineering, NVIDIA
    • Matias Codesal, NVIDIA Omniverse Community Developer Relations Manager, NVIDIA
    • Frank DeLise, Vice President, Omniverse Product Management, NVIDIA
    • Wendy Gram, NVIDIA Omniverse Community Manager, NVIDIA
    • Richard Kerris, VP Omniverse Developer Platform, NVIDIA
    • Damien Fagnou, Director, Software, NVIDIA

    Join us at the NVIDIA Omniverse User Group to get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest releases and ecosystem partners, how we’re supporting our community of artists and developers, and what resources are available for users interested in building custom extensions and applications. We'll also unveil the winners of the #ExtendOmniverse developer contest. The group is open to all creators, designers, developers, and engineers using or interested in using the open platform for real-time virtual collaboration and physically accurate simulation.

    View Details >

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Become Part of Our Community

Access Tutorials

Take advantage of hundreds of free tutorials, sessions, or our beginner’s training to get started with USD.   

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Join our community! Attend our weekly live streams on Twitch and connect with us on Discord and our forums.

Get Technical Support

Having trouble? Post your questions in the forums for quick guidance from Omniverse experts, or refer to the platform documentation.

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