Adobe's Project Aero and USDZ file format


Adobe, Pixar and Apple collaborating towards a single format for AR projects.

“Adobe recently unveiled a new project that aims to take the company further into the realm of augmented reality. Called Project Aero, the
newly announced AR authoring tool and multi-platform system that will soon deliver a way for developers to build simple AR scenes and experiences for Apple’s ARKit.”

“Apple today announced USDZ for iOS 12, a WYSIWYG editor developed with Pixar”

USDZ, according to Pixar, is a “zero compression, unencrypted zip archive” designed to work with the USD runtime. It doesn’t require unpacking.

Features include:
Robust schemas for interchange of geometry, shading, and skeletal deformation
High performance data retrieval and rendering, including powerful instancing features
The ability to package user-selectable content variations, nativelyA sound architecture that is flexible enough to adapt to future needs"

More on Project Aero can be found here:


So this is created by Adobe, the people who ruined Web3D by first neglecting and then completely EOL’ing the ShockWave3D platform some 15 years ago?

The very people who ruined Web3D for everybody by killing Director and not putting 3D capabilities in Flash suddenly want to “save AR” with a funky 3D file format now?

And Pixar, who deliberately made Renderman pricing so unaffordable for years that few 3D artists could afford to use it at all are helping them?

Lovely combination of companies working together here…


USDZ is a container for USD… and its growing fast… Katana 3 is based on USD… Unreal and Unity announced USD support… there are several other projects in the making…


This is ridiculous. First of all, I think that you mean PRMan, not Renderman, which was a standard which was available for developers outside of Pixar to use. There are other lower cost, and some free, renderers based on the Renderman standard which you could have been using. Have you been using one of those? If not, then why?

Second, PRMan was not designed and, up until very recently, not meant for individual artists to use. It was built from the group up to be a highly scalable and efficient rendering engine for use in creating feature film quality animation and VFX within the context of a large VFX/animation pipeline. Even if PRMan was affordable 15-20 years ago, what were you, as a single user, going to do with it? Hire a team of shading TD’s, render wranglers, IT engineers, and software developers to build you a custom pipeline so that you could actually use it at home? And even if you had access to those resources, how would you have used them? Do you think that PRMan, back when it was a REYEs only renderer, magically bestowed users the ability to create Pixar level images with the flip of a switch? A lot of their films had dozens, if not hundreds, of lights per shot in order to approximate a look which you can now get with two lights in a renderer like Arnold, Vray, or the modern and FREE RIS enabled PRMan.


Also, for those of you in San Francisco this weekend and interested in seeing Project Aero in action.

The Festival of the Impossible
is a three-day event in San Francisco celebrating artists
who are pushing past the boundaries of reality.

Hosted at Minnesota St Project Galleries,
the event will feature many brand new works in new media,
including augmented and virtual reality.

For more info, check out


Macromedia Director was absolutely the worst user
experience of any program I have ever encountered in
My 23 years in Computer Graphics.
This includes Blender before the 2.5 UI Changes
I consider Adobe’s Decision to discontinue that
Bloody awful monstrosity, to be a mercy killing.

On the matter of “not Putting web3D in Flash”
why does it matter??
when the majority of internet useage was already migrating to Mobile capacitive touch screen devices
that rendered the continued of existance Flash and its “mouse over” based interactivity rather moot.