As part of CEO Jensen Huang’s SIGGRAPH 2023 keynote this morning, NVIDIA announced a major release of its NVIDIA Omniverse platform – now offering new foundation applications and services for developers and industrial enterprises to optimize and enhance their 3D pipelines with the OpenUSD framework and generative AI.
The update to Omniverse, an OpenUSD-native software platform for connecting, describing, and simulating across 3D tools and applications, accelerates the creation of virtual worlds and advanced workflows for industrial digitalization. Newly connected to Omniverse via OpenUSD are Cesium; Convai; Move AI; SideFX Houdini; and Wonder Dynamics.
Key highlights from the platform update include advancements to Omniverse Kit, the engine for developing native OpenUSD applications and extensions, and the NVIDIA Omniverse Audio2Face foundation app and spatial-computing capabilities.
“Industrial enterprises are racing to digitalize their workflows, increasing the demand for OpenUSD-enabled, connected, interoperable, 3D software ecosystems,” said NVIDIA vice president of Omniverse and simulation technology, Rev Lebaredian. “The latest Omniverse update lets developers tap generative AI through OpenUSD to enhance their tools, and it allows enterprises to build larger, more complex world-scale simulations as digital testing grounds for their industrial applications.”
Updates to Omniverse Kit include:
- New modular app building — A new Omniverse Kit Extension Registry, a central repository for accessing, sharing, and managing Omniverse extensions, lets developers easily turn functionality on and off in their application, making it easier to build custom apps from over 600 core Omniverse extensions provided by NVIDIA.
- New developer templates and resources — New application and experience templates provide developers getting started with OpenUSD and Omniverse a head start with minimal coding.
- Boosted efficiency and user experience — New rendering optimizations take full advantage of the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture enhancements in NVIDIA RTX GPUs with DLSS 3 technology integrated into the Omniverse RTX Renderer, and a new AI denoiser enables real-time 4K path tracing of massive industrial scenes.
- Native RTX-powered spatial integration — New extended-reality (XR) developer tools let users build spatial-computing options natively into their Omniverse-based applications, giving users the flexibility to experience their 3D projects and virtual worlds however they like.
These platform updates, showcased in Omniverse foundation applications, are fully customizable reference applications that creators, enterprises, and developers can copy, extend, or enhance. Upgraded applications include:
- Omniverse USD Composer — Allows 3D users to assemble large-scale, OpenUSD-based scenes.
- Omniverse Audio2Face — Provides access to generative AI application programming interfaces that create realistic facial animations and gestures from only an audio file and now includes multilingual support and a new female base model.
OpenUSD Expands Omniverse Ecosystem:
NVIDIA also announced a broad range of frameworks, resources, and services for developers and companies to accelerate the adoption of Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD).
In addition, the company announced new Omniverse Cloud APIs, built by NVIDIA, for developers to implement and deploy OpenUSD pipelines and applications more seamlessly. For example, ChatUSD is an extensive language model (LLM) co-pilot for developers that can answer USD knowledge questions or generate Python-USD code scripts.
New Omniverse connections enabled by OpenUSD are now available, providing more opportunities for industrial enterprises to break data silos in complex production pipelines.
Expanding their collaboration across Adobe Substance 3D, generative AI, and OpenUSD initiatives, Adobe and NVIDIA announced plans to make Adobe Firefly — Adobe’s family of creative, generative AI models — available as APIs in Omniverse, so developers and creators can enhance their design processes.
Wonder Dynamics is connected to Omniverse with new OpenUSD export support through its AI platform Wonder Studio, which automatically animates, lights, and composes computer-generated characters into live-action scenes. New OpenUSD export support will enable artists to generate and export a complete 3D scene from a single camera video.
Luma AI’s reality-capture models in USDZ format are importable to Omniverse. Tools from avatar company Convai and character-engine company Inworld AI are connected to Omniverse. AI tools like Convai allow creators to add characters in their digital twin environments that can provide relevant information about the environment and objects – they can be tour guides or virtual robots. Move AI enables single-camera motion capture with the Move One app and is used to generate 3D character animations available for exported to OpenUSD and used in Omniverse.
Omniverse users can build content, experiences, and applications compatible with other OpenUSD-based spatial computing platforms such as AR Kit and RealityKit.
In addition, new support for the Khronos Group’s OpenXR open standard expands Omniverse use to more headsets from manufacturers such as HTC VIVE, Magic Leap, and Varjo.
Users of SideFX Houdini can now load Houdini Digital Assets directly into the Omniverse viewport, making Houdini-based connected workflows more seamless. The Cesium extension for Omniverse, called Cesium for Omniverse, enables 3D Tiles, an open standard for streaming massive geospatial datasets in virtual worlds, including those supported by OpenUSD. CGI.Backgrounds now have several ultra-high-definition HDRi maps available in USD Composer. The Cadence DataCenter Design Software, now available via Omniverse, helps users see computational fluid dynamics simulations in the complete context of their digital twin. With the Cadence data center extension, users can plan, test, and validate design and operational considerations before implementing them. And the Blackshark.AI world digital twin platform is now connected to Omniverse.
Customers Using Omniverse for Digitalization:
Customers are using Omniverse for tasks ranging from simulating robots to training AI models and improving animation, including:
- Boston Dynamics AI Institute is using Omniverse to simulate robots and their interactions to enable the design of novel robotics and control systems.
- Continental, a leading company in automotive and industrialization of autonomous systems, uses Omniverse in its mobile robot’s business to generate physically accurate synthetic data at scale to train computer-vision AI models and perform system-integration testing.
- Volvo Cars has transitioned its digital twin to be OpenUSD-based, using Omniverse to create immersive visualizations to help customers make online purchasing decisions.
- Marks Design, a brand design and experience agency, uses Omniverse and OpenUSD to streamline collaboration and improve its animation, visualization, and rendering workflows.
New Omniverse Systems and Partners:
NVIDIA collaborates with global systems manufacturers to bring RTX workstations, optimally configured for Omniverse, to millions of designers, architects, and engineers. The new systems feature up to four NVIDIA RTX 6000 Ada Generation GPUs, bundled with NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise software, to accelerate OpenUSD world-building, generative AI-enhanced collaborative design, and other industrial digitalization applications.
Omniverse users can use the new NVIDIA L40S GPU, a powerful, universal data center GPU that accelerates the most graphics-intensive workloads.
The latest Omniverse release is now available in beta to download for free and coming soon to Omniverse Enterprise.
Learn more about NVIDIA Omniverse and watch the SIGGRAPH keynote presented by company founder and CEO Jensen Huang.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.