2020-09-17 NVIDIA and Blender collaboration on USD

Present: Dane Johnson, Dirk Van Gelder, Michael Mowalski, Patrick Mours (NVIDIA), and Brecht Van Lommel, Dalai Felinto, Francesco Siddi, and Sybren Stüvel (Blender).

The goal of this meeting was to discuss Blender-USD integration development by NVIDIA, lead by Blender Foundation.

Roles, Responsibilities, and Availabilities

On NVIDIA’s side the roles are:

  • Michael Kowalski: lead developer, working full-time on this project, can collaborate with more developers internally when needed
  • Dirk Van Gelder: oversees the Hydra project. With his team he is available for advice and support in that area

The roles from the Blender team are:

  • Sybren Stüvel: project coordinator
  • Brecht van Lommel: lead engineer (technical design)
  • Francesco Siddi: lead product (functional specs & requirements)

Development Approach

  • Globally the goal will first be to implement a simple USD importer that is on par with Blender’s current USD exporter. This will likely be based on Blender’s current Alembic importer.
  • Later iterations will move towards a collection-based implementation.
  • Features will be gradually added to both exporter and importer. Later workflows involving other applications will be used to drive development.

Collaboration Infrastructure

Development and communication will primarily happen on the Blender infrastructure:

Action Points

  • Michael Kowalski will create Blender ID and developer.blender.org accounts.
  • Sybren Stüvel will ensure he has the necessary access to work on the project.
  • Francesco Siddi will, in collaboration with Sybren and Brecht, provide an initial functional design.