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ASWF, Adobe, and Autodesk unveil the release of OpenPBR 1.0

Launch of OpenPBR by the Academy Software Foundation

On August 3, 2023, the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), a VFX standards body, introduced OpenPBR, a subproject of MaterialX, the open material standard under its oversight.

Launch of OpenPBR by the Academy Software Foundation
Launch of OpenPBR by the Academy Software Foundation

Crafted through collaboration between Adobe and Autodesk under the guidance of the MaterialX Technical Steering Committee, this open-source shading model supersedes the Adobe Standard Material and Autodesk Standard Surface.

OpenPBR aims to enhance material interoperability among CG software platforms, ensuring that any tool compatible with MaterialX will also seamlessly support OpenPBR.

Harmonizing the Internal Material Standards of Adobe and Autodesk

Currently, Adobe and Autodesk maintain distinct yet parallel sets of technical specifications for 3D materials: the Adobe Standard Material and Autodesk Standard Surface, respectively.

These standards enhance look development efficiency by enabling seamless material transfer across applications for consistent display.

Despite their separate origins, both standards share common foundational elements, such as Disney’s Principled Shader and Allegorithmic’s PBR shading model. Notably, Adobe has acknowledged the influence of Autodesk Standard Surface in the development of its material standard.

Nevertheless, as of now, the implementation of these standards is primarily limited to the proprietary software of their respective developers. Autodesk Standard Surface is for Arnold, 3ds Max, and Maya; Adobe Standard Material is for Substance 3D tools.

Automatically supported in any application that supports MaterialX

OpenPBR aims to bridge the gap by unifying two models and enabling materials to exhibit consistent appearance in Adobe and Autodesk software platforms.

Moreover, the impact of OpenPBR extends beyond just Adobe and Autodesk software, as it is a derivative of the open standard MaterialX. Materials are seamlessly supported in various applications like Houdini, RenderMan, and UE5 for consistent display.

The MaterialX materials are compatible with software like Blender and enhanced by AMD’s USD Hydra plugin for greater versatility.

By leveraging OpenPBR and MaterialX, creators can streamline their workflow and ensure consistent material display across various software platforms, ultimately enhancing the quality and efficiency of their projects.

Release Announcements of OpenPBR with Reference Implementation in MaterialX

OpenPBR 0.2 unveiled the OpenPBR Surface shading model in the tech world on 6th November 2023. A significant milestone followed on 5 June 2024 with the launch of OpenPBR 1.0.

Release Announcements of OpenPBR
Release Announcements of OpenPBR

The comprehensive release showcased a reference implementation for OpenPBR integrated within MaterialX. This integration signifies that tools within the MaterialX and OpenUSD ecosystem will inherently endorse OpenPBR, eliminating the necessity for developers to construct their implementations.

The OpenPBR specification and source code are available on GitHub with the Apache 2.0 license. It’s worth noting that the specification is interchangeably recognized as OpenPBR Surface on both the GitHub repository and Adobe’s blog.