NVIDIA releases major Omniverse upgrade

NVIDIA has announced the release of a major upgrade to its Omniverse platform.

What’s the Omniverse?

The NVIDIA Omniverse is an OpenUSD-native software platform for creating and operating metaverse applications. OpenUSD was originally invented by Pixar Animation Studios and is short for Universal Screen Description. It’s a collection of tools and capabilities for creating assets and environments for large-scale virtual worlds.

Omniverse Kit Extension Registry

The Omniverse Kit is the engine for developing native OpenUSD applications and extensions. The update has added a new Omniverse Kit Extension Registry for sharing and managing Omniverse extensions. This makes it easier for developers to build custom apps from over 600 core Omniverse extensions provided by NVIDIA.

Other Omniverse Kit improvements

The upgrade added new developer templates and resources. NVIDIA says that these will give developers a head start with minimal coding when they are first getting started with OpenUSD and Omniverse. The upgrade also delivers new rendering optimizations. These take full advantage of the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture enhancements in NVIDIA RTX GPUs. In addition, users can build spatial-computing options natively into their Omniverse-based applications with new extended-reality developer tools.

Upgraded foundation applications

The upgrades to the Omniverse Kit are showcased in Omniverse foundation applications. The upgraded applications include Omniverse USD Composer which lets 3D users assemble large-scale, OpenUSD-based scenes. Omniverse Audio2Face has also been updated. This app gives you access to generative AI application programming interfaces that create realistic facial animations and gestures from an audio file.

Omniverse Ecosystem

NVIDIA has announced a range of resources and services for developers to accelerate the adoption of OpenUSD. The company also revealed new Omniverse Cloud APIs, built by NVIDIA, for developers to implement and deploy OpenUSD pipelines and applications.

Collaborations

NVIDIA announced that it’s working with Adobe make to Adobe Firefly available as APIs in Omniverse. Firefly is Adobe’s family of creative generative AI models. Wonder Dynamics is also connected to Omniverse with new OpenUSD export support through its AI platform Wonder Studio. This platform automatically animates, lights, and composes computer-generated characters into live-action scenes. In addition, NVIDIA shared details of connections with companies including Luma AI, Convai and Inworld AI.

What we think

At the end of last year, we reported that Meta had restated its commitment to the metaverse. This was despite evidence that sales of VR headsets were declining. However, with this latest update to Omniverse, NVIDIA is continuing to support companies developing for and working in the metaverse. NVIDIA also gave examples of companies such as Boston Dynamics AI Institute, Continental, Volvo Cars and Marks Design that use Omniverse to run simulations, work collaboratively and create immersive visualizations. Maybe the future of the metaverse will be more geared to commercial and industrial use, rather than a playground for the wider public.

Pricing and availability

The latest Omniverse release is now available in beta to download for free and will be coming soon to Omniverse Enterprise.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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