Creating USDZ files for Augmented Reality / 3D file sharing

Artists frequently create 3D models, including textures, in other programs, and then convert them to USDZ.

 

USDZ is a 3D file format that displays 3D and AR content on iOS devices without having to download special apps. Users can easily share this portable format, and developers can exchange it between applications in their 3D-creation pipeline.

 

The USDZ format enables iOS 12 iPhone and iPad users to view and share AR files. USDZ offers portability and native support so users do not need to download a new app for each viewing situation. Users can easily share USDZ files with other iOS users. Currently, Android does not support USDZ and has its own equivalents, gLTF, and gLB.

 

USDZ Conversion Programs

Common formats for saving 3D models include OBJ and ABC. You can try to convert USDZ to gLTF by unzipping the USDZ file, and then editing the texture files, and exporting it as a gLTF. To create 3D models or edit models that can be converted to USDZ files, see these programs:

 

  • Adobe Project Aero: The first company to announce development support for the format in their Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Quickly animate standard 2D and 3D assets from Photoshop and Illustrator and create 3D objects from them and third-party applications such as Cinema 4D. Use the free Aero app for viewing the files, and then output it to USDZ.

  • Adobe Substance Painter: Export textures to USD and USDZ.

  • Autodesk Maya: Use the Multiverse plugin to export USDZ.

  • Blender: Use the Export menu to convert files to USDZ in this open-source program.

  • Nvidia Omniverse: The Omniverse platform provides utilities, USD Python 3 bindings, tutorials, and a library of pre-built USD assets.

  • Pixar RenderMan: A plugin for Maya, this utility ensures textures transfer in USDZ.

  • Python-based tools: Using these tools eliminates the need for a Mac. Export a USDA file which you rename to USDZ, or use the gltf2usd python module. Drag and drop OBJ, STL, or DAE files into a 3D scene and export them as USDZ.

  • Quixel: Quixel provides shading and rendering, plus connections to all major 3D platforms.

  • SceneKit: Create a USDC first, and then saves it as a USDZ.

  • SimSoft Composer: SimSoft exports to USDZ, using files from programs such as Rhino, 3DS, Maya, SketchUp, SolidWorks, Inventor, Revit, and Fusion.

  • TurboSquid: TurboSquid now includes USDZ models for download.

  • Unity: A leading real-time 3D and AR development platform for the industry.

  • USD Manager: Created by DreamWorks, USD Manager is a tool for viewing content, links, and references in USD.

  • Pixar USDView: Use the USDView utility with Python to run USDZ.

  • Vectary: With this browser-agnostic tool, you can upload a 3D file and export it as USDZ.

  • ViewAR: You may need to convert the material files first for your 3D model. However, this free application exports USDZ files.

  • Xcode 10: Use the built-in conversion capabilities of this integrated coding environment from Apple. Convert UV-map textures to JPG or PNG for OBJ, ABC, or DAE and then remap it in XCode. Drag files into Xcode, and under the Edit menu, select the output you want.

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