[Bf-usd] Cycles / Hydra and USD Discussion

Michael A Kowalski makowalski at nvidia.com
Fri Dec 17 16:08:57 CET 2021


The following is a summary of a Blender/NVIDIA meeting on December 7, 2021, to discuss proposed development of a Hydra render delegate for Cycles and plans for further USD updates for Blender.

Present:  Sybren Stüvel, Brecht Van Lommel (Blender); John Ison, Dane Johnston, Roman Zulak, Patrick Mours, Damien Fagnou and Michael Kowalski (NVIDIA).

Cycles Hydra delegate

  *   There is agreement on the desirability of developing a Hydra delegate for Cycles X.
  *   Patrick and Roman will lead the development work for NVIDIA, with consulting and guidance from Brecht on their approach.  While it is likely to be developed in a separate branch, NVIDIA's ultimate goal is for it to be part of the main Blender/Cycles release, if possible.
  *   Brecht and Patrick/Roman will speak at GTC spring on GPU acceleration in Cycles X and the new Hydra delegate.  The goal is for the delegate to be downloadable at GTC so that others can learn from it.

USD Support

  *   Michael outlined USD functionality in the universal-scene-description 3.1 alpha branch that should be considered and prioritized for inclusion in the master branch, e.g., Python hooks for material translation, armature IO, instancing and world environment / USD dome light conversion.
  *   Michael will document the work he's done and create a written proposal of a set of features that would work well with the new Hydra delegate for 3.1.  Sybren suggested creating a Design Task that would be announced via the Blender USD mailing list.
  *   For Bcon1 that closes on December 29 Michael suggested:  (1) material export to USD Preview Surface and (2) camera import/export improvements.  Sybren suggested that he try to get in as much as possible, a logical group of features that would do useful round trips.
  *   Sybren requested that Michael explore architectural improvements to USD IO, as outlined here:  https://developer.blender.org/T68933.  Since the USD and Alembic IO development overlap in many areas, Sybren suggested that Michael and Kevin Dietrich (who is working on Alembic) discuss the high level plans and direction in a follow up call.


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