Apple Reveals USDZ – A New AR File Format Made With Pixar, Adobe Bringing Support To Creative Cloud

Want to mess about with AR in Photoshop? Federighi and Parasnis discuss 'Universal Scene Description' at WWDC 18.

iOS 12 has made its official debut at Apple’s WWDC 2018 event and has brought quite a lot of new toys with it. And the team kicked off discussions by focusing on how the tech conglomerate is continuing its focus on augmented technology.  It was last year at the same time, almost to the day, that Apple revealed its AR developer platform ARKit and now as then Apple’s Craig Federighi took to the stage to talk attendees through not just the rumoured ARKit 2, as reported earlier on VRFocus, but other developments.

WWDC 18The first announcement was a brand-new file format specifically for working with AR. Something developed companies such as Pixar – “some of the greatest minds in 3D.”

“AR is transformational technology.” Federighi told the audience at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center. “Bringing experiences into the real world? It enables all kinds of new experiences, changing the way we have fun and the way we work. In iOS12 we wanted to make an easy way to experience AR across the system.”

The new file format is called USDZ (or Universal Scene Description), which has a focus on sharing content and will be able to be used or viewed in everything from internal file views, to the web browser Safari to email. Enabling you to place 3D models into the real world.  “It’s something like ‘AR quick-look'”, Federighi explained.

USDZ - Universal Scene DescriptionApple confirmed that they would be working with leading companies in 3D tools and libraries to bring USDZ support to their services. With Allegorithmic (developer of Substance), PTC, Turbosquid, Adobe, Autodesk, Sketchfab and Quixel all namechecked on stage.

“At Adobe we believe that augmented reality is an incredibly important technology. And with ARKit, Apple is by far the most powerful platform for AR.” Added Adobe‘s Executive Vice President and CTO Abhay Parasnis who appeared on stage to explain more about the company’s work on USDZ, something he described as “a pretty big deal” and confirming that USDZ support would be coming to Adobe’s Creative Cloud set of applications and services.

“With Creative Cloud designers and developers will now be able to use familiar apps – apps that they know and love, like Photoshop or Dimension – to create amazing AR content, and bring it easily via USDZ.”

Parasnis also confirmed a new Adobe creative app for iOS, specifically for designing AR-related content that will enable developers to bring in anything from text to images and video on Creative Cloud directly into a WYSIWIG AR editing environment.

VRFocus will bring you more news on the AR developments on WWDC shortly.

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