NVIDIA Omniverse + USD
FlexSim is now part of the Omniverse ecosystem!
The latest version of our 3D simulation modeling and analysis software includes two massive updates: support for the USD file format, and a connector for NVIDIA’s Omniverse. In this video, we’ll talk about what these are, how they’ve been implemented into FlexSim, and what that means for you and your simulation projects.
First, let’s talk about Universal Scene Description, or USD. Originally developed by Pixar Animation Studios, USD is an open-source 3D scene description used for 3D content creation and interchange among different tools. Its incredible power and versatility has made it an industry standard, not only in the visual effects community, but also in architecture, design, robotics, manufacturing, and other industries.
After USD was open sourced in 2016, NVIDIA said, “Hey, we have a lot of customers using 3D data in different tools—can we use USD as the format to get these tools to communicate with each other?” That question spawned Omniverse, where the combination of USD and NVIDIA APIs allow 3D projects to be worked on collaboratively, in separate applications, and even in real-time.
FlexSim is excited to be part of this effort! It starts with our USD support, where you can both export FlexSim models to the USD format and import USD stages into FlexSim. You can find the Omniverse Connector Properties in the Toolbox under Connectivity—from here, you can choose what you want to export and then export the entire FlexSim model as a USD file. There are options for what to include in the export, including meshes (or 3D geometry), object properties, textures, even the position of the camera in the 3D View. Once you have a USD file, it can now be loaded into any software that supports USD.
This brings us to the USD Stage, found in the Visual area of the 3D Object Library. This object allows you to load a USD file into a FlexSim model, and it enables some highly advanced USD workflows. It can be used as a container for FlexSim objects, and when the USD Stage container is saved, those FlexSim objects will be exported to the USD format. Use NVIDIA’s Omniverse Live to take this one step further—when you connect to a USD Stage on an Omniverse Nucleus server, you can create or join a live session with other users for real-time, bi-directional collaborative editing of USD stages. That’s right—you can stream the transform updates from the USD Stage on a live, running FlexSim model and see them in other Omniverse-supported software.
What does this mean for FlexSim users? Many, many possibilities. FlexSim users have already begun using these features during beta testing, finding ways to better integrate FlexSim models into the other tools they already use. More 3D software products continue to add USD support, so FlexSim models will be able to be loaded into more software products. We’re excited to see what other applications our users discover. Perhaps better workflows to get a facility’s layout into FlexSim? Or maybe rendering your model using photorealistic materials and shaders in another application? The possibilities are vast and exciting, and they’ll continue to grow as we further develop and refine these features.
Thanks for watching, and we hope you’re excited to try FlexSim’s Omniverse connector and USD features.