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Download AMD’s free USD Hydra plugin for Blender

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021 | Posted by Jim Thacker

AMD has released its open-source USD Hydra plugin for Blender in beta.

The free add-on enables users to import USD files into Blender, to compose USD scenes, and to render them using the Universal Scene Description‘s Hydra render framework, including its default hdStorm renderer.

Import, compose and render USD files inside Blender
Although Blender is due to get its own USD importer in Blender 3.0, now scheduled for later this year, AMD’s plugin is intended to provide “first-class support” for USD.

As well as importing data in USD format, the plugin enables users to compose USD scenes within Blender, and to export the assembled USD stages for use in other DCC applications.

It also makes it possible to load, edit and export materials in ILM’s USD-compatible MaterialX format, also supported in Substance 3D Designer, Adobe’s material-authoring app, and in Autodesk’s Arnold renderer.

And, as its name suggests, the plugin enables users to render Blender scenes via USD’s Hydra framework.

In the current build, the only renderers included are the hdStorm, the default Hydra render delegate, and AMD’s own Radeon ProRender.

However, AMD says that other renderers available as Hydra delegates – including Arnold, Redshift and RenderMan – should “work easily”.

Licensing and system requirements
AMD’s USD Hydra plugin for Blender is available free under an Apache 2.0 licence. It is officially still in beta.

The plugin is compatible with Blender 2.90+. According to the online documentation, it only works on Windows 10, although the download page does also include an Ubuntu build.

Read more about the USD Hydra plugin for Blender on AMD’s GitHub repository

Download AMD’s free USD Hydra plugin for Blender

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