Thursday, July 25th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk joins Khronos Group

Autodesk has joined 3D open standards body the Khronos Group.

The firm will join Khronos Group’s 3D Commerce Exploratory Group and its 3D Formats Working Group, where it will “support the … glTF file format”.

Joining other key DCC software and hardware developers
As a voting-level contributor member of Khronos Group, Autodesk joins a number of other major DCC and CAD software developers, including Adobe, Dassault Systèmes and Unity Technologies.

In addition, Epic Games is a promoter member, which gives it representation on Khronos Group’s board as well as voting rights, as are the key hardware firms, including AMD, Apple, Intel and Nvidia.

Further support for glTF as a standard for exchanging data between 3D apps
The news is being seen as a boost for glTF, Khronos Group’s open format for exchanging 3D data between applications, and a newer alternative to Autodesk’s own proprietary FBX format.

glTF has been gaining momentum since version 2.0 of the spec introduced support for PBR materials.

Facebook began supporting glTF 2.0 last year, and the format is also now supported natively by a growing range of DCC applications and game engines.

That list currently doesn’t include either 3ds Max or Maya, although there are third-party exporters for both – something that will presumably have to change in future.

“As the need for interoperability between applications and across platforms becomes increasingly important, we see great value in open data formats like glTF,” said Autodesk senior software architect Henrik Edstrom.

While glTF may not replace FBX – one of the few closed-source technologies in the VFX Reference Platform – in visual effects pipelines any time soon, Edstrom cited its potential in newer markets.

“There is more demand for richer experiences on web, mobile, and XR platforms, and new opportunities in areas such as general compute and real-time ray tracing,” he said.

Read more about Autodesk joining Khronos Group on the group’s blog