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Change Log

[18.11] - 2018-10-10



  • [usdVol] UsdVol schema for representing volumes. (PR #567)
  • [usdShade] Ability to define shaders in the shader definition registry using UsdShade.
  • [usdShaders] Shader definition registry plugin for core nodes defined in the UsdPreviewSurface specification.


  • [hd, usdImaging] Hydra support for UsdVol schema. (PR #567)

  • [hd, hdSt] Topology visibility operations for meshes in Hydra.

  • [hd, hdSt] Support for inverting the depth test of a draw target.

  • [hd, hdSt] "Flat normals" computed buffer source for meshes.

  • [hdx] ResolveNearestToCenter pick hit resolution method for ray picking.

  • [usdview] Menu for switching AOVs for supported backends.

  • [usdview] Menu for backend-specific settings.

Alembic plugin:

  • [usdAbc] Behavior where an Xform with a single geometry or camera in an Alembic file would be collapsed into a single prim in USD can now be disabled by setting the environment variable USD_ABC_XFORM_PRIM_COLLAPSE to 0. (PR #527)

Maya plugin:

  • [usdMaya] Display filter for USD proxy shapes.
  • [usdMaya, pxrUsdMayaGL] pxrHdImagingShape node that reduces overhead when imaging scenes with many Hydra-backed shapes.
  • [pxrUsdMayaGL] Support for Maya lights casting shadows between Hydra shapes, and Hydra shapes to Maya shapes, but not Maya shapes to Hydra shapes.

Houdini plugin:

  • [gusd] Experimental build support for Houdini plugin on Windows.
  • [OP_gusd] Multi-seg export to USD output ROP.


  • Numerous fixes and cleanup changes throughout to improve performance, convert code to more modern patterns, and remove unneeded uses of boost. (PR #373, #453, #481, #484, #488)


  • [usd] UsdAPISchemaBase is now an abstract base class as originally intended.
  • [usdGeom] Improved performance of UsdGeomPointBased::ComputeExtent. In one example, this provided a ~30% improvement. (PR #588)
  • [usdGeom] Improved performance of computing extents for UsdGeomPointInstancer. In one example with >5 million instances, extent computation time decreased from ~25 seconds to ~3 seconds.
  • [usdSkel] UsdSkelBakeSkinning bakes skinning at additional time samples based on stage's configured sampling rate.
  • [usdedit] Opening a .usdz file now forces read-only mode.
  • [usdzip] "-l" or "-d" arguments will now provide information about existing .usdz files.
  • [usdzip] ARKit compliance checks now require valid sources for shader inputs with connections and valid prims and/or collections for material bindings.


  • [hd] Improved Hydra AOV API.
  • [hd] Split reprs into the topology indices they affect.
  • [hd] Properly set up both the shadow projection and view matrices. (PR #583)
  • [hd] Optimization to not run garbage collection if a texture hasn't change.
  • [hd, hdSt, usdImaging] Update wrap mode fallback behavior to useMetadata.
  • [hdx] Improved shadow support in HdxTaskController. (PR #541)
  • [hdx] "Enable Hardware Shading" entry point is now "Enable Scene Materials".
  • [hdSt] Support to generate GLSL-compatible names for resources/primvars.
  • [usdImagingGL] Better support for animated textures. (PR #488)
  • [usdview] Better error reporting if an unsupported backend is selected. (PR #635)
  • [hdEmbree] Improved AO sampling (cosine-weighted sampling, stratified AO samples LHS).

Maya plugin:

  • [pxrUsdMayaGL] Many performance improvements in the Hydra batch renderer.
  • [usdMaya, pxrUsdMayaGL] Using USD in live surface uses the normal at the snap point.
  • [usdMaya, pxrUsdTranslators] Various code cleanup in USD exporter.

Katana plugin:

  • [usdKatana] Use bracketing sample closest to shutter open/close if no frames found in shutter interval.
  • [usdKatana] Honor UsdStage's authored timeCodesPerSecond and framesPerSecond. If they differ, Katana will operate in frames, with current time, motion samples, and shutter interval scaled appropriately.

Houdini plugin:

  • [gusd] Rebind materials when creating sub-root references.
  • [gusd] Optimizations in handling of stage mask operations.
  • [OP_gusd] USD output ROP now allows binding to shaders referenced from other models.



  • [hd] Removed Repr requirements from GetRenderTag API.



  • [cmake] User-specified CMAKE_MODULE_PATH was being ignored during build. (PR #614)
  • [cmake] Installed headers could take precedence over source headers, leading to build failures. (Issue #83)


  • [tf] TfEnvSetting crash on MSVC 2017.
  • [ar] ArDefaultResolver::AnchorRelativePath did not call IsRelativePath on derived resolvers. (PR #426)
  • [sdf] SdfCopySpec did not handle copying prim specs to variants and vice-versa.
  • [sdf] Incorrect notification was sent when removing subtrees of inert specs.
  • [usd] Prim payload was not automatically loaded when a deactivated ancestor prim with a payload was activated. (Issue #604)
  • [usd] Incorrect lists of time samples would be returned in certain cases with value clips.
  • [usd, usdzip] .usdz files were not fully compliant with the zip file format specification.
  • [usdUtils, usdzip] Creating an ARKit .usdz file with a .usda asset would create an invalid file.
  • [usdMtlx] MaterialX plugin build failures on Windows and macOS. (Issue #611)


  • [hdx] Picking with disabled scene materials generating shader errors.
  • [hdSt] Fix immediate draw batch invalidation on buffer migration.
  • [hdSt] Fix garbage collection on buffer migration.
  • [hdSt] Bindless texture loading not being deferred.
  • [usdImaging] Wrong transforms were being used when using usdLux light transforms (Issue #612).
  • [usdImaging] Fix for usdImaging's TextureId not accounting for origin.

Houdini plugin:

  • [gusd] Several fixes for building with Houdini 17. (PR #549)
  • [gusd] Several fixes for stale caches and crashes.
  • [gusd] Potential PackedUSD transform issues in Houdini 16.5.

[18.09] - 2018-08-07

This release includes several major new features and changes, including:

  • .usdz file format for packaging assets into a single file
  • Introduction of UsdPreviewSurface
  • Switch to calendar-based versioning scheme for USD libraries


  • Build:

    • can be given custom arguments for building libraries via the --build-args option.
    • Option to disable building usdview by specifying PXR_BUILD_USDVIEW=OFF when running cmake or --no-usdview when running
    • Allow specifying Boost_USE_STATIC_LIBS to cmake on Windows. Note that static boost libraries may lead to issues with Python bindings. (Issue #407)
  • USD:

    • ArAsset and ArResolver::OpenAsset interfaces allowing resolvers to control how data for a given asset is accessed.
    • "Package" asset and layer concepts to Ar and Sdf, including "package-relative" asset path syntax for addressing assets within packages.
    • sdffilter utility for inspecting and summarizing the contents of a layer.
    • .usdz file format. This format allows multiple assets (including layers, textures, etc.) to be packaged into a single file that can be consumed by USD without being unpacked to disk. These files can be created via the "usdzip" command-line utility or via APIs like UsdZipFileWriter and UsdUtilsCreateNewUsdzPackage.
    • UsdStage::GetObjectAtPath for retrieving a generic UsdObject. (PR #390)
    • UsdCollectionAPI can represent collections that include all paths or exclude some paths but include all others via the new "includeRoot" attribute.
    • Support for "sourceAsset" and "sourceCode" implementation sources in UsdShadeShader.
    • Ndr and Sdr libraries that provide a registry for shader definitions that can be extended via plugins.
    • sdrOsl plugin for populating shader definition registry from OSL 1.8.12. OSL support must be enabled by specifying PXR_ENABLE_OSL_SUPPORT=TRUE when running cmake.
    • usdMtlx plugin containing USD file format and shader definition registry plugins based on MaterialX 1.36.0. MaterialX support must be enabled by specifying PXR_BUILD_MATERIALX_PLUGIN=TRUE when running cmake.
    • Initial UsdSkel schema for blend shapes, which are not yet factored into computed deformation.
  • Imaging:

    • Per-prim adaptive refinement enabled via materials in hdSt.
    • Preliminary AOV support in Hydra with sample implementation in Embree plugin.
    • HdRenderThread utility class to enable render delegates to render in background threads. The Embree plugin uses this class as an example.
    • Support for scene-authored normals on meshes.
  • UsdImaging:

    • Light linking support.

    • Initial support for USD material preview nodes. For more details, see:

      Currently unimplemented features include:

      • Support for automatically computed tangents when normal mapping. Primvars must be supplied.
      • Handling for ior (index or refraction).
  • Alembic plugin:

    • Support for TextureCoordinate role and value types.
  • Maya plugin:

    • Initial support for exporting .usdz files.
    • Support for importing and exporting volume and displacement in "pxrRis" shading mode.
    • pxrUsdPointBasedDeformerNode - an animation cache deformer that allows users to pose a Maya mesh based on a UsdGeomPointBased prim.
    • Option to apply Euler filtering to transforms during export. (PR #299)
    • Option to filter out certain Maya node types during export. (PR #475)
  • Katana plugin:

    • Support for TextureCoordinate role and value types.
    • Support for importing inherit paths metadata as a info.usd group attribute
    • "additionalLocations" parameter to PxrUsdInVariantSelect
    • "asArchive" option to PxrUsdIn. When enabled, a "usd archive" location will be created rather than loading the USD data directly. This is intended for passing along to renderers which support reading USD natively.
    • PxrUsdIn supports a "sharedLooksCacheKey" attribute to permit sharing cached USD shading information across multiple references/instances which are known to be identical from a pipeline standpoint.
  • Houdini plugin:

    • Support import of Scope prims.


  • Build:

    • USD resource files are now installed into /lib/usd instead of /share/usd/plugins to bring them closer to the installed libraries.
    • OpenGL dependency in imaging is now optional and may be disabled by specifying PXR_ENABLE_GL_SUPPORT=FALSE when running cmake. This will disable all GL-based functionality, including usdview.
    • OpenImageIO dependency imaging is now optional and is disabled by default. Support must be enabled by specifying PXR_BUILD_OPENIMAGEIO_PLUGIN=TRUE when running CMake or --openimageio when running
    • on Windows will now use powershell to download dependencies if it's available to avoid TLS 1.2 issues. (Issue #449)
    • now directs users to install PySide2 via pip on MacOS.
  • USD:

    • Numerous fixes and cleanup changes throughout to improve performance, convert code to more modern patterns, and remove unneeded uses of boost.
    • ArGetResolver no longer returns an instance of the ArResolver subclass used for asset resolution. Clients can use ArGetUnderlyingResolver in the special cases where access to the exact subclass is necessary.
    • ArResolver context and scoped cache functions are now public and have been renamed to match convention. Resolvers that override these functions will need to be updated.
    • ArDefaultResolver default context for an asset now includes the directory of the asset in its search path.
    • Optimizations to prim change processing in UsdStage. In one example, processing time for adding new prims decreased ~50%.
    • New .usdc files now default to version 0.7.0, which includes compression features introduced in earlier releases. These files cannot be read in USD releases prior to v0.8.4. Users can revert to writing older versions by setting the environment variable USD_WRITE_NEW_USDC_FILES_AS_VERSION to an older version.
    • Several changes to provide cleaner and more detailed runtime error messages.
    • Better support for generating code for properties of multiple-apply API schemas in usdGenSchema.
    • Schema types are now specified using the UsdSchemaType enum instead of individual flags.
    • "expansionRule" attribute for UsdCollectionAPI is now optional; collections are created simply by calling UsdCollectionAPI::ApplyCollection.
    • UsdGeomBBoxCache's bounds computation now includes all defined prims, including those with no type specified.
    • UsdRiMaterialAPI now writes standardized "ri:surface" output by default instead of deprecated "ri:bxdf".
    • UsdRiStatementsAPI now writes ri attributes as primvars by default.
    • Renamed UsdSkelPackedJointAnimation schema to UsdSkelAnimation
    • Renamed UsdSkelBakingSkinningLBS function to UsdSkelBakeSkinning
    • Numerous additional fixes and changes to UsdSkel schemas and APIs.
  • Imaging:

    • Several API cleanup changes in HdSprim/HdBprim/HdRprim.
    • HdRenderDelegate::CanComputeMaterialNetworks has been replaced by GetMaterialBindingPurpose, which has a default value of "preview".
    • Improved handling of fallback texturing behavior when texture inputs are missing from a material.
    • .png, .jpg, .bmp, .tga, and .hdr images are now handled by a built-in image reader based on stb_image.
    • Texture loading is deferred until needed.
    • Truncate mesh vertex primvar data to expected length if larger than expected.
    • Improved ptex rect packing performance. In one large test case, processing time decreased from ~600s to ~40s.
  • UsdImaging:

    • Avoid loading custom shaders and textures when the "Enable Hardware Shading" option is disabled in usdview.
    • Default values for wrapS/wrapT match the proposed value in the preview material spec. Also adds support for mirrored wrapS/wrapT.
    • Scene lights are now enabled by default. This can be disabled by setting the environment variable USDIMAGING_ENABLE_SCENE_LIGHTS to 0.
    • UsdShadeMaterialAPI is now used instead of UsdRi to look up material networks.
  • Alembic plugin:

    • Alembic writer now prefers writing to the "st" attribute instead of "uv". (PR #463)
  • Maya plugin:

    • MAYA_SCRIPT_PATH and XBMLANGPATH environment variable settings have changed due to new resource file install location documented above. Refer to Maya plugin documentation for new values.
    • Large refactoring and cleanup of usdMaya. USD importers and exporters for built-in Maya nodes have been moved to pxrUsdTranslators plugin.
    • Proxy shape now redraws in response to changes on UsdStage.
    • Diagnostic messages are now batched together for better reporting behavior and to prevent log spewage.
    • Improved primvar export. (PR #330)
    • Camera shake now applied to USD cameras on export. (PR #366)


  • USD:
    • UsdSkelPackedJointAnimation schema in favor of UsdSkelAnimation
    • Specialized RIS and RSL shader schemas in UsdRi (e.g. UsdRisPattern and UsdRisBxdf) in favor of generic UsdShadeShader prims.


  • Build:

    • boost::regex dependency.
  • USD:

    • ArResolver::CreateDefaultContextForDirectory to better accommodate asset systems that are not file-system based.
    • SdfExtractExternalReferences. UsdUtilsExtractExternalReferences can be used as an alternative.
    • UsdLuxLinkingAPI, in favor of UsdCollectionAPI to represent light linking.


  • Build:

    • Fixed issues with using Visual Studio 2017 in
    • Issue preventing use of NMake generator on Windows. (PR #519)
    • Several fixes for static library builds.
  • USD:

    • Bug where SdfLayer::GetDisplayName would return an empty string for anonymous layers if the tag contained a ":". (PR #440)
    • Bug where SdfLayer::UpdateExternalReferences would not handle variants and payloads correctly.
    • Incorrect load state handling in UsdStage for payloads introduced across sub-root references, inherits, and specializes arcs.
    • Incorrect value clip time mapping during value resolution on UsdStage.
    • Change processing bug when adding a new inert prim spec.
    • Load/unload change processing bug with nested instances on UsdStage.
    • Crash when opening a UsdStage with a UsdStagePopulationMask containing instance prims. (Issue #497)
    • Test failures when USD_EDITOR environment variable is set. (Issue #505)
    • Bug where non-constant primvars were inherited down namespace in UsdGeomPrimvarsAPI.
  • Imaging:

    • Triangulation/quadrangulation of face varying for refined meshes.
    • Several selection and picking issues.
  • UsdImaging:

    • Material binding to instanced prims.
    • Change processing for UsdShadeShader prims beneath UsdShadeMaterial prims.
  • Alembic plugin:

    • Texture coordinate indices are now preserved. (PR #520)
  • Katana plugin:

    • Several asset resolution fixes. (Issue #535)
    • Bug preventing correct inheritance of motion sample times overrides as authored by PxrUsdInDefaultMotionSamples and PxrUsdInMotionOverrides in Katana plugin.
  • Houdini plugin:

    • Fixed several display and update issues with treeview panel.
    • Fixed bug in batched loading of masked prims.

[0.8.5a] - 2018-05-21


  • Fixed broken URL in for downloading libtiff. (Issue #498)

[0.8.5] - 2018-05-07


  • New 'trace' library providing performance profiling functionality.
  • API to Ar for resolver implementations that wrap around other resolvers.
  • TextureCoordinate role and TexCoord{2,3}{h,f,d}{Array} value types to Sdf to indicate attributes that represent UV(W) texture coordinates.
  • UsdUtilsSparseValueWriter and UsdUtilsSparseAttrValueWriter utility classes for authoring attribute values sparsely.
  • UsdGeomPrimvar::GetIndicesAttr API for indexed primvars.
  • UsdGeomPrimvarsAPI schema for accessing primvars, including primvar values inherited down namespace. This is intended as an eventual replacement for the primvar API on UsdGeomImageable.
  • API to UsdShadeMaterial to support render context-specific terminal outputs and core support for three universal render context outputs: surface, displacement, and volume.
  • Time-sampling support for UsdGeomPointInstancer via new methods for computing extents and instance transforms at multiple times.
  • Finalize method for sprims and bprims in Hydra.
  • Time-sampling support in Hydra for geometry instancing.
  • Maya plugin users can specify if colors coming from Maya are linear via the PIXMAYA_LINEAR_COLORS environment variable.
  • Support for import/export with new TextureCoordinate role in Maya plugin.
  • Support for cards drawMode in USD reference assembly in Maya plugin.
  • Support for LiveSurface with proxy shapes in Maya plugin.
  • Support for importing UsdSkel schemas and exporting locators and particles in Maya plugin.
  • Option for placing exported data in parent scope in Maya plugin.
  • Initial support for session layer metadata in PxrUsdIn in Katana plugin.
  • Support for reading in UsdLuxCylinderLight schemas in Katana plugin.
  • Gusd Python bindings for Houdini plugin.


  • USD now requires TBB version 4.4 Update 6 or later.

  • Removed GLUT dependency for libtiff in (Issue #402)

  • will now use cURL to download dependencies if it's installed in the user's PATH. This can help avoid TLS v1.2 errors when downloading from certain sites. (Issue #449)

  • Numerous documentation additions and fixes throughout the codebase.

  • Improved performance of SdfCopySpec and UsdUtils stitching API; one test case showed a 35% speed improvement, from 160s to 118s.

  • SdfLayer now uses the resolved path provided by Ar for a given identifier to determine the layer file format. (Issue #144)

  • Simplified API for setting layer data in SdfFileFormat subclasses.

  • Adding or removing invalid sublayers now results in composition errors.

  • UsdStage::CreateNew and CreateInMemory now accept an InitialLoadSet argument. This controls whether new payloads are loaded automatically. (Issue #267)

  • UsdStage::ExpandPopulationMask now considers attribute connections.

  • UsdStage::Flatten now authors anchored asset paths in flattened results.

  • UsdTraverseInstanceProxies() now includes instance proxy prims that pass the default predicate instead of all prims.

  • .usdc files now support zero-copy array access, which can significantly improve performance. This feature is supported by all .usdc file versions, but may not be activated for certain files depending on their data alignment. In these cases, users can simply re-export the file to activate zero-copy access.

    Users can set the environment variable USDC_ENABLE_ZERO_COPY_ARRAYS to 0 to disable this feature. Users can also track cases where array data is copied due to modifications by setting the environment variable VT_LOG_STACK_ON_ARRAY_DETACH_COPY to 1.

  • Other performance improvements in UsdStage composition.

  • API schemas are now classified as either "applied" or "non-applied". See "Generating New Schema Classes" tutorial for more information.

  • Behavior of UsdUtils stitching API can now be customized via callbacks.

  • UsdShadeMaterialBindingAPI now issues a warning when computing resolved material bindings if prims with old "look:binding" relationships are found. This can be disabled by setting the environment variable USD_SHADE_WARN_ON_LOOK_BINDING to 0.

  • UsdRiMaterialAPI now supports writing ri:surface outputs. ri:bxdf outputs are still written by default, but this can be disabled by setting the environment variable USD_RI_WRITE_BXDF_OUTPUT to 0.

  • UsdRiStatementsAPI now supports encoding ri attibutes as primvars. This is disabled by default but can be enabled by setting the environment variable USDRI_STATEMENTS_WRITE_NEW_ATTR_ENCODING to 1.

  • Additions and improvements to UsdLux and UsdSkel schemas.

  • Hydra backends that consume full network materials now receive all primvars for all rprims, not just those with bound materials.

  • Several improvements to primvar handling and picking infrastructure in Hydra.

  • Several performance improvements in Hydra, especially for material bindings and scenes with heavy nesting of instances.

  • Ongoing work on Hydra compute framework.

  • Conformed Hydra API to use "Primvar" instead of "PrimVar".

  • HdMaterialNetwork is now emitted in topological order.

  • Redundant animation data is no longer written during Maya export.

  • Katana plugin now allows parent scope names for materials other than "Looks". This can be enabled by setting the USD_KATANA_ALLOW_CUSTOM_MATERIAL_SCOPES environment variable to 1.

  • Refactor material loading in Katana plugin so that material locations aren't computed all at once and site ops can run on each location individually.

  • Improved construction of material terminal outputs in Katana plugin.

  • Caching improvements in Houdini plugin to share USD stages between loaded primitives when possible.

  • Improved error handling and reporting in Houdini plugin.

  • USD stage masking in Houdini plugin can now be disabled via GUSD_STAGEMASK_ENABLE environment variable.

  • Improved performance when opening USD stages which don't use "component" kind in their model hierarchy.

  • Object-level transforms are now written at a higher-level scope than leaf primitives if possible in Houdini plugin.


  • UsdGeomFaceSetAPI in favor of UsdGeomSubset.
  • UsdGeomCollectionAPI in favor of UsdCollectionAPI.


  • tracelite library, which has been replaced with the trace library.
  • Conversions for Python's datetime and dependency on boost::date_time.
  • Several unused classes and functions.
  • usdHydra schemas. This functionality is being replaced with by a registry of shaders in a future release.
  • API for ri:bxdf output on UsdRiMaterialAPI schema. ri:bxdf sources will still be returned by UsdRiMaterialAPI::GetSurface for backwards compatibility.


  • Build errors when using ninja.
  • Error when extracting boost on Windows in (Issue #308)
  • The build now prefers Alembic library specified at cmake time over any Alembic library found in PATH. (Issue #409)
  • Several compile-time warnings on clang and other compilers.
  • Bug where list-op valued metadata was not emitted by UsdStage::Flatten.
  • Missing notifications for master prims affected by metadata/property changes.
  • Crash in UsdCollectionAPI::ApplyCollection when given an invalid collection name. (Issue #425)
  • Change processing for changes to drawMode property in imaging.
  • Numerous fixes to cards draw mode.
  • Change processing bug when removing nested point instancers.
  • Crashes in pxOsd due to incorrect authored crease data.
  • Bug where usdview would not redraw after switching renderer.
  • Crash in Alembic plugin when reading files with object names beginning with numerals.
  • Change processing bug when reloading an Alembic layer. (Issue #429)
  • Several crash bugs in Maya plugin.
  • Material export bug in Maya plugin where the surface terminal was not being exported under the "ri" render context. This fix requires re-exporting any material networks exported from Maya using version 0.8.4.
  • Prevent overwriting instance sources that resolve to the same master name in Katana plugin.
  • Path resolution issue in Houdini plugin.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes in Houdini plugin.

[0.8.4] - 2018-03-05


  • The PXR_PLUGINPATH_NAME environment variable name may be changed by specifying PXR_OVERRIDE_PLUGINPATH_NAME=<name> when running cmake.
  • Example sendmail plugin for usdview, located at extras/usd/examples/usdviewPlugins/
  • ArDefaultResolverContext, a context object for the ArDefaultResolver asset resolution implementation that allows additional search paths to be used during asset resolution.
  • Users can now query the UsdNotice::ObjectsChanged notice for the changed scene description fields that affected the reported objects.
  • UsdAPISchemaBase base class for all API schemas.
  • All UsdGeomBoundable schemas in usdGeom now have functions for computing extents. These functions are also used when calling the general UsdGeomBoundable::ComputeExtentFromPlugins method.
  • UsdLuxCylinderLight schema.
  • Significant additions to edge and point selection and highlighting capabilities in Hydra.
  • Initial support for UsdSkel bones in usdImaging.
  • Initial support for exporting joints and skin clusters using the UsdSkel schema in the Maya plugin.
  • Documentation for third party plugin code is now included in the doxygen build.


  • no longer checks for pyside-uic or boost::python if Python support is disabled, and no longer builds OpenImageIO's Python bindings.
  • Updated moduleDeps.cpp files to only register direct library dependencies. This makes it easier for users to generate their own file for custom schemas.
  • ArDefaultResolver now allows search paths like "Dir/File.usd" to be anchored to other paths via AnchorRelativePath. During composition, these asset paths will be resolved relative to the layer where they were authored before falling back to the previous search path behavior.
  • Updates to VtArray and .usdc code in preparation for zero-copy functionality.
  • Inherit and specializes arcs to non-existent prims are no longer considered composition errors.
  • Apply method on API schemas have been moved to UsdAPISchemaBase and now require a UsdPrim. Also improved documentation.
  • Property queries on UsdPrim now accept a predicate for filtering results.
  • UsdPrim::HasAPI now accepts an instance name argument to query if a prim has a particular instance of a multiple-apply API schema has been applied.
  • Adding or removing an inert prim spec no longer causes affected prims to be resynced. These prims are now reported as "changed info only" in the corresponding UsdNotice::ObjectsChanged notice.
  • UsdNotice::ObjectsChanged::GetResyncedPaths and GetChangedInfoOnlyPaths now return a custom range object instead of a SdfPathVector.
  • Performance optimizations for querying properties on UsdPrim.
  • Replaced UsdCollectionAPI::AddPrim/RemovePrim with IncludePath/ExcludePath.
  • UsdGeomBoundable::ComputeExtentFromPlugins now accepts an optional transform matrix, which may be used to provide more accurate bounds.
  • UsdGeomBBoxCache now computes extents for all UsdGeomBoundable schemas.
  • Performance optimizations in UsdShadeMaterialBindingAPI.
  • Numerous changes and fixes to UsdSkel schemas.
  • Significantly improved curve rendering in Hydra.
  • Many improvements towards the goal of getting modern UsdShade materials through Hydra to various kinds of backends.
  • Performance improvements to hydra gather phase via multi-threading and other optimizations.
  • Changed complexity options in usdview to prevent users from inadvertently bumping the complexity value too high and hanging the application.
  • Several tweaks and improvements to usdview UI.
  • Refactored Maya/Hydra batch renderer to improve performance for imaging USD proxy shape nodes.


  • UsdShadeLook schema. This has been replaced by UsdShadeMaterial. Material bindings authored using the "look:binding" relationship are no longer respected.


  • Various typo and compiler warning fixes throughout the codebase.
  • Fixed bug where would not use the CMake generator specified at the command line.
  • Fixed crash in Apply method on API schemas.
  • Fixed several bugs in UsdShadeMaterialBindingAPI::ComputeBoundMaterial.
  • Changing the population mask for a UsdStage now correctly releases resources used by objects that have been excluded from the stage.
  • Fixed quadrangulation bug in Hydra with handling topology with degenerate or hole faces.
  • Fixed patch param refinement for Loop meshes.
  • Several fixes to the nascent Hydra lights pipeline.
  • Fixed bug in the usdExport AlembicChaser in the Maya plugin where primvars that match the primvarprefix do not get exported. They are now exported with constant interpolation, and using _AbcGeomScope is no longer required.
  • Fixed bug in Katana plugin where infinite recursion would occur in pxrUsdIn when sources were outside the scope of the point instancer. (Issue #286)

[0.8.3] - 2018-02-05


  • Compression in .usdc files for integer arrays and scalar floating point arrays. The latter are compressed if the values are all integers or there are a small number of unique values. In the example Kitchen Set asset on the USD website, the total size of the geometry layers decreased by ~46%, from 25 MB to 14 MB.

    .usdc files with this new compression enabled are marked as version 0.6.0 and are not readable by earlier releases. These files are not written by default; this may be enabled by setting the environment variable USD_WRITE_NEW_USDC_FILES_AS_VERSION to "0.6.0".

  • Ability to record and query API schemas that have been applied to a prim via new Apply method on API schema classes, UsdPrim::GetAppliedSchemas and UsdPrim::HasAPI. Custom API schemas should be updated with these new methods by re-running usdGenSchema.

  • GetUnionedTimeSamples and GetUnionedTimeSamplesInInterval functions for UsdAttribute and UsdAttributeQuery.

  • Ability to offset time for active value clips when using template clip metadata via "templateActiveOffset" entry.

  • UsdUtilsGetDirtyLayers for retrieving dirty layers used by a UsdStage.

  • GetTimeSamplesInInterval functions for UsdGeomXformOp, UsdGeomXformable and UsdGeomXformable::XformQuery.

  • UsdShadeMaterialBindingAPI, which provides an interface for binding materials to prims or collections of prims and computing the final bound material for a prim via "material resolution".

  • Numerous features and documentation for UsdSkel schema.

  • "Save Flattened As" functionality in usdview.

  • Plugin mechanism in usdview that allows users to add custom commands and menus. See new tutorial for more details.

  • Partial support for RenderMan for Maya lights in the Maya plugin.

  • PxrUsdIn.BootstrapMaterialGroup op in Katana plugin for more robustly reading a Looks scope from a .usd file


  • Build now supports versioned OpenEXR and IlmBase shared libraries. (Issue #71)
  • Layer identifiers may now include '?' characters. (Issue #289)
  • UsdStage preserves payload load state when processing instancing changes.
  • UsdListPosition enum values now specify the "append" or "prepend" list as well as a position to provide users with finer-grained control.
  • The various Add... methods in Usd that take a UsdListPosition argument now author entries to the back of the "prepend" list by default if no "explicit" list exists. The old behavior of authoring to the (now deprecated) "added" list can be restored by setting the environment variable USD_AUTHOR_OLD_STYLE_ADD to 1.
  • Standard schema conventions are more strictly-enforced in usdGenSchema.
  • UsdCollectionAPI::AddCollection has been renamed ApplyCollection.
  • Enabled authoring of new UsdShade encoding by default. Authoring the old (now deprecated) encoding can be restored by setting the environment variable USD_SHADE_WRITE_NEW_ENCODING to 0.
  • The "joints" relationship on the UsdSkelSkeleton, UsdSkelPackedJointAnimation, and UsdSkelBinding API schemas is now a token array-valued attribute.
  • UsdRiStatements API schema has been renamed to UsdRiStatementsAPI.
  • sdfdump utility now shows all specs in a layer, even if they have no fields.
  • Various improvements to Hydra reprs and geometry processing.
  • More improvements to Hydra's handling of invalid data.
  • Ongoing work to prepare Hydra to fully consume UsdShade schemas.
  • Refactored GL dependency out of Hd library.
  • Built-in variables in usdview interpreter are now accessed through a separate usdviewApi object to avoid name collisions.
  • Performance improvements in Maya plugin when in Viewport 2.0.
  • Inclusion of info.usd.opArgs in Katana plugin is now parameterized; it will be authored to the location where a "setOpArgsToInfo" attribute exists and is set to 1.


  • The "added" list for list ops in scene description is deprecated in favor of the "prepend" and "append" lists.


  • GfCamera::ZUp and GfCamera::YUp.
  • UsdSkelJoint schema.


  • ensures OpenImageIO build does not pick up OpenEXR from other locations, which could have led to runtime errors. (Issue #315, Issue #325)
  • Headers are now installed properly for monolithic builds. (Issue #277)
  • Original install location will no longer be searched for plugins after relocating builds. (Issue #363)
  • Fixed thread-safety issue where plugins with the same name but in different locations could be loaded twice. (Issue #358)
  • Fixed bug where layers that were muted via SdfLayer::AddToMutedLayers before they were first opened could not be unmuted.
  • Fixed bug in usdGenSchema where changing an existing property's type in a schema would not be reflected in the generated code.
  • Fixed bug where a large (> 1460) number of variants in a .usda file would cause a "memory exhausted" error when parsing that file.
  • Fixed broken pread mode for .usdc files.
  • Fixed bug that caused UsdStage::CreateNew to crash on Windows. (Issue #364)
  • Fixed bug when using a UsdStagePopulationMask with prims beneath instances. (Issue #312)
  • Fixed bug where setting float-valued attributes to +inf in Python would fail.
  • UsdAttribute::GetTimeSamplesInInterval now properly accounts for layer offsets. (Issue #352)
  • Internal references or empty asset paths no longer cause errors in UsdUtilsFlattenLayerStack.
  • Fixed bug where UsdGeomPrimvar::GetTimeSamples would miss time samples for indexed primvars.
  • Disabled tiny prim culling in Hydra by default. It can be re-enabled by setting the environment variable HD_ENABLE_TINY_PRIM_CULLING to 1. (Issue #314)
  • Fixed issues with using non-file-backed asset paths in various utilities and Maya and Katana plugins.
  • Houdini plugin explicitly links against required libraries to avoid runtime errors with Houdini 16.5.
  • Fixed several bugs with point instancing support in Houdini plugin.

[0.8.2] - 2017-12-01

Release 0.8.2 increments the file format version for .usdc files. New .usdc files created in this release will not be readable by earlier releases. See below for more details.


  • SdfCopySpec for copying scene description specs in layers.
  • Usd.GetVersion() for retrieving USD version in Python (Issue #306)
  • UsdProperty::FlattenTo for copying a UsdProperty's resolved metadata/values.
  • IsTyped and IsConcrete schema queries on UsdSchemaRegistry and UsdSchemaBase.
  • UsdCollectionAPI schema for representing collections of objects. This schema is more expressive than UsdGeomCollectionAPI and can represent large numbers of objects compactly.
  • Utility functions in UsdUtils for determining compact representations of objects for UsdCollectionAPI.
  • UsdUtilsCoalescingDiagnosticDelegate, a Tf diagnostic delegate that provides condensed output for diagnostic messages.
  • UsdUtilsFlattenLayerStack for flattening a UsdStage's layer stack into a single layer, as well as a --flattenLayerStack option to usdcat.
  • Support for named clip sets for clip stitching API in UsdUtils.
  • Schema for cards rendering in UsdGeomModelAPI and imaging support. This provides a lightweight way to collapse model hierarchies into simple geometry for visualization of large scenes.
  • Ability to encode familyType on owners of families of UsdGeomSubsets.
  • Size properties for UsdLuxDiskLight, UsdLuxSphereLight, and UsdLuxRectLight. (Issue #290)
  • Support for computing bounding boxes for UsdGeomPointInstancer instances using UsdGeomBBoxCache.
  • Support for residual GPU computations in Hydra.
  • Sheer display mode in Hydra, a 'see-through' display mode akin to the mesh being covered in a sheer mesh fabric instead of its regular surface. Implemented as a regular grid stipple pattern of the surface at 20% opacity.
  • Testing framework for usdview.
  • PxrUsdMayaXformStack for representing transform stacks in the Maya plugin.
  • Support for exporting Maya instancers to UsdGeomPointInstancers in the Maya plugin.
  • Support for exporting groups of objects with the same material binding as collections encoded with UsdCollectionAPI in the Maya plugin.
  • Support for vec4 primvars in the Katana plugin.
  • Support for point instancers with varying topology that don't have authored velocities in the Katana plugin.
  • Support for importing collections encoded with new UsdCollectionAPI schema in the Katana plugin.
  • Support for overriding data on a subset of point instancer instances in the Houdini plugin.


  • Build system now checks that the compiler being used supports 64-bit builds.

  • Tf diagnostic warnings and status messages issued in secondary threads are no longer printed to the terminal.

  • Multiple delegates may now be registered with the Tf diagnostic system.

  • SdfLayer::RemoveInertSceneDescription removes inert overs in variants.

  • When saving a new .usdc file over an existing file, data is first saved to a temporary file then renamed to the destination file. This provides some protection for other processes that were reading the old file.

  • Compression for structural sections in .usdc files is now enabled by default. New .usdc files will be marked as version 0.4.0 instead of 0.3.0 to accommodate a bug fix described below. This means that any new .usdc files created in this release will not be readable by previous USD releases.

    Users can disable the compression functionality by setting the environment variable USD_WRITE_NEW_USDC_FILES_AS_VERSION to "0.0.1". This will ensure new .usdc files will be readable in older releases.

  • UsdStage now uses the composed layer offset instead of its inverse when mapping times in layers to the stage. For example, to shift the time samples in a referenced layer stack forward by 10, users previously authored an offset of -10. Under the new behavior, users need to author an offset of 10 instead.

    Users can revert to the old behavior by setting the environment variable USD_USE_INVERSE_LAYER_OFFSET to 1. This will be deprecated in a future release.

  • UsdStage now allows a prim to be loaded without loading its descendants via a new UsdLoadPolicy argument supplied to UsdStage::Load and LoadAndUnload.

  • UsdInherits, UsdSpecializes, and UsdReferences now map non-root prim paths to the namespace of the edit target.

  • UsdAttribute::GetTimeSamplesInInterval now supports open/finite end points.

  • UsdClipsAPI now authors the dictionary-style clips metadata introduced in release 0.7.6 by default.

  • Schemas may now define fallback values for the majority of metadata fields, including custom metadata fields.

  • Schemas may now have more than 256 tokens defined.

  • usdedit now checks USD_EDITOR environment variable first when determining which editor to use.

  • Ongoing refactoring to move code from hd to hdSt in preparation for material support in Hydra and use of Hydra in other renderer backends.

  • Several performance optimizations in Hydra and UsdImaging.

  • usdview now uses a new JSON-based format for its settings file. Settings files from older releases will be ignored.

  • Several changes to provide better support for Viewport 2.0 in Maya plugin.

  • Enum attributes in Maya now have their integer values exported to USD instead of their descriptive names.

  • Improved attribute transfer on USD Unpack node in Houdini plugin.

  • usdvisible and usdactive attributes in Houdini plugin are now integers instead of strings.

  • Several changes to Houdini plugin for compatibility with Houdini 16.5 and improved HDK usage.


  • UsdGeomCollectionAPI, in favor of new UsdCollectionAPI.


  • TfDiagnosticNotice. The Tf diagnostic system no longer emits notices; consumers relying on these notices should use diagnostic delegates instead.
  • UsdGeomPointInstancer prototypeDrawMode attribute. Consumers should use the new drawMode attributes on UsdGeomModelAPI instead.


  • Issue where users were forced to define certain preprocessor macros in order to build code against USD. In particular, an issue introduced in 0.8.1 caused users who did not #define PXR_ENABLE_PYTHON_SUPPORT to run into odd errors at runtime. (Issue #304)
  • Bug that caused invalid .usdc files to be written. This affected all files with version 0.3.0; however, this file version was not enabled by default in release 0.8.1 and would only affect users who had explicitly enabled the new version via the USD_WRITE_NEW_USDC_FILES_AS_VERSION environment setting.
  • Precision loss when writing time sample times to .usda files.
  • Performance issue in UsdStage where memory would still be consumed by child prims after their parent prim had been deactivated.
  • Bug that caused UsdStage::ExpandPopulationMask to add invalid paths.
  • Bug that caused UsdObject::GetMetadata to not fill in resolved paths for asset-valued metadata.
  • Bug where layer offsets were incorrectly applied when authoring time samples.
  • Bug in UsdUtilsStageCache that led to crashes during static destruction.
  • Unpickable objects now act as occluders during picking in Hydra.
  • Bug that caused usdview to stop drawing after "Reopen Stage" or "Open Stage".
  • Bug that caused usdview to not play all frames if the step size was changed. (Issue #321)
  • Several performance and UI issues in usdview.
  • Crash in Maya plugin with nested assemblies and variant set selections. (Issue #288)
  • Bug in Maya plugin where exporting over a previously-imported layer failed.
  • Bug in Maya plugin that caused lights to flip between directional and non-directional in legacy viewport.
  • Various issues that prevented UsdKatana Python module from being imported. (Issue #323)
  • Material bindings above point instancer prototypes are now preserved in the Katana plugin.
  • Reworked how USD masters/sources are built in the Katana plugin so that material bindings use the correct Katana paths.
  • Hang in Houdini plugin when importing from variant paths. (Issue #309)

[0.8.1] - 2017-10-02


  • "append" and "prepend" operations for SdfListOp-valued fields. Scene description layers that contain these new operations will not be readable by earlier USD releases.
  • --validate argument to sdfdump for checking file validity.
  • Support for sub-root references and payloads.
  • Ability to specify amount of data to prefetch when reading a .usdc file via the USDC_MMAP_PREFETCH_KB environment variable.
  • Debugging output that shows memory mapping information for .usdc files. This can be enabled via the USDC_DUMP_PAGE_MAPS environment variable.
  • UsdGeomMotionAPI schema.
  • UsdGeomSubset schema for representing a subset of a geometric prim.
  • Hydra GL support for displacement shaders
  • Initial experimental support for PySide2 in usdview. By default, the build will search for PySide, then PySide2. Alternatively, users may specify PYSIDE_USE_PYSIDE2=TRUE to CMake to force the use of PySide2.
  • Ability to view connections and relationship targets in usdview.
  • Support for camera clipping range in Alembic plugin.
  • Support for array attributes with "RfM Shaders" shading mode in Maya exporter.
  • Support for angularVelocities attribute on point instancers in Katana plugin.
  • Filtered view and improved selection to Tree View panel in Houdini plugin.
  • Support for prototype offsets in point instancer exports in Houdini plugin.


  • Made Python dependency optional. Python support is enabled by default but may be disabled by specifying PXR_ENABLE_PYTHON_SUPPORT=FALSE to CMake or --no-python to

  • now requires that users install PyOpenGL manually. (Issue #264)

  • Replaced addedOrExplicitItems attribute on Sdf.*ListOp in Python with GetAddedOrExplicitItems method.

  • Renamed Append... methods on composition arc APIs (e.g. UsdReferences, UsdInherits) to Add... and added a position argument to support new "append" and "prepend" operations.

    Calling these functions with the default UsdListPositionTempDefault argument will author "add" operations, maintaining the previous behavior. We anticipate removing UsdListPositionTempDefault and replacing it with UsdListPositionFront so that "prepend" operations will be authored by default in 0.8.2. Users may enable this behavior now by setting the USD_AUTHOR_OLD_STYLE_ADD environment variable to false.

  • UsdStage now issues warnings for invalid layers it encounters instead of errors, which cause exceptions in Python.

  • Code generation templates and schema.usda files used by usdGenSchema are now installed as part of the build. Schemas can now use asset paths like "usdGeom/schema.usda" or "usdShade/schema.usda" instead of absolute paths to add installed schemas as sublayers. (Issue #158, #211)

  • Improved USD scenegraph instancing to allow more sharing of assets with inherits or specializes arcs. In one large example, this decreased stage load time by ~60%, stage memory usage by ~65%, and time to first image in usdview by ~20%.

  • Several optimizations to reduce I/O operations for .usda and .usdc files.

  • Add support for compressed structural sections in .usdc files. This can significantly decrease file sizes for files that are dominated by prim and property hierarchy; one production shading file decreased in size by ~94%, from 21 MB to 1.3 MB.

    Compressed files are marked as version 0.3.0 and are not readable by earlier USD releases. To help with transition, USD will not write these compressed files by default until a future release. Users may enable this feature now by setting the USD_WRITE_NEW_USDC_FILES_AS_VERSION environment variable to "0.3.0". We plan to add compression for geometry data and time samples in a future release.

  • UsdUtilsExtractExternalReferences now checks for references to external files in property values and metadata.

  • Increased precision for rotations attribute in UsdSkelPackedJointAnimation schema to 32-bit.

  • UsdGeomPrimvar now allows primvar names with arbitrarily-nested namespaces.

  • Sizeable refactor in Hydra to support sprims more like rprims in anticipation of future lights and material support.

  • Hydra no longer syncs rprims that are not visible.

  • Several performance and stability fixes to point instancer handling in Hydra.

  • "Reload All Layers" in usdview will try not to reset the camera or timeline.

  • Numerous other improvements to usdview.

  • The Alembic reader now converts single samples for properties in .abc files to single time samples in USD, instead of default values.

  • Updated required Katana version to Katana 2.5v1.

  • Improved bounds computations for point instancers in Katana plugin

  • Account for motion sample time overrides when computing bounding boxes in Katana plugin.

  • Improved stage cache in Houdini plugin, which can have significantly better performance in some circumstances.

  • Improved handling of instanced USD primitives in Houdini plugin.


  • UsdGeomFaceSetAPI and related API in usdShade and usdLux in favor of new UsdGeomSubset schema.


  • UsdStage::Close.
  • Camera zUp-related functionality
  • Support for faceVaryingInterpolateBoundary in UsdGeomMesh schema. See faceVaryingLinearInterpolation instead.


  • Bug in where specifying --no-embree did the opposite. (Issue #276)
  • Bug in where specifying --force-all or --force on a Python dependency would cause the script to error out early. (Issue #263)
  • Race condition between TfType consumers and TfType registry initialization.
  • Composition bug where references with the same prim path and relative asset path would be considered duplicates even when anchoring location differed.
  • Composition bug where payloads on arcs requiring ancestral opinions could result in errors.
  • Change processing bug when removing sublayers specified by search path.
  • Stack overflow crash when reading .usdc files due to excessive recursion.
  • Possible crash in Hydra when using basis curves.
  • Memory leak in Hydra task controller.
  • Build issue for Alembic plugin with HDF5 support disabled when precompiled headers are enabled (which is the default on Windows).
  • Several other bugs in Alembic reader.
  • Performance issue in Katana plugin due to inefficiency in UsdShadeNodeGraph.

[0.8.0] - 2017-07-29


  • Added option to for building monolithic shared library and for building new sample Embree plugin.
  • Added --mask option to usdcat, matching the --mask option in usdview.
  • Added CPU-side external computation support to Hydra.
  • Added Embree backend to serve as an example of how to add renderer plugins to Hydra.
  • Added camera gates to usdview.
  • Added ability to Houdini plugin to set active state via usdactive attribute and to write static data to default time via usdwritestatictopology, usdwritestaticprimvars, and usdwritestaticgeo attributes.
  • Added UsdExportAttributes hda to Houdini plugin for setting primitive and detail attributes which control various USD attributes or metadata.


  • Restored export of CMake targets from shared library builds.
  • Asset paths in .usda files may now contain any printable character. (Issue #73)
  • Legacy special behavior for variant sets named "standin" has been disabled by default.
  • Interpolation is now applied to time samples from clips when no sample exists at a specified clip time.
  • Removed deprecated UsdShadePShader schema.
  • Enabled vertex primvar sharing in Hydra. Hydra can now use significantly less GPU memory.
  • Many internal performance improvements to Hydra.
  • usdview HUD now shows the backend renderer plugin used by Hydra
  • Wireframe drawing now ignores opacity.
  • Katana plugin properly interprets schema-supported triangle subdivision rule when meshes are read in and rendered.


  • Fixed several issues in related to building dependencies. (Issue #225, #230, #234)
  • Fixed bug where UsdGeomPrimvar::IsIndexed() would not work for attributes with only authored time samples. (Issue #238)
  • Fixed small platform inconsistencies for Windows in Hydra.
  • Fixed crash in Katana plugin when using point instancers that did not have scales or orientations specified. (Issue #239)
  • Fixed issue in Houdini plugin where the "w" attribute was not converted to the "angularVelocities" attribute for point instancer prims.

[0.7.6] - 2017-06-30


  • Added build_scripts/ for building USD and its dependencies.
  • Added support for building static libraries or a single monolithic shared library. See for more details.
  • Added support for color spaces to Usd. Color configuration and management system can be specified on a UsdStage (via the stage's root layer), and colorSpace metadata is available on any UsdAttribute.
  • Added clip set functionality to Usd. This provides the ability to specify multiple sets of value clips on the same prim, which allows users to compose different sets of clips together. See UsdClipsAPI for more details.
  • Added initial UsdLux schemas for representing interchangeable lights and related concepts, and UsdRi schemas for Renderman-specific extensions. UsdImaging/Hydra support will be coming in a future release.
  • Added ability to specify smooth triangle subdivision scheme for catmullClark surfaces in UsdGeomMesh and imaging support in Hydra.
  • Added backdrops for node layout description in UsdUI.
  • Added support for sharing immutable primvar buffers to Hydra. This can greatly reduce the memory required on the GPU when displaying typical scenes. It is currently experimental and disabled by default. It can be enabled for testing with the environment variable HD_ENABLE_SHARED_VERTEX_PRIMVAR.
  • Added support for uniform primvars for basis curves in Hydra.
  • Added ability to Alembic plugin to control number of Ogawa streams used for each opened archive via the environment variable USD_ABC_NUM_OGAWA_STREAMS, which defaults to 4.
  • Added Katana plugin support for reading UsdLux lights.
  • Added --camera command line argument to usdview to specify the initial camera to use for viewing.
  • Added display of instance index and (if authored) instance ID to rollover prim info in usdview.
  • Added initial version of Houdini plugin.


  • Removed unnecessary dependency on OpenImageIO binaries.
  • Removed unnecessary dependency on boost::iostreams.
  • Made HDF5 backend for Alembic plugin optional. HDF5 support is enabled by default but may be disabled by specifying PXR_ENABLE_HDF5_SUPPORT=FALSE to CMake.
  • Metadata fields for value clips feature in UsdStage (e.g. clipAssetPaths, clipTimes, etc.) have been deprecated in favor of the new clips metadata dictionary. Authoring APIs on UsdClipsAPI still write out the deprecated metadata unless the environment variable USD_AUTHOR_LEGACY_CLIPS is set to 0. This will be disabled in a future release.
  • When using value clips, Usd will now report time samples at each time authored in the clip times metadata.
  • Completed support for encoding UsdShade data using UsdAttribute connections. Authoring APIs still write out the old encoding, unless the environment variable USD_SHADE_WRITE_NEW_ENCODING is set to 1. This will be enabled in a future release.
  • Removed support for deprecated UsdShade schemas UsdShadeParameter and UsdShadeInterfaceAttribute, which have been superseded by UsdShadeInput.
  • Removed deprecated UsdRiLookAPI, which has been replaced by UsdRiMaterialAPI.
  • Removed deprecated Hydra scene delegate APIs.
  • Significant refactoring and refinements to allow multiple backends to be plugged in to Hydra.
  • UsdImaging now pushes GL_DEPTH_BUFFER_BIT to avoid any potential state pollution issues when integrating it with other renderers.
  • Improved error handling in Hydra for:
    • Invalid point instancer input
    • Inconsistent displayColor and displayOpacity primvars
    • Direct instances of imageable prims
  • usdview more gracefully handles the situation where it doesn't get a valid GL context (e.g., due to limited resources on the GPU).
  • Improved how edits are handled on assembly nodes in the Maya plugin.
  • Improved UsdGeomPointInstancer support in the Katana plugin:
    • Overhauled methods for computing instance transforms and aggregate bounds.
    • Backward motion and multi-sampled point instancer positions, orientations, and scales are now supported.
    • Removed opArgs attributes that were used for configuring the reader's behavior.
    • More robust primvar transfer to point instancer's Katana locations.
    • Restructured prototype building logic to preserve material bindings when creating prototype prims.
  • Numerous changes and fixes for Mac and Windows ports.


  • Fixed issue that caused IDEs and other tools to find headers in the build directories rather than the source directories.
  • Fixed race condition in TfType.
  • Fixed long-standing memory corruption bug in Pcp that surfaced when building on MacOS with XCode 8.3.2.
  • Fixed potential deadlocks in Usd and Pcp due to issues with TBB task group isolation.
  • Fixed bug where UsdStage::Flatten was not preserving attribute connections.
  • Fixed infinite loop on glGetError in the presence of an invalid GL context. (Issue #198)
  • Fixed build issues that caused the Maya plugin to be unusable after building on MacOS.

[0.7.5] - 2017-05-01

C++ namespaces are now enabled by default. The PXR_ENABLE_NAMESPACES CMake option may be used to disable namespaces if needed.

This release adds initial experimental support for building the USD core libraries on Windows.


  • Added ability to build doxygen documentation. See for more details.
  • Added support for pre-compiled headers. By default, this is disabled for Linux and Mac builds and enabled for Windows builds. This may be configured with the PXR_ENABLE_PRECOMPILED_HEADERS CMake option.
  • Added many unit tests for core libraries
  • Added UsdStage::Save and UsdStage::SaveSessionLayers
  • Added attribute connection feature that allows consumers to describe connections between an attribute and other prims and properties.
  • Added instance proxy feature that allows consumers to interact with objects on a UsdStage as if scenegraph instancing were not in use while retaining the performance benefits of instancing.
  • Plugins providing Boundable schema types can now register functions for computing extents. This allows code in the USD core to compute extents for prims with types provided by external schemas.
  • Added support for specializes arcs to usdShade.
  • Added UsdUISceneGraphPrimAPI for representing prim display properties.
  • Added HD_DISABLE_TINY_PRIM_CULLING flag for TF_DEBUG to make it easier to turn off tiny prim culling for debugging.
  • Added support for generic metadata to GLSLFX, allowing hardware shaders to pass information to downstream rendering code.
  • Added ability to adjust basic material properties in usdview.
  • Plugins can now register MayaPrimWriter subclasses for exporting Maya nodes to USD prims.
  • Added ability to override default motion data (sample times, current time, shutter open/close) on a per-scope basis in Katana plugin. Users can author these overrides by modifying the global graph state, then decide to use the default motion values with or without these overrides applied.


  • Removed OpenEXR dependency from core libraries. Note that OpenEXR is still required for imaging.
  • Made Ptex dependency optional. It is only required if Ptex support for imaging is enabled. This is on by default, but can be disabled by specifying PXR_ENABLE_PTEX_SUPPORT=FALSE to CMake.
  • Cleaned up and expanded doxygen documentation:
    • Added documentation for value clips and scenegraph instancing USD features.
    • Enabled XML generation for external tools
    • Fixed invalid tags and formatting in several places
  • UsdTreeIterator has been replaced by UsdPrimRange, which provides container-like semantics in C++ (e.g., the ability to use them in range-based for loops).
  • Removed UsdPrim::GetPayload API
  • UsdRelationship and UsdAttribute will no longer forward target/connection paths that point to objects within instances to objects in master prims. Users can use the new instance proxy functionality to work with these paths instead.
  • Relationships belonging to prims in instances that point to the root of the instance no longer cause errors.
  • Value clip metadata can now be sparsely overridden across composition arcs.
  • Deprecated shading property schemas UsdShadeParameter and UsdShadeInterfaceAttribute. These are replaced by UsdShadeInput, which can represent both input parameters on shaders and interface inputs on node graphs.
  • The --compose command line parameter for usddiff is now --flatten
  • Numerous cleanup changes for Hydra API. In particular:
    • HdEngine::Draw has been retired in favor of HdEngine::Execute.
    • HdSceneDelegate::IsInCollection has been deprecated in favor of render-tag based API.
  • Meshes with subdivisionScheme = none will no longer be bilinearly subdivided.
  • usdview now displays prim hierarchies beneath instances inline in the browser. The "Jump to Master" command has been removed in favor of this new functionality.
  • The default specular response in usdview has been reduced by a factor of 5.
  • The Maya plugin now excludes attributes during import if they are tagged with customData specifying them as generated.
  • Numerous changes for ongoing Mac and Windows port efforts.
  • Changed scoping of built-out point instancer prototypes in Katana plugin so that their hierarchy more closely matches the original USD hierarchy.


  • Added workaround to avoid redefined "_XOPEN_SOURCE" and "_POSIX_C_SOURCE" macro warnings due to Python includes on Linux. (Issue #1)
  • Fixed issue where code would be generated directly into the install location when running cmake, interfering with the use of make's DESTDIR functionality. (Issue #84)
  • Fixed memory leak when converting Python tuples to C++ GfVec objects.
  • Fixed thread-safety issue with PCP_PRIM_INDEX and PCP_PRIM_INDEX_GRAPHS TF_DEBUG flags. (Issue #157)
  • Fixed invalid memory access bug in Pcp
  • Fixed memory leak when saving .usdc files.
  • Fixed bug with removing an attribute's last time sample in a .usdc file.
  • Fixed bug where instance prims with locally-defined variants would incorrectly share the same master prim.
  • Reader-writer locks are now used for various registry to improve performance.
  • Improved speed of adding an empty sublayer to an opened stage. In one large test case, time to add an empty sublayer went from ~30 seconds to ~5 seconds.
  • Fixed issues with opening .usda files and files larger than 4GB on Windows. (Issue #189)
  • Fixed backwards compatibility issues with UsdShadeInput and UsdShadeConnectableAPI.
  • Memory footprint has been significantly reduced in Hydra's adjacency tables for subdivs that contain vertices of high valence.
  • Fixed crash in imaging due to invalid textures.
  • Fixed shadow banding artifacts when using vertex color with basis curves.
  • Fixed buffer overrun when using GPU smooth normals.
  • Fixed issue in Maya plugin where multiple assemblies that reference the same file might all be affected by the edits of one particular assembly when viewing them via a proxy.
  • Fixed issue in Maya plugin where path resolution was being done by the plugin itself rather than deferring to Usd and Sdf.

[0.7.4] - 2017-03-03

USD now supports C++ namespaces. They are disabled by default in this release to ease transition, but we anticipate enabling them by default in the next release.

Specify the PXR_ENABLE_NAMESPACES CMake option to enable namespaces. See documentation in for more details.


  • Added GfHalf type to represent half-precision numeric values. This type is currently an alias to the "half" type supplied by the ilmbase library USD is built against. This will be changed in an upcoming release to point to a version of "half" that is included in the USD codebase, which will allow us to remove the USD core's dependency on ilmbase.
  • Added UsdShadeInput class to represent shader or NodeGraph input. These are encoded as attributes in the "inputs:" namespace. By default, this encoding will not be written out via UsdShadeConnectableAPI unless the 'USD_SHADE_WRITE_NEW_ENCODING' environment variable is set.
  • Added "Composition" tab to usdview that allows users to inspect the composition structure of a selected prim.
  • Added tests for Hdx. These tests are currently not run as part of the unit test suite, but are being included for users to try on their platforms and to serve as example code.
  • Added icons for the USD assemblies in Maya.
  • Added initial implementation of Katana plugin for reading UsdGeomPointInstancer locations.


  • CMake module now additionally looks for the pyside-uic binary under the name pyside-uic-2.7 to accommodate package managers on OSX.
  • Removed GLUT dependency.
  • Removed double-conversion dependency.
  • Modified all uses of "half" type from ilmbase to use new GfHalf type.
  • Renamed UsdShadeSubgraph to UsdShadeNodeGraph to conform with final MaterialX terminology.
  • Numerous changes for in-progress work on refactoring Hydra to support render delegates.
  • Updated UI in usdview to display legends for text coloring in collapsible panes and to include more information.
  • The import UI in the Maya plugin now enables reading of anim data by default.
  • Updated API in Maya plugin that referred to "look" to "material".
  • Numerous changes for ongoing Mac and Windows porting efforts.


  • Fixed several issues when building with C++ namespaces enabled.
  • Fixed bug with selection highlighting for instanced prims in usdview.
  • Fixed crash that occurred when an invalid color primvar was encountered while using usdview's "simple" renderer.
  • Fixed issue with TF_REGISTRY_DEFINE* macros that caused build failures for the Maya plugin on OSX. (Issue #162)

[0.7.3] - 2017-02-05


  • Added support for RelWithDebInfo and MinSizeRel release types.
  • Added initial support for C++ namespaces. This feature is currently experimental but can be enabled by specifying the PXR_ENABLE_NAMESPACES option to CMake. See documentation in for more details.
  • Added population masking to UsdStage.
    • Consumers can specify what parts of a stage to populate and use to reduce resources used by the stage.
    • usdview now has a --mask option allowing users to view just the specified portion of a stage.
  • Added UsdPrim API for collecting relationship targets authored in a given prim subtree.
  • Added UsdShade API to allow creating and connecting outputs on subgraphs and shaders instead of terminals.
  • Added support for bool shader parameters in Hydra. (Issue #104)
  • Added ability to independently toggle display of geometry with purpose=proxy in usdview.
  • Added initial set of unit tests for pxrUsd library in the Maya plugin.
  • The Maya plugin now supports multi-sampling of frames during export.
  • Attributes in Maya may now be tagged to be converted from double to single precision during export.
  • Alembic tagging for attributes in Maya are now respected during export. This includes support for primvars and custom prefixes.
  • Added support for playing back animation in assemblies via Hydra when the Playback representation is activated in Maya.
  • Added support for reading material references in Katana plugin.


  • CMake will no longer look for X11 on OSX. (Issue #72)
  • The build system now uses relative paths for baking in plugin search paths, allowing for relocatable builds as long as all build products are moved together as one unit.
  • Removed hard-coded /usr/local/share directory from plugin search path.
  • Optimized creation of prim specs in Sdf. Creating 100k prim specs previously took 190s, it now takes 0.9s.
  • SdfPath::GetVariantSelection now returns a variant selection only for variant selection paths.
  • UsdStage no longer issues an error if requested to unload a path that does not identify an unloadable object.
  • Changed API on UsdInherits, UsdReferences, UsdRelationship, UsdSpecializes, UsdVariantSet, and UsdVariantSets for clarity.
  • Hydra GPU compute settings have been consolidated under a single HD_ENABLE_GPU_COMPUTE environment setting which is enabled by default if the OpenSubdiv being used supports the GLSL compute kernel.
  • Numerous changes for in-progress work on refactoring Hydra to support render delegates.
  • Changed 'Display' menu in usdview to 'Display Purposes...' and menu items to match USD terminology.
  • Updated required Maya version to Maya 2016 EXT2 SP2.
  • Normals are now emitted by default when exporting polygonal meshes in Maya.
  • Katana plugin now supports deactivating prims directly on UsdStage for improved efficiency.
  • Continued work on deprecating UsdShadeLook in favor of UsdShadeMaterial.
  • Numerous changes for ongoing Mac and Windows porting efforts.
  • Changed coding style to use symbol-like logical operators instead of the keyword-like form (e.g., '&&' instead of 'and').
  • Various cleanup changes to fix comments, compiler warnings, and to remove unused/old code.


  • Fixed composition bug where nested variants with the same name were composed incorrectly.
  • Fixed composition bug where variant selections from classes were not being applied in certain cases. (Issue #156)
  • Fixed .usda file output to write out floating point values using the correct precision and to use exponential representation for values greater than 1e15 (instead of 1e21) to avoid parsing issues.
  • Fixed bug where negative double values that could be represented as floats were not stored optimally in .usdc files.
  • Fixed bug where UsdPrim::Has/GetProperty would return incorrect results.
  • Fixed bug where UsdObject::GetMetadata would return incorrect results for dictionary-valued metadata in certain cases.
  • Fixed bug where reading certain .usdc files while forcing single-threaded processing via PXR_WORK_THREAD_LIMIT would lead to a stack overflow.
  • Fixed missing garbage collection for shader and texture resource registries in Hydra.
  • Several fixes for nested instancing support in Hydra (native USD instances containing other instances or point instancers, etc.)
  • Fixed "Jump to Bound Material" in "Pick Models" selection mode in usdview.
  • Fixed bug where USD assemblies would not be drawn in Maya under VP2.0.
  • Workaround for performance issue when drawing proxies in Katana plugin.
  • Fixed issue causing USD Alembic plugin to fail to build with Alembic 1.7. (Issue #106)
  • Various other bug fixes and performance improvements.

[0.7.2] - 2016-12-02


  • Added ability to apply a custom prefix to shared library names by specifying the PXR_LIB_PREFIX option to CMake.
  • Added ability to disable tests by using the PXR_BUILD_TESTS option with CMake.
  • usddiff can now diff two directories containing USD files.
  • Value clips on a prim may now be specified using 'template' clip metadata. This is a more compact representation for simple cases where each value clip corresponds to a single time code.
  • Better support for non-file-backed asset resolution
    • Made ArDefaultResolver public, so that subclasses can layer behavior on top of it.
    • Added ArResolver API for retrieving files from data store when needed.
  • Initial version of UsdGeomPointInstancer schema and preliminary support in usdImaging.
  • pxrUsdReferenceAssemblies in Maya can now import animation from a USD scene. See for details.
  • Core USD metadata (e.g. hidden, instanceable, kind) now roundtrips through Maya, stored as "USD_XXX" attributes on corresponding Maya nodes.


  • Removed dependency on Qt. Note that PySide is still a dependency for usdview.
    • Removed imaging/glfq library as part of this work.
  • Modified variant behavior in composition:
    • Variants may now be nested within other variants in scene description. Nested variants may be authored by using nested UsdEditContext objects returned by UsdVariantSet::GetVariantEditContext.
    • Weaker variants may now introduce variant selections that affect stronger variants. Previously, these selections would be ignored and the variant fallbacks would be used instead.
  • Optimized .usdc file format performance in certain cases:
    • Output is buffered in memory to improve write times for layers containing many nested dictionaries. In one such example, wall-clock time improved by ~64% and system time improved by 89%.
    • Time samples are now written out grouped by time to improve read performance for frame-by-frame access patterns.
  • Several optimizations to improve USD scenegraph authoring and composition speed and reduce memory consumption. In some use cases, we observed:
    • ~5-7x less memory consumed by Pcp dependency tracking structures
    • ~40% less time spent to author large stages
  • Exporting USD from the Maya Export window now produces binary .usd files by default instead of .usda files.


  • Fixed bug where edits to a layer opened in Maya would persist when reopening that layer in a new scene.
  • Fixed issue where exporting USD from the Maya Export window would produce files ending with ".usda", even if a different format was specified. The exporter should now respect any extension that is entered, so long as the "Default file extensions" option is turned off.
  • Fixed several issues with example plugins being improperly built, making them unusuable, and missing functionality.
  • Various other bug fixes and performance improvements.

[0.7.1] - 2016-09-21


  • UsdMaterial schema for shading, intended to replace UsdLook. Also added support for this new schema to Hydra.
  • Initial version of UsdUI schema library, intended for encoding GUI information on USD prims.
  • Parallel teardown of some data members in UsdStage, speeding up overall teardown by ~2x.
  • Support for packed vertex normals to Hydra, reducing GPU memory consumption by 20-30% in some cases.
  • Ability to compare two composed stages to usddiff by specifying the "--compose" or "-c" options.
  • Support for soft-selection for collapsed USD assemblies in Maya.
  • Support for exporting color sets and UV sets as indexed primvars from Maya.


  • Refactored Hydra libraries to move higher-level concepts out of the core hd library and into hdx.
  • Removed use of opensubdiv3/ include path from imaging code in favor of standard opensubdiv/ include.
  • Modified UsdStage to automatically load newly-discovered payloads if their nearest ancestor's payload was also loaded. For example, consumers will no longer have to explicitly call UsdStage::Load to ensure payloads are loaded when switching variants on a prim, so long as their nearest ancestor is also loaded.
  • Refactoring and other changes to help with Mac and Windows ports.
  • Updated doxygen and other documentation.


  • Fixed issue that caused Alembic plugin (usdAbc) to be misconfigured at build time, which required users to manually update its plugInfo.json and set an environment variable at runtime to make it work. This plugin is now installed to $PREFIX/plugin/usd/ and requires no additional steps to use once it has been built.

  • Fixed issue with .usdc files that resulted in corrupted files on Windows. The file structure was changed, so the .usdc version has been bumped from 0.0.1 to 0.1.0. USD will continue to write 0.0.1 files by default, but will begin writing 0.1.0 files in the near future.

    Users may choose to write files with the new version immediately by setting the environment variable USD_WRITE_NEW_USDC_FILES_AS_VERSION to "0.1.0".

    Note that 0.0.1 files are still readable using this release, except for those that have been generated on Windows using 0.7.0. Early testers on Windows will need to regenerate those files with this release.

  • Fixed issue that caused usdGenSchema to generate files that could not be compiled.

  • Added a workaround for TBB-related issue in Maya that caused hangs when using the USD Maya plugin. This can be enabled at build time by specifying the PXR_MAYA_TBB_BUG_WORKAROUND option to CMake.

  • Various other bug fixes and performance improvements.

[0.7.0] - 2016-08-01

Initial release