Autodesk open-sources Aurora, a real-time path tracing renderer for USD

SIGGRAPH 2022 – the pre-eminent computer graphics conference – was held in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, and with it came a slew of USD-centric announcements such as this one from NVIDIA. It’s really impressive to see how computer graphics hardware and software companies are rallying behind this open source initiative.

Autodesk is no exception: after having open-sourced a web-based USD viewing implementation, earlier this year, Autodesk’s big USD-centric SIGGRAPH announcement related to the open-sourcing of a real-time path tracing renderer for USD called Aurora.

For those who don’t know how path tracing works, here’s a fun explainer courtesy of Disney:

Aurora makes use of your GPU to provide noise-free, interactive rendering with super-low latency. It does this by harnessing hardware-based ray tracing that’s now available in most modern GPUs (you may have heard of NVIDIA’s implementation of this under the moniker RTX). The real-time denoising is performed by

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