Siggraph Presentation

This guide will be officially introduced at Siggraph 2023 - Houdini Hive on Wednesday, 9. of August 2023 at 11:00 AM PST.

Usd Survival Guide

Deploy Documentation to GitHub Pages

This repository aims to be a practical onboarding guide to USD for software developers and pipeline TDs. For more information what makes this guide unique, see the motivation section.

Siggraph Presentation

This guide was officially introduced at Siggraph 2023 - Houdini Hive. Special thanks to SideFX for hosting me and throwing such a cool Houdini lounge and presentation line up!



This guide is licensed under the Apache License 2.0. For more information as to how this affects copyright and distribution see our license page.


Before starting our journey, make sure you are all packed:

  • It is expected to have a general notion of what Usd is. If this is your first contact with the topic, check out the links in motivation. The introduction resources there take 1-2 hours to consume for a basic understanding and will help with understanding this guide.
  • A background in VFX industry. Though not strictly necessary, it helps to know the general vocabulary of the industry to understand this guide. This guide aims to stay away from Usd specific vocabulary, where possible, to make it more accessible to the general VFX community.
  • Motivation to learn new stuff. Don't worry to much about all the custom Usd terminology being thrown at you at the beginning, you'll pick it up it no time once you start working with Usd!

Next Steps

To get started, let's head over to the Core Elements section!


This guide primarly uses Houdini to explain concepts, as it is one of the most accessible and easiest ways to learn the ways of Usd with. You can install a non-commercial version for free from their website. It is highly recommended to use it when following this guide.