Material layer assignment USD Composer


Trying to figure out the best way to assign materials in the layer stack.

Currently I am using a delta on a LookDev layer to overwrite a material assignment to the model below it.

However in this video there does not appear to be a delta? The lookdev is simply overwriting the layers below…

There isn’t much explanation of how this is setup…what is the best way to assign materials? are most people using a delta, and on which layer? or are you structuring your USD files to simply overwrite lower layers (if so, how do you do this?)

@edwardweb this video on Layers by Paul Kind has a pretty thorough explanation, though, in my opinion.

i suppose the real question is are you getting the result that you are after? whilst it’s important to organize your layers and embed local adjustments, everybody’s workflow will be slightly different. i know it probably doesn’t answer your question, but likely the layers would be structured differently from person to person, and maybe even studio to studio. if you are solo and whatever you are getting is what you are after, maybe that’s sufficient? the process of finding out what works for you could take time because you can get super granular about what each layer does for maximum flexibility or choose to bulk your changes into a few layers as possible.


That’s good to hear.
Yes, I am getting the results I am after which is good.
The video by Paul Kind does use a delta to assign the material, which is encouraging.
I suppose my concern was more “am I doing this incorrectly, because my process was not the same as (one of) the Nvidia workflow videos?”

If there’s nothing inherently wrong with my current workflow, I’ll continue using it.

Although I’d still be interesting in understanding the “delta-less” workflow…along with many other people posting comments on that youtube video ;)


the reason why the video you linked didn’t include the delta on the reference of "ref_material"is because Peter structured his layers in such a way that “ref_material” layer was intended to override the “ref_model” layer but only applicable to materials and not the mesh. therefore, he didn’t need to make any changes when he’s in the actual “bridge” or “ref_material” file. if he had done that, he would definitely see the delta then.

what was easy to overlook, in my opinion, was when he was showing his folder structure in the content browser. he has subfolders such as “Material” and “Model”, and within each of those folders contain USD files with respective pipeline’s iteration. these iterations already have proper params dialed in for either the model or the material prim (the prim names were likely matched exactly between the model and material USD files). so when he’s in the “bridge” file, he can drag the latest iteration from each folder as layers without it appending additional prim and keep the hierarchy consistent throughout.

i was able to make a rough mockup of his setup, and the logic is sound. but whether or not you need to do that depends on how far down the pipeline you are willing to breakdown your USD or how many concurrent artists will be working on the asset/scene. if it helps, head on over to Discord and i can walk you through.


I like the video you posted and also the tutorial video Simplychenable posted. I’ve watched both videos a few times. My workflow seems to follow the video you posted since I watched that one first.

Load a USD Asset Layer…
Make a Delta Layer/File…
Make the Delta layer the “Authoring” layer…
Add materials and positioning, etc.

Making the Delta layer the “Authoring” layer always screws me up…I always forget to turn it ON or turn it back OFF to the ROOT layer.

To be honest I’m not sure what’s the “best” way…I’m used to a detailed layer structures in Autocad, 3DS Max and Photoshop so I like the structured layers. But, since I work solo and not in a team of designers it seems like way to much organization for 1 person. I’ll try and post a screen shot of my layer structure…I just don’t think I need so many, But, it will be nice if I ever want to change my Blimp material from “Goodyear” to “Metlife” etc. or fly 2 blimps around all using just 1 Blimp USD Asset with all Materials/Positioning done in Master Assembly scene.

Hello Markb3d,

If you still need it, I made a little video about this process that I hope shows exactly how to get the result I was after (automatically assigning a material to a usd when both files are imported without needing to use a delta anywhere).

anyway, if you still have questions let me know!


Great tutorial edwardweb

Poor Cube has 3 personalities. :) in your final example.

Again, great job on the video.

I need to get myself a Lighting Team, Looks Team, Animation Team.