NVIDIA’s SDK Available as Open Source

The new open source NVIDIA MDL SDK gives developers the capability to expand and adapt MDL to specific needs.

NVIDIA’s Material Definition Language software development kit is now offered as open source.

MDL software—a set of tools that integrate the look and feel of real-world materials into rendering applications—has been supported by developers. It gives end users the ability to share physically based materials and lights between supporting applications.

For example, an MDL material created in Allegorithmic Substance Designer can be saved to a library and then used in any other supporting application, like Adobe Dimension CC. Users can build a library of these materials once and be confident they’ll maintain their appearance as they move between applications in a workflow.


The new open source NVIDIA MDL SDK gives developers the capability to expand and adapt MDL to specific needs. They can add more functionality, work across more applications, exploit new platforms, port it to iPad or Android, create new backends and more.

With full access to the MDL language, developers can feel at ease building applications around the format as they have unrestricted access to the entire spec.

Developers' Input

Allegorithmic has already built an entire MDL authoring tool as part of their Substance Designer application. With the MDL source, they have deeper access than ever before.

Adobe has already adopted NVIDIA MDL in Dimension CC for 3D designers.

“At Adobe, we’re very focused on the flow of creative content across the value chain, from initial concept through design all the way to marketing and sales,”said Ross McKegney, director of engineering at Adobe Dimension CC. “We’ve adopted physically based materials based on NVIDIA MDL across all of our next-generation 3D products and services as a robust and elegant way of expressing materials that look the same wherever they are used.”

Open source NVIDIA MDL SDK is available through NVIDIA here.

For more info, visit NVIDIA.

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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