Over the years Pixar's has developed outstanding technology for rendering 3D fur and hair, technology which has been proven during the production of movies like Monsters Inc, Ratatouille, and Up. This very same fur & hair technology is part of Pixar's RenderMan.
From feature films to television commercials to independent animated shorts ... fur is no longer optional. Fortunately, Pixar's RenderMan excels at rendering fur ... because it's a problem Pixar has devoted a lot of thought to. RenderMan has been optimized to shade and light hundreds of thousands of furs very realistically.
Pixar's RenderMan has a feature called Sigma Hiding, which may sound mysterious, but essentially it is an option that can be enabled to render small sub-pixel geometry, like fur, using smart techniques that Pixar has developed during its own productions. With Sigma Hiding images can be rendered more efficiently and have fewer artifacts, a direct example of a production driven feature.
Rendering fur with RenderMan could not be easier. Without any extra setup you can render fur and hair directly from Autodesk's Maya with RenderMan for Maya or RenderMan Studio. RenderMan Studio is also compatible with Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut.
Render fur directly from Maya
Rendering a lot of fur is one thing, making it look good is an entirely different problem, and Pixar's RenderMan is capable of creating highly realistic and believable fur with unique features like Deep Shadows and Point Based Occlusion.
King Kong 2005 © 20th Century Fox
To render King Kong in the image above, Weta Digital created their own custom RenderMan fur shader to get the exact look that director Peter Jackson wanted.
Pixar's RenderMan has a special primitive for fur and hair, called the riCurve. This allows fur to be rendered along with the rest of the geometry in a scene (i.e. fur is not a post-process). This allows the fur to be anti-aliased, motion blurred and shaded correctly. Also because of the way RenderMan handles geometry, fur is always rendered as smooth curves, so you'll never have to worry about segments.
Deep Shadows are special type of shadow map that can capture translucency, motion blur, and also be filtered to create smooth shadows. When used with fur and hair, Deep Shadows can create highly realistic results for a low cost (compared to ray tracing shadows on fur).
Create all kinds of interesting fur effects using RenderMan® Studio™. Animate Maya® Fur and Maya® Hair using dynamics or keyframe animation — With RenderMan for Maya and RenderMan Studio you can render Maya Fur and Hair seamlessly.
Different Maya Fur effects rendered with RenderMan for Maya
Use the powerful Maya Fur and Hair tools, adjust the many Maya Fur parameters, and then render with in Pixar’s RenderMan. Each fur is rendered in software rendering, just like the rest of the objects in the scene. It is not a post process. With RenderMan you get fur with proper anti-aliasing and motion blur.
Fur can be groomed and animated
TM & © 1986 - Pixar. All Rights Reserved.