Free Non-Commercial RenderMan FAQ
Learn how you can use RenderMan for free for non-commercial use
Q: When is the free Non-Commercial RenderMan available?
Final release will be at the same time as the impending commercial version of RenderMan. (v19.0) We are currently beta testing and look forward to making RenderMan available to you when we have concluded quality testing. In parallel, we are currently testing the process through which you will be able to obtain access. When Non-Commercial RenderMan is ready for download, we will send you a further email notification with exact instructions on how to access the software.
Q: Can I register in advance to receive Non-Commercial RenderMan?
Yes. You can register here in advance for your free copy of Non-Commercial RenderMan when it is released.
Q: What will Non-Commercial RenderMan do?
Pixar's RenderMan is the premier professional rendering software used by talented creators and studios large and small to generate the photorealistic visuals used in the majority of visual effects movies and many animated features, including all of Pixar's films. RenderMan is responsible for the final look and appearance of the imagery that you see on screen. Additional insight into what RenderMan does can be found here.
Q: Can RenderMan be used on its own to create movie animation?
No, RenderMan itself is not an animation system and requires scene data from compatible CG modeling and animation software or other sources to generate photorealistic images. RenderMan is most commonly used with well known CG authoring solutions such as Autodesk's Maya, Maxon's Cinema4D, Side Effects Houdini, and The Foundry's KATANA.
Q: What additional CG authoring solutions will be compatible with Non-Commercial RenderMan?
A number of third-party developers are currently working on compatibility with popular authoring solutions for RenderMan, including Blender and Lightwave.
Q: What skills will I need to use Non-Commercial RenderMan?
As professional rendering software at the leading edge of technical development, familiarity with CG modeling, animation, lighting, and rendering concepts is important to properly utilize RenderMan's capabilities. If you are not familiar with the process of creating and rendering images, we suggest becoming familiar with one of the CG authoring solutions listed above.
Q: Will the Free Non-Commercial RenderMan be restricted in any way?
No. There is only one RenderMan and the free Non-Commercial RenderMan will be exactly the same as the commercial version used by creative artists the world over, offering full and complete access to its capabilities. The only limitation is that upon acceptance of the EULA upon installation, the software is only thereafter used for non-commercial purposes.
Q: How does Pixar define "non-commercial" use?
Simply, any usage of RenderMan that does not generate direct profits. Examples of non-commercial usage include evaluations, personal projects, learning, student and academic use, experimentation and research.
Q: Are there any exceptions to the "non-commercial" use rule?
There are two significant exceptions to the non-commercial use rule. Indirect activities such as personal images or clips posted on YouTube / Vimeo that may generate advertising revenue are permitted. Please include a credit that your work was rendered with RenderMan. Non-Commercial RenderMan can also be used as a platform on which you can develop commercial tools and plug-ins. If you are uncertain as to whether your requirement qualifies as non-commercial, please contact email@example.com for clarification.
Q: What learning materials will be available when Non-Commercial RenderMan is released?
Full internal reference documentation is being prepared, and RenderMan University on Pixar's RenderMan website is being updated to provide multiple examples of how to solve various challenges in rendering including tutorials, case studies, and samples. Additionally, a number of third party trainers are working on new learning materials, and the community support forum will be a natural source of advice and help.
Q: Will I need to call Pixar directly to access free Non-Commercial RenderMan?
No, Non-Commercial RenderMan will be accessible from the RenderMan website by automatic registration and download.
Q: How many licenses of the free Non-Commercial RenderMan will I be able to access?
A single Node-Locked license is provided free of charge for each RenderMan forum user name.
Q: What is the process through which I will access a Non- Commercial RenderMan license?
When Non-Commercial RenderMan is released, you will be emailed instructions to connect to a webpage from which you will download the software. Once downloaded, you will install the software on your machine, after which a license application will request your forum username and password. If you have not previously licensed RenderMan on that machine, a license will be downloaded to the proper place for Non-Commercial RenderMan to properly function.
Q: Will I be able to copy Non-Commercial RenderMan to another machine once it is installed?
No, each Non-Commercial RenderMan license is attached to the machine that you originally selected.
Q: What if I need a large number of Non-Commercial RenderMan licenses?
After release, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org where we can help you with your needs.
Q: Are floating licenses available?
No. Only node-locked licenses are available for free Non-Commercial RenderMan.
Q: What if I want to use Non-Commercial RenderMan for commercial purposes?
Simply contact us at email@example.com, and we will register you as a commercial user. We have a number of attractive custom packages for your requirements.
Q: What operating systems will be supported by Non-Commercial RenderMan?
Mac OS 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux will all be supported. Details of operating system compatibility along with version compatibility with common authoring applications will be posted on the download webpage.
Q: Will Non-Commercial RenderMan support GPU's?
GPU's will not be supported in the upcoming release due to the fluidity of the current development landscape. However, GPU's are an important aspect of the future direction of rendering that we are working on, some of which Pixar has already demonstrated in public. As the technology matures for comprehensive production usage in RenderMan, we will reveal more when ready.
Q: Who will help with installation problems for Non-Commercial RenderMan?
The Non-Commercial RenderMan forum will be the central source of help and advice on installation and any other questions you may have.
Q: Why is Pixar making RenderMan free for Non-Commercial use?
This is a strategic and long-term commitment by Disney / Pixar to the advancement and dissemination of the production industry's most advanced rendering technologies and the interchange of assets in common formats. First, RenderMan going forwards is the conduit through which applicable rendering and image processing technologies developed within Disney / Pixar research will be channeled into the public domain to establish a common platform for production, research and development, trials and experimentation, and other applications. Second, it is Pixar's experience that limitations on software access have become an impediment to the development of the production industry, and that universal access and a set of common standards and practices can only stimulate further growth. Third, existing trial and evaluation methods of providing access through watermarked or time-expiration licenses are profoundly unsatisfying for proper evaluation. The resources and technology now being invested in RenderMan are of superior quality unduplicated anywhere, and will continue to anticipate the needs of film production imagery as Pixar has over the past 25-years. Providing RenderMan for free for non-commercial use represents the commitment of Disney / Pixar that RenderMan is the long-term film rendering standard.
Q: Where can I find more information about RenderMan?
For questions related to RenderMan, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our specialists will help you learn more about Pixar's RenderMan.