Faster than a speeding pixel ...
All Rights Reserved. Image Courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic
Pixar's Core Rendering Technology
RenderMan® is the same software that Pixar uses to render its own feature film animation. It’s a high performance renderer built to tackle the most complicated 3D imaginable ... with production-hardened technology that is stable, reliable, and flexible. RenderMan® delivers breathtaking results again and again.
Photorealism – Pixar's RenderMan is capable of producing highly realistic images with a system of physically based shaders and lights.
Performance – Render the largest scenes with efficiency
Quality – Create the highest quality images possible with features like advanced filtering and true 3D motion blur
Control – The RenderMan Shading Language and Pixar's 3D data format (RIB) offer many opportunities to develop solutions for any type of creative challenge
Today RenderMan is a hybrid render offering not only the latest advancements in ray tracing, but also excelling in those areas that have been the traditional strengths of RenderMan: displacements, motion blur, extreme memory efficiency, and unmatched flexibility. RenderMan allows these different techniques to be integrated in created ways (from pure ray tracing to pure scanline rendering with the REYES). At Pixar we know that every production presents new challenges and surprises, and RenderMan has been developed to handle whatever comes next.
Versatile Re-Rendering System
The process of shading and lighting is a well-known production bottleneck which RenderMan addresses with a system for re-rendering that is built right into the core renderer. This system offers two re-rendering modes to handle everything from pre-visualization to complex final frames. Used not only at Pixar but at studios around the world, RenderMan's re-rendering system is a proven production tool, which is increasing the productivity of shaders and lighters everywhere.
Physically Plausible Shading
With the recent addition of Physically Plausible Shading, RenderMan delivers highly realistic lighting with minimal setup, including full support for multi-bounce ray traced global illumination and ray traced subsurface scattering. New additions to the shading language and enhancements to the core renderer make these traditionally expensive effects a production reality. Pixar's latest feature film, Monsters University, showcases this physically based system.
Deep Textures have helped revolutionize compositing. In a deep texture each pixel contains all the samples in Z-space (making it "deep"), allowing edges to be filtered correctly with any composited elements, including traditionally problematic effects like depth of field. RenderMan is capable of generating deep textures, which can be used with a compatible compositor (like The Foundary's Nuke).
Render Passes For Compositing
RenderMan lets you smoothly integrate special effects into film by accurately simulating the behavior of physical cameras, and providing easy methods of breaking a visual effect down into secondary passes for compositing. RenderMan's motion blur and depth-of-field use a patented anti-aliasing technique that blurs synthetic images so they realistically simulate their conventionally filmed counterparts. Pixar's multi-segment motion blur even lets you approximate the nonlinear motion of objects — spinning, for example — within a single frame.
Fast and Dependable
Pixar develops RenderMan for production, so every version is faster and more reliable than the previous one. In fact, because Pixar uses RenderMan exclusively, the software has already been pushed to the extreme, so it's ready to render anything you can throw at it.
Tools of the Trade
RenderMan is not only fast and powerful, it also possesses a wealth of sophisticated features for the creation of a vast range of styles and effects. These features of RenderMan give you all the controls you need to complete your vision, wherever it may take you.
Use RenderMan to create any look you need. From simulating traditional 2D animation to creating complex yet subtle environmental effects, RenderMan will deliver.
Call RenderMan Anytime
The RISpec (RenderMan Interface Specification) consists of more than 100 attributes and options that you can call to control what's happening in your 3D scenes. The calls include camera controls, modeling transforms, quality settings, and a wide variety of rendering and display attributes. Automatically send these calls to RenderMan Pro Server from a plug-in like RenderMan Studio, create your own DSOs to generate this 3D data procedurally, or simple hack a RIB file. RenderMan offers many points in the render workflow to create and manipulate your scenes.
Unleash the Power of Shaders
RenderMan’s Shading Language (RSL) is the key to achieving the precise visual effects you’re after ... RSL allows you to create any look you can imagine. It’s highly extensible and programmable — you can even write functions in C/C++ and link them dynamically to RenderMan. And because RenderMan’s Shading Language is procedural, it avoids the resolution and projection difficulties encountered in traditional texture mapping. It lets you create realistic effects you can’t possibly produce photographically and offers support for arbitrarily complex surface shaders, light sources, atmospheric effects, and surface displacement.
RenderMan's Bag of Tricks: Utilities
RenderMan Pro Server includes a number of utilities for working with point clouds, brick maps, shadow maps, textures, and shaders. These practical tools are able to process extremely high-resolution images and complex datasets.
The RenderMan Interface Specification
Pixar has developed the RISpec as a standard interface between animation software and renderers. The standard establishes a format to describe 3D data so different renderers can read the same files, such renderers are called "RenderMan compliant." Pixar's RenderMan is a powerful implementation of a renderer using this standard.
RenderMan® Pro Server™ 17.0 is supported on the following operating systems:
64-bit Mac OS X®
Compatible with Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion
Compatible with gcc 4.1 and glibc 2.5 or higher
Compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7
RenderMan Pro Server is fully multi-threaded, allows unlimited threads per seat.