News | Pixar Animation Studios Releases...

Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 22.5

Featuring advancements in interactivity and industry collaborations

EMERYVILLE, CA - May 8th 2019 - Today Pixar released RenderMan version 22.5, featuring a completely rewritten RenderMan for Houdini plugin along with important new features and performance gains. 


  • RenderMan for Houdini Rewrite
  • Adaptive Sampling Fixes (up to 10% to 15% faster)
  • Interactive displacement
  • Interactive volume density
  • Collaboration with Intel to accelerate OSL

RenderMan For Houdini

Pixar's brand new RenderMan for Houdini plugin has been completely rewritten to support the latest interactive workflows in RenderMan 22. RenderMan's greatly improved integration with Houdini includes interactive modeling, shading, and lighting.

RFH Highlights

  • Full support for geometry: curves, points, volumes, meshes, and packed primitives.
  • Interactive placement and deformation of geometry
  • Interactive editing of lights and cameras
  • Interactive manipulation of light filters
  • Support for Material Builder shader networks using RenderMan’s shading nodes
  • Interactive Render Region support
  • Support for rendering to Houdini’s native mplay framebuffer and renderview
  • Texture Manager - Automatic texture conversion to Pixar’s texture format.
  • Preset Browser - Collaborate with Maya and Katana by importing and exporting shaders, light rigs, and HDRI maps
  • Check out the full feature set here:


  • Available starting with RenderMan 22.5
  • Plugin is available for download from Pixar on supported Mac, Linux, and Windows OS
  • Compatible support for Houdini 17.5.173, 17.0.506, and 16.5.634
  • *Houdini Indie support to be available with an upcoming future 17.5.229 release

RFH Testimonials

The new plugin is excellent. The integration is tight, it makes it easier than ever for our Houdini artists to work in Renderman! We're all very excited to see the Houdini/RenderMan workflow get better and better!”  
- Chris Rydalch, Production Technology Technical Director, Blue Sky Studios

Pixar’s USD

Universal Scene Description (USD) is Pixar’s open source file format & API for describing CG scenes & data in a ‘composed’ manner to facilitate concurrent workflows across multiple applications & artists. RenderMan and USD are the backbone of Pixar’s production pipeline and RenderMan Development is working closely with Pixar’s USD team to make USD a first class citizen within RenderMan.  

RenderMan USD Support - Near Term (June):

  • Starting with USD 19.07 (a June release) we will provide the RenderMan Hydra Delegate that will work with RenderMan 22.5.  It will be a part of the github source code so anyone will be able to compile it + use it wherever they are using Hydra. Out of the box this includes usdView, but in reality will be any tool built on top of Hydra.  We're working with ILM and MPC on this.

RenderMan USD Support - Long Term (Targeting late 2019):

  • The ability to load USD archives in RenderMan similar to traditional RIB Archives.  
  • Supporting for rendering USD directly with RenderMan, i.e. with the command "prman myfile.usd".  These latter two will likely arrive in close proximity, but the final delivery date is still to be determined.


Pixar and Intel collaborated to bring hardware acceleration of OSL to RenderMan version 22.5. RenderMan now provides fully enabled SIMD hardware acceleration of CPU intensive OSL operations.  Previous experimental work on this capability has been significantly updated for production use at Pixar and is now enabled by default.

  • Senior developers at Intel, Pixar, and Sony Pictures Imageworks collaborated on this important project.
  • This new OSL implementation shipping in RenderMan 22.5 includes parallel execution of the entire shading network on Intel’s SIMD hardware.  It dynamically schedules concurrent operations on 8 or 16 data points in a single CPU instruction depending on available CPU capabilities.
  • These vectorized OSL capabilities are available in RenderMan today, and the source code is available upon request while the collaborators work to contribute it to the open source OSL project.
  • Pixar has seen up to 2x faster full renders and faster time to first pixel on production assets, with 15% average speedups measured on a variety of real scenes using the power of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel® AVX-512 and AVX2).

OSL Testimonials

“We are excited to launch RenderMan 22.5 with a new feature: SIMD hardware acceleration of OSL.  With this new capability, we’ve seen up to 2x faster full renders, and 15% average speedups on a wide range of Pixar scenes using Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel Advanced Vector Extensions. Our joint development work with Intel and Sony Pictures Imageworks will be integrated into the open source OSL project to benefit all of its users.”  
-David Laur, RenderMan Business Director

About Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation.  The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Cars, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL•E,  Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, Inside Out, and  Coco. Its movies have won 35 Academy Awards® and have grossed more than $11 billion at the worldwide box office to date.  Incredibles 2, Pixar’s 20th feature, opened in theaters on June 15, 2018.


Pixar & RenderMan are registered trademarks of Pixar Animation Studios.
Maya is a registered trademark of Autodesk Inc.
Katana is a registered trademark of Foundry.
Houdini is a registered trademark of  SideFX.

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