News | RenderMan Receives IEEE Mileston...

RenderMan Receives IEEE Milestone Award


EMERYVILLE, CA - 8 December 2023 - RenderMan® receives the prestigious IEEE Milestone Award for pioneering work in computer graphics, marking a momentous milestone for Pixar’s flagship renderer.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s most prestigious engineering society. For nearly 40 years, the History Committee of the IEEE has bestowed its Milestone Award to significant historical achievements in engineering. Dozens of Milestone Awards have been dedicated, going all the way back to Alexander Graham Bell’s work on voice transmission over electrical wire, Thomas Edison’s work on incandescent lighting, the breaking of the German Enigma cipher machine codes, and more recently, the invention of holography, the development of WiFi, and superconductivity at high temperatures.

IEEE’s award reminds us of the revolutionary work started at Pixar in 1981 by visionaries Tom Porter, Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith, Loren Carpenter, Rob Cook, Pat Hanrahan, Tony Apodaca, Darwyn Peachey, and Jim Lawson, who gave exciting presentations about the history of RenderMan at Pixar Animation Studios.

It was a day of insightful technical presentations highlighting landmark moments in computer graphics, including historic collaborations between Pixar and Industrial Light & Magic for pioneering films such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Abyss, Toy Story, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and more.

This historic day was broadcast via livestream and is now available on demand.

The IEEE plaque presented to Pixar is now accessible to the public and reads:

“RenderMan® software revolutionized photorealistic rendering, significantly advancing the creation of 3D computer animation and visual effects. Starting in 1981, key inventions during its development at Lucasfilm and Pixar included shading languages, stochastic antialiasing, and simulation of motion blur, depth of field, and penumbras. RenderMan®’s broad film industry adoption following its 1988 introduction led to numerous Oscar®s for Best Visual Effects, and an Academy Award of Merit Oscar® for its developers.”

The IEEE website for Pixar's RenderMan Milestone at details the technical basis for this prestigious recognition.


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