© Eugene Riecansky

Tutorials | RenderMan Fundamentals

RenderMan Fundamentals


Learn how to get the best out of Pixar’s RenderMan and take your VFX, animation, and motion graphics projects to the next level, in this new series of Official RenderMan Training.

This educational series will not only give you the confidence to apply the practical fundamentals of RenderMan, including materials and lights, but will also approach topics in a creative manner. The aim of this course, presented by award-winning artist and director Eugene Riecansky, is to give your projects extra visual edge and creativity, while inspiring you to become a more creative 3D artist.


Our certified instructor, Eugene Riecansky, is based in London and has over 25 years of experience working in the music, film, and motion graphics industry for some of the worlds biggest clients, bands, and studios.

Eugene has worked closely with Pixar Animation Studios to channel his wealth of knowledge in this exciting and inspiring official training series, RenderMan Fundamentals, with the lessons being released in regular installments, so stay tuned for more coming soon!


Getting Started with RenderMan


Installation of the Non-Commercial version of RenderMan and getting up to speed with a RenderMan KickStarter, including how to create your own RenderMan shading and lighting libraries with the Preset Browser and using those across your projects, studio, and DCCs.

  • RenderMan Installation & Maya Setup

    This lesson is all about installing the NCR version of RenderMan and getting it up and running inside of Maya.

  • Katana Setup

    Learn how to get up and running with RenderMan inside of Katana.

  • Houdini Setup

    Learn how to set up RenderMan for Houdini and check if everything is working correctly.

  • Understanding the Shelf

    Let’s explore all the options within the RenderMan Shelf inside of Maya.

  • Exploring the RenderMan Menu

    In this lesson, I'll be walking you through the various options within the RenderMan menu.

  • RenderMan Kickstarter

    It's time to get some rendering going with this kickstarter. I’ll take you through the process of starting with a base scene, adding some shaders, dropping in some lights, and introducing you to the preset browser. We’ll finish it off with a final render.

  • Preset Browser pt.1

    In this first lesson, you'll learn the basics of the RenderMan Preset Browser and how to create your own shader libraries to use across multiple projects, share with others, and also across RenderMan DCCs.

  • Preset Browser pt.2

    In this second lesson about the RenderMan Preset Browser, I’ll be demonstrating how to create your own RenderMan shader and lighting libraries.

  • Exploring IT, RenderMan's Image Tool

    Learn how to use RenderMan’s Image Tool, or IT, and fire up your interactive rendering sessions.

  • RenderMan Viewport

    In this lesson, you’ll learn how to get up and running with RenderMan’s interactive viewport within Maya for your look-development work.

  • Using Maya's Renderview

    If you prefer to work within Maya’s RenderView window, then this lesson will get you up and rendering.

Pixar Surface Material & Patterns


Introduction to the PxrSurface and it’s flexibility to create not only amazing photo-real materials, but also breaking reality with non-physical materials through the use of Patterns and Textures.

  • Overview

    This lesson will give you a fundamental overview of the amazing Uber shader that ships with RenderMan, PxrSurface

  • Diffuse

    In this lesson, we'll explore how to correctly use the Diffuse lobe within the PxrSurface material and when to linearize your ACEScg or sRGB texture maps.

  • Artistic Specular

    The first of two lessons about the Specular lobes in the PxrSurface. This lesson guides you through how to work in Artistic mode.

  • Physical Specular

    In the second lesson about the Specular lobes in the PxrSurface, we will be taking a look at the Physical mode and how you can use scientific values to create realistic metals.

  • Conductors & Dielectrics

    Understanding the difference between Conductive and Dielectric materials is important in creating beautiful and realistic shaders. This lesson will give you all the fundamentals you need to know to get started.

  • Iridescence

    In this lesson, we'll explore the Iridescence parameter and all the interesting ways you can use it

  • Fuzz

    Learn how to apply realism to your fabrics, plus using Fuzz to add dust and fine powder to your assets.

  • Glass

    In this first Glass lesson, you’ll learn all the fundamental parameters within the Glass lobe.

  • Glow

    This lesson is all about Glow and how you can use it within your scenes.

  • Bump & Normal Mapping

    In this lesson you’ll learn how to correctly use Bump and Normal maps within RenderMan. We’ll look at using the flexible per-lobe bump parameters for added creative possibilities.

  • ACES Color Management

    OpenColorIO and the ACES color space are cutting-edge standards for improving every artist’s creative toolset. This lesson demonstrates the visual benefits of ACES and shows you how to get setup and rendering with ACEScg in RenderMan.


Coming Soon


Pixar Lights and lighting techniques

Learn the basics of the Pixar Lights and how you can use real world reference to help craft and light your CG shots.  You’ll learn how to wrangle your lights as though they were real, through to creative and inspiring lighting setups.

Camera

Learn to treat your CG camera like a real camera, with practical on set examples and how you can apply those within RenderMan and your next project. You’ll learn everything from rendering beautiful DOF through to digital cinematography techniques which will bring your scenes to life.

Rendering

Being able to deliver your work on time is vital and understanding how RenderMan works is important to being able to render the very best shots you can. Learn the basics of the Render Settings, AOVs, and Sample & Display Filters. We’ll also learn how to harness the power of Denoising and Checkpointing.


Eugene Riecansky

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About the Author

After 28 years of creating films, motion gfx and CG for brands such as Red Bull, Pixar Animation Studios, Jim Carrey, Massive Attack, Maxon, Vivienne Westwood, The Prodigy & Madonna, Eugene has now turned his focus to inspiring and mentoring like minded creatives by helping them achieve their creative goals & ambitions.

News | Check out our new official RenderMan Fundamentals training!