Using the renderer can be broken down into three basic stages, essentially the How, What, and Why of your rendering workflow:
The renderer can also be used interactively in RIS mode, taking advantage of its progressive refinement capabilities to allow users to edit virtually all elements in a scene on the fly. RIS mode also supports two methods of "picking up where you left off", via render recovery and checkpointing.
PRMan provides powerful diagnostic tools for understanding what happened in your render, why it took the time it did, used that amount of memory, et cetera. RPS 19 now includes a streamlined, comprehensive view of your rendering statistics, including charts and graphs, because a picture is worth a thousand words.
The results of rendering and re-rendering - the renderer produces final "beauty" images as well as an array of "secondary" outputs (also known as Arbitrary Output Variables, or AOVs). PRMan's RIS mode supports a number of built-in AOVs as well as Light Path Expressions, which allow for an extremely flexible means of capturing specific light transport paths in a single output.