Tech Specs

Deployed at the most demanding studios, RenderMan and Tractor have the power and reliability to achieve your creative vision

Get RenderMan

The Creator © 20th Century Studios

Modern Physically-Based Rendering

RenderMan offers a combination of unbiased and biased rendering techniques which provide both accuracy and technical efficiency

State of the Art

RenderMan version 26 features major updates to interactivity and scalability, thanks to significant advancements to Pixar’s next-generation renderer, RenderMan XPU

RenderMan 26 also features an interactive version of the advanced machine learning Denoiser from Disney Research. This release also sees enhancements in the features and user experience of Stylized Looks, notable speed increases in instancing workflows, and expanded compatibility with the newest 3D applications, making it a comprehensive update for professionals in the industry.


Today there are many options for integrating RenderMan into VFX pipelines, including solutions from Pixar for Autodesk Maya®, The Foundry KATANA®, SideFX Houdini®/Solaris, as well as Blender®. For lighting and look development, RenderMan offers a state-of-the-art system for interactive rendering that is capable of dramatically increasing the throughput of production scenes while allowing artists to focus on their art.

This intuitive system for creating photoreal and stylized looks, allows artists to create the most versatile and unique imagery conceivable.

Production-Ready Light Transport

Uni-Directional Path Tracer

The most used integrator, ideal for outdoor lighting and large direct light sources, this industry standard unidirectional path tracer combines samples from materials at hit points with light samples to estimate direct lighting, then spawns additional rays to handle indirect lighting.

The path tracer ships with source code for further customization.

Bi-Directional Path Tracer

For scenes problematic for unidirectional path tracing, the bi-directional Path Tracer, also called VCM integrator, can save the day. In addition to tracing paths from the camera, bi-directional path tracing also sends rays from light sources and then connects them. VCM can resolve complicated indirect paths and caustic effects that may be prohibitively slow to converge with unidirectional path tracing. Ideal for rendering interiors.

Pixar Unified

Pixar Unified offers both unidirectional and bidirectional path tracing which can be controlled on a per-light basis, so you get the best of both. It also delivers state-of-the-art light path guiding based on work from Disney Research for computer learning. The Pixar Unified integrator also contains functionality for quickly resolving caustic paths, a technique called Manifold Next Event Estimation, allowing caustic paths to resolve much quicker.

“The AI Denoiser has transformed our studio pipeline allowing shots to be rendered which would otherwise be impossible"

- Steve may, Pixar CTO

Custom Development

RenderMan's robust APIs provide all the necessary tools for studios to write their own integrators and materials, allowing development teams creative and non-destructive freedom to experiment with cutting-edge technology.

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers © Disney.



Multi-Threaded and GPU Ready

To maximize interactivity, RenderMan has great scalability on machines with many cores and provides fast look-development workflows with XPU™.

Additional Features

  • GPU + CPU hybrid rendering for look development
  • Layerable Materials from Industrial Light & Magic
  • Non-Photorealistic rendering
  • Live statistics and instrumentation
  • Pixar Unified Integrator
  • Unique Unbiased Path Traced Subsurface Scattering
  • Physical and Artistic Hair Shading
  • True Opacity
  • Dispersion
  • Importance, Blue Noise, and Adaptive Sampling
  • OSL Patterns
  • Programmable AOV and LPE passes
  • DeepEXR Data Support
  • Cryptomatte Support
  • Watertight Displacement
  • Interactive Displacement Edits
  • Daylight Simulator
  • Analytic Area Lights
  • Gobos, Blockers, Filters, Portals
  • Emissive Geometry
  • Global Light Sampling
  • Interactive Lighting and Look Development
  • Maya Fluids, OpenVDB
  • Multi-lobe Bump and Normal mapping
  • GGX and Beckman specular
  • Tilt-shift, chromatic aberration, rolling shutter
  • Texture and Light Baking
  • Occlusion integrator and pattern
  • Light temperature
  • IES profiles
  • For more see the Release Notes


Out of This World Innovation

Developed specifically for animation and VFX, this release is continuing to raise the bar for look development and industry collaborations.

The Future is Here!

Version 26 delivers great improvements to interactivity with the interactive version of RenderMan's machine learning Denoiser. RenderMan XPU, Pixar’s next generation renderer, also shows great advancements, including expanded support for shot lighitng.

Open Standards

In 1988 RenderMan established an open standard to describe 3D data: the RenderMan Interface Specification (the RISpec). Since then, Pixar has continuously developed RenderMan to push the limits of the core technology while helping to adopt and promote new standards for the creation of high-end visual effects and animation. In today's continued efforts, RenderMan supports many open standards, among them: Alembic, OpenColorIO, OpenEXR, OpenSubdiv, OpenVDB, OSL, SeExpr, Ptex, UDIM, USD

Cross Platform

RenderMan and all its plug-ins are made for the three main operating systems: Linux, OSX, and Windows.

RenderMan Components

RenderMan DCC Plugin
The Interface

RenderMan is built specifically for every plugin to take advantage of the application's maximum potential

RenderMan Pro Server
The Engine

RenderMan Pro Server crunches the data generated by your application plugin and renders the image.

Willow © Disney.

Operating System Compatibility

64-bit Linux

CentOS/RHEL 7.2-7.9

64-bit macOS

macOS 10.15 - 13.x

64-bit Windows

Windows 10 and 11

DCC Compatibility





Hardware Requirements


RenderMan and XPU require a processor with AVX capabilities.


RenderMan XPU and the Optix denoiser require an Nvidia graphics card of Pascal architecture or above. 


RenderMan needs a minimum of 8GB of RAM and XPU needs a minimum of 12GB of VRAM. 


VFX Reference Platform: CY2023. Custom plugins can utilize C++ 17 and must be compiled with gcc 9.3.1

Robust and Modern UX

Derived from years of experience, Tractor is a modern and robust solution for network rendering, capable of scaling up to the largest render farms.

Cross-Platform and Web Based

Tractor is packaged for each operating system, containing all of the Tractor components you will need, though each machine may only use a subset

Tractor Highlights

  • Powerful scripting interfaces
  • Native Maya Integration
  • Flexible resource-sharing controls
  • Python module extensions
  • Minimal computational footprint
  • Streamlined installation
  • Major user interface enhancements
  • Open web standards
  • HTML5 support
  • VFX Reference Platform 2023
  • For more see the Tractor Overview

Tractor System Requirements


Central job queue, installed on one host only. C++, Python, Postgresql (bundled). Linux 64-bit (gcc4.4), MacOS (12.x+).


Task execution server for render farm hosts. Pure Python (2.7 / 3.x). Linux-64, MacOS 12.x+, and Windows 7+.


Web-based user interface, job browsing, and control. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. No platform-specific plug-ins required.

Job Author/Query

Job submission, advanced scripting API, and command line tools. Pure Python (2.7 / 3.x). Linux-64, MacOS 12.x+, and Windows 7+.

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