Pixar makes new friends

Updates and partnerships give the Renderman line a boost.

Pixar is a regular at Siggraph. The show is a good recruiting resource for the company, and there is true love for the company’s movies and technologies. Renderman is a standard, but it doesn’t have the lock on the industry it once did, and new ren­dering companies are springing up like mushrooms. Pixar’s Renderman is an important topic in the Siggraph technical papers, but not as much on the show floor, or that was true until this year, anyway.

New this year from Pixar is Renderman On Demand cloud rendering service. It works on Linux, Mac, and Windows starting at 70 cents per core per hour. (Source: Disney/Pixar).

This year Pixar introduced new Ren­derman versions and spin-off products. It introduced the latest Renderman Studio 4.0, Renderman Pro Server 17.0, and its brand-new Renderman On De­mand cloud rendering service.

There are a lot of new features in Renderman Studio, including interactive relighting tools for Maya scenes for customers who have Renderman Pro Server, and there’s support for Maya Fluids. Pixar has updated the Render­man interface, added support for tight­ly bound light/co-shader combinations, and improved scripting tools including Slim scripting.

Autodesk has forged closer relation­ships with Renderman, which comes as Nvidia has restructured its Mental Images division and many key peo­ple have left. In June, Autodesk and Pixar announced that Renderman for Maya would be combined with Render­man Studio in a $1,300 package that includes a fully functional embedded renderer.