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.
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.