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22 Mar 2016

Pixar readies RenderMan 21

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Over 25 years and still going strong Over 25 years and still going strong Pixar/Disney

Pixar’s RenderMan team continues to build on the foundations of its revitalised industry standard renderer, with version 21 now in beta.

When not fully justifiable crowing about ILM’s use of RenderMan on the latest Star Wars escapade, Pixar’s RenderMan team is also busily refining and building on the foundations laid by the switch to a new RIS-based architecture in version 18 of its industry-standard software. With version 20 on general release, the team is now inviting users to apply for participation in a beta test of the next iteration.

Described as a ‘game changing release’, RenderMan 21 will introduce more than 60 new features. Some of the key upgrades announced so far are aimed at Maya users, with a full redesign of the Maya user interface and the introduction of a new material and light rig preset browser. Pixar’s own movie experience has also directly influenced the featureset, with new lights workflow featuring the same lights used by the studio itself, along with new advanced materials as used in Pixar’s own productions.

Other improvements and additions including an improved RenderMan for Katana live render experience, built in OSL with support from Maya and Katana, a new and improved displacement window, volume rendering performance enhancements, deformation motion blur, plus GPU-accelerated de-noise.

Beta access is due to be available to all commercial customers on Pixar’s active maintenance scheme. No word yet on when it’ll be rolled out for all users. The beta access request page is availablehere.

 


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Mark Ramshaw

Mark has been pushing pixels for 34 years in one form or another. He started out as a games programmer and computer book author, before going on to edit and write for a wide range of film, technology, arts and music magazines - interviewing everyone from Ray Harryhausen and H.R. Giger to Gareth Edwards and Terry Gilliam along the way.

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