Pixar releases Photorealistic Renderman 3.9 and Renderman Artist Tools 4.0

Point Richmond, California-based Pixar Animation Studios has announced thatit is releasing version 3.9 of PhotoRealistic RenderMan, its AcademyAward-winning visual effects software, and version 4.0 of the completeRenderMan Artist Tools suite. The new software version, scheduled forshipment in September, makes RenderMan easier and more powerful forcreative artists, and for the first time provides support for rendering onrender farms running the Windows NT operating system. Some other advancedfeatures of PhotoRealistic RenderMan 3.9 are implicit surface geometricprimitives (sometimes known as blobs or metaballs) that support advancedfeatures such as user control of blending, texturing and motion blur; andmemory and speed improvements that allow for faster curves, area shadowsand texture mapping, and better performance on complex scenes. The newRenderMan Artist Tools 4.0 software suite includes: SLIM, the shaderdevelopment system, which enables artists to create RenderMan shaders; MTOR2.0, the RenderMan Plugin to Maya 2.0, which associates RenderMan shaders,lights and cameras with a Maya scene, as well as supporting all Mayageometry types; ALFRED 4.0, a scriptable network job distribution system,which is fully integrated into MTOR 2.0 and available for customapplications; ALFSERVER, a new companion server bundled with Alfred, whichallows Alfred jobs to launch renderers and other applications remotely onWindows NT, with no additional software required, and also monitorssite-defined performance and server health metrics.