Pixar Animation Studios announced two major releases of its Academy Award-winning RenderMan software, RenderMan Studio 1.0 and RenderMan for Maya 2.0, together with a new licensing policy delivering major performance increases on multi-core computers.
RenderMan Studio is a major expansion of Pixar's next-generation render tool suite for the advanced professional, including a "pro" version of the RenderMan for Maya plug-in, major enhancements to the Slim graphical RenderMan shader editor, the Alfred dispatcher for managing network rendering, the "it" image compositing tool and unrestricted RIB generation. RenderMan Studio 1.0 directly interfaces with Pixar's RenderMan Pro Server 13.0, and an optional floating internal RenderMan Embedded Renderer is also available for either render preview or final output.
In a major upgrade, RenderMan for Maya 2.0, Pixar's advanced rendering plug-in for Maya, introduces powerful multi-threading, substantial increases in ray-tracing performance, improved fur, new camera effects, caustics, point based global illumination and compatibility with Maya 8.5.
Additionally, both RenderMan Studio 1.0 and RenderMan for Maya 2.0 incorporate a new licensing policy permitting up to four threads or four parallel renders per host machine, potentially quadrupling performance or more on a per frame basis.
"While developing RenderMan Studio the Pixar team was highly responsive to our requests" said Alain Xerri, head of R&D at Sparx-FX, "Fur especially is so much more memory efficient and flexible. If you need to customize RenderMan Studio to accommodate your special needs there are no limits for your development skills."
"One of the things that blew me away about RenderMan for Maya 2.0 is the massively increased speed" said Ryan Bird of Bluebird Digital Llc., "In fact, it was so much faster that I thought something was broken. After carefully looking over my final rendered image and seeing all that great quality my excitement jumped through the roof."
Together with RenderMan Pro Server, RenderMan for Maya and RenderMan Studio complete a family of RenderMan products built on a common technology base providing entry points and upgrade paths suitable for every level of user.
RenderMan for Maya 2.0 is available on Windows XP and Mac OS X for $995 per license. Pricing for RenderMan Studio 1.0 starts at $2,000 per license and is available on Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. Upgrades from RenderMan Artist Tools 6.5 to RenderMan Studio 1.0 are free to all RenderMan Artist Tools customers on current maintenance.
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co., is an Academy Award-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES and CARS, the Northern California studio has won 20 Academy Awards and its seven films have grossed more than $3.7 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The next film releases from Disney-Pixar are RATATOUILLE (June 29) and WALL*E (June 27, 2008).