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Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 22

New release delivers interactive performance and state-of-the-art features, laying the groundwork for integration with Universal Scene Description technology.

RenderMan 22 includes advanced lighting technology used on Pixar’s own animated feature films, including ‘Finding Dory,’ ‘Cars 3,’ ‘Coco,’ and ‘Incredibles 2’ (pictured above).

EMERYVILLE, CA -- Pixar has released RenderMan 22, the highly anticipated new version of the Academy Award-winning 3D rendering software for animation and visual effects. This major release is focused on artist productivity, improved data management, and advanced new features. With version 22, RenderMan redefines production rendering by delivering photorealism with new artistic controls, enhanced interactivity, and robust scalability for feature film.

Major updates to the core architecture allow RenderMan to support “live rendering” at every stage of the pipeline, providing fluid feedback for fast artist iteration. These dramatic improvements to interactive workflows enable new kinds of collaboration throughout the filmmaking process, and will transform traditional pipelines. The latest release also includes advanced lighting technology used on Pixar’s own animated feature films, including Finding Dory, Cars 3, Coco, and Incredibles 2. Pixar research and development provided important new features for producing superior imagery faster, and the latest version of RenderMan delivers the groundwork for USD (Universal Scene Description), a new technology for scene management also developed at Pixar Animation Studios.

RenderMan artist tools for Autodesk’s Maya, Foundry’s Katana, and SideFX Houdini have all been comprehensively updated for version 22. These upgrades make live rendering faster and more robust while also supporting entirely new kinds of interactive edits: modeling, animation, grooming, and more. Additionally RenderMan’s Preset Browser and library of materials will now ship with all bridge products for easy sharing of materials, lights, and textures. New Maya and Katana interfaces are available immediately, with Houdini integration available shortly.

“The new RenderMan technology is already changing our pipeline,” said Pixar CTO Steve May. “We are moving to take full advantage of its interactivity and scalability. New workflow options will also open as we add direct RenderMan integration with Pixar’s Universal Scene Description. RenderMan will play a critical role during this rapidly evolving industry move to adopt USD.”

“Artist freedom and productivity are both critical to large scale productions” said SVP Technology & Infrastructure, Production Services Damien Fagnou, “MPC Film chooses RenderMan because it is always driven forward by the requirements of real productions, and the latest release reflects that. It is a platform that provides great artistic versatility, scalable productivity, and inventive technical solutions that support the team in delivering ground breaking visuals for major feature films.”

“RenderMan allows us to innovate in unique ways as a studio,” said Kevin Baillie, founder and VFX Supervisor at Atomic Fiction. “It allows us to achieve a director’s vision more effectively as a result. Version 22 is an amazing evolution of what is, in my opinion, already the best tool for the job. We are excited to get our hands on it!”

Pixar will be demonstrating the new version of RenderMan in a series of presentations at the upcoming ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 conference in Vancouver.

RenderMan version 22 is available for download at for customers on maintenance. Individual licenses of RenderMan are available for $595, and $250 for yearly maintenance. This new pricing reflects market adjustments and Pixar’s increased investment in RenderMan development. Quantity discounts are available. Researchers, individual artists, and students creating non-commercial projects will have access the Non-Commercial RenderMan release shortly after SIGGRAPH.

Source: Pixar Animation Studios