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Pixar Releases RenderMan V25

Newest version includes enhanced technology features such as advanced denoising powered by machine learning, reaching new milestones in support for volumes, secondary passes, and performance for feature film animation and VFX.

Pixar Animation Studios today released version 25 of RenderMan, the company’s award-winning technology for rendering animation and visual effects. The latest version features advanced denoising technology, using machine learning from Disney Research to transform the rendering process. Additionally, this major release delivers enhancements for production rendering with new creative controls for stylization, robust scalability, and increased integration with Pixar’s USD (Universal Scene Description). Finally, RenderMan XPU reaches new milestones with support for volumes, secondary passes, and pure performance for feature film animation and VFX.

According to Pixar, RenderMan’s advanced denoising technology uses a novel approach to harness machine learning, resulting in unprecedented leaps in quality and speed.

Developed by Disney Research in collaboration with Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Animation Studios, this state-of-the-art technology has already seen heavy use in production, including every Pixar film since Toy Story 4. The Denoiser excels at preserving fine details, like hair and scratches, which have traditionally been challenging for other denoisers. In addition, it has dramatically reduced render times for both feature animation and VFX.

“The new Denoiser has transformed our studio pipeline allowing shots to be rendered which would otherwise be impossible,” said Pixar CTO Steve May. “Bringing this new technology to the RenderMan community will transform pipelines and help inspire artists across the industry.”

RenderMan artist tools for Autodesk’s Maya, Blender, Foundry’s Katana, and SideFX Houdini are updated in version 25, including support for the VFX Reference Platform 2021. More physically accurate results are possible with updates to the MaterialX Lama shading system, with a range of non-photorealistic imagery enabled with new artistic features for RenderMan Stylized Looks. Additionally, this release delivers new materials for artists, including new material libraries and production-ready assets.

“I’m super impressed with the quality of the deep-learning denoiser from Disney Research, its multi-frame denoising is fantastic for animation and VFX work - really helps in reducing our render times," said Will Earl, Head of Lighting and Optimization at MPC.

“Denoising of CG imagery is the most perfect use-case for neural processing imaginable, and the results prove it: they're perfection!” said Mitch Prater, LAIKA Shading Technology Supervisor.

Check out the new features on the RenderMan 25 Feature Reel:

RenderMan version 25 is now available for download. Visit for additional information.

Source: Pixar Animation Studios

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.