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Pixar Animation Studios has announced a series of innovations in the latest version of its upcoming Academy Award-winning RenderMan software.
The company says it will offer a generational shift in RenderMan that "establishes an entirely new modular rendering architecture called RIS that provides highly optimized methods for simulating the transport of light through multiple state of the art algorithms, including an advanced Unidirectional Path Tracer and a Bidirectional Path Tracer with Progressive Photon Mapping (also known as VCM)." Along with major feature and performance enhancements, physically-based, artist-friendly workflows, progressive re-rendering, and the established advantages of RenderMan’s traditional REYES architecture, RenderMan now offers two rendering modes within one unified environment, providing the most advanced, versatile, and flexible rendering system available.
Pixar Animation Studio says that RIS represents a forward-looking framework through that Pixar can deploy additional rendering methodologies as they become available. RenderMan is the conduit through which applicable advanced research from within the Walt Disney organization will be channeled into the production industry, including in the forthcoming release, Disney’s Principled BRDF shader and supporting materials.
What's more, Pixar is announcing that,in conjunction with the upcoming release, free non-commercial licenses of RenderMan will be made available without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions. Non-commercial RenderMan will be freely available for students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use. Those interested in exploring RenderMan’s new capabilities are invited to register in advance on the RenderMan website (http://renderman.pixar.com/view/renderman) to access a free license for download upon release.
Effective immediately, Pixar is also announcing that the price of the current version of RenderMan is US$495 per license for commercial use, with customized peak render packages offering built-in "burst render" capability. The upcoming RenderMan release will combine the functionality of the previously separate RenderMan Pro Server and RenderMan Studio through a flexible license.
The new RenderMan is being released in the timeframe of SIGGRAPH 2014 and will be compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems: Mac OS 10.7 amd higher, Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux. Autodesk Maya compatibility is with versions 2013, 2013.5, 2014, and 2015. Pixar’s annual maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades.