[ #RenderMan #Pixar ] Pixar Animation Studios has released version 20 of its Academy Award-winning...
Pixar Animation Studios has released version 20 of its Academy Award-winning RenderMan software, introducing major innovations allowing cinematic quality imagery to be created more easily and faster than previously possible. Highlights include a game-changing noise reduction technology that directly addresses the problem of image artifacts associated with physically based ray tracers, massively reducing the time needed to deliver completed shots and images.
RenderMan 20 also expands the creative choices available to artists and studios through numerous advances in usability including a physical camera, a Visualizer for navigating and inspecting large scenes interactively, expanded shader libraries and presets, and new volume rendering features. A new Marschner hair shader represents the first time Pixar has shipped shading technology specifically developed for use in its feature films, making available truly Pixar quality hair and fur. In addition, RenderMan’s tradition of advanced customization is emphasized through a new light filter API. Rendering shots for dailies is also faster than ever with new enhancements to RenderMan’s noted image checkpointing, allowing entire shots to be quickly previewed nearly immediately and at full resolution. RenderMan 20 continues to channel the combined technology resources of The Walt Disney Company to the desktop of anyone producing visual effects, animation, and visualization.
What's new in RenderMan 20Overview
RenderMan 20 is a major release with a number of important advancements for RenderMan's RIS technology. Developed specifically for animation and VFX, the latest version is focused on accelerating pipelines and providing more creative control to artists.
For physically based rendering in general, it can take a long time for a render to converge to a completely noise free image, but RenderMan's new denoising technology, originally developed at Disney, can dramatically reduce render times while delivering images of the highest quality. Now you can render faster with fewer samples, resulting in an initially noisier image which is then transparently filtered by the Denoiser, producing a high-quality final image. In fact the Denoiser is capable of reducing render times by an order of magnitude, and can handle shots with extreme motion blur and depth of field. Finally the "make pretty" button has arrived!
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The Visualizer is a new integrator for viewing a scene as RenderMan "sees" the geometry, showing wire-frames, surface parameterization, normals, etc ... useful for turntables and portfolios. Additionally, the highly efficient Visualizer provides extremely fast feedback for interactive production rendering, especially on large scenes that can otherwise be cumbersome to work with. Simply switch on the Visualizer, and quickly position the camera, dial in depth of field, and adjust motion blur.
RenderMan now ships with a special RIS Bxdf for hair and fur developed at Pixar Animation Studios for feature film production. Because this shader was developed and tested for Pixar's own productions, the Marschner Hair is capable of producing movie quality results, quite literally. This advanced model for simulating hair provides four specular components, including an unique backscatter control for creating the most realistic results possible.
In reality nothing is perfect, and the new Physical Camera in RenderMan fully embraces the imperfections of real-world cameras. Now you can fully simulate optical properties from tilt-shift focus, lens distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and more.
Intuitive Holdout Workflow
Compositing CGI elements over live action is crucial for VFX work and the new Holdout Workflow in RenderMan makes this process simple, making it straight forward to capture shadows, reflections, and other elements to combine them with a background plate during interactive rendering.
New Lights, Light Localization, & APIs
Version 20 brings numerous advances to RenderMan's lights. New streamlined light shaders are provided for the RIS mode, including a user-friendly Daylight Shader. Light localization is a new mode which can reduce noise for multiple direct lights, and finally customization of lights is now easier with a new API for light filter plug-ins.
Volumes & Maya Fluids
The performance of volumes has been enhanced in RenderMan RIS, including the ability to overlap volumes. Volumes of varying density, albedo, etc, may be nested to achieve physically accurate results. Additionally, RenderMan for Maya now supports Maya Fluids in RIS.
“The new denoising technology currently being used in our upcoming feature, Finding Dory, has been incredibly valuable, allowing us to compute final frames up to ten times faster. We could not finish this production without it,” said John Halstead, Supervising Technical Director of Finding Dory at Pixar.
“RenderMan’s new and enhanced Interior Integrators provide us with full control over our volumes and allows us to push their visual quality to the next level.” Said Damien Fagnou, Global Head of VFX Operations at MPC Film.
“RenderMan’s new RIS mode was incredibly stable and consistent on Ant-Man. Everybody was blown away by the quality of the renders even in very early tests” Said Fabio Zangla CG Sequence Supervisor at Double Negative. “With such a radically different internal architecture, RIS is a world away from any previous version, but still retains many features that made RenderMan so successful in the past.”
Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is now upgraded to version 20, and existing and new users are invited to download the latest version from the RenderMan website. New tutorials and workflows for RenderMan 20 can also be found on the new RenderMan Community site.
RenderMan 20 is compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems: Mac OS 10.9, 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8 and 7, and Linux glibc 2.12 or higher and gcc 4.4.5 and higher. RenderMan 20 is also compatible with versions 2014, 2015, and 2016 of Autodesk’s Maya, and with version 2.0 of The Foundry’s KATANA. RenderMan is available commercially as individual licenses with volume discounts or through custom site licensing packages tailored for each customer. In addition, Pixar’s annual maintenance program provides access to ongoing support and free upgrades.
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