View Full Version : PRMan...

07-01-2004, 03:47 AM
I have a question. Now that Maya Unlimited will be available for OSX later this summer, I was wanting to use that with Pixar's PRMan. I was wondering if anyone could explain to me how this works. I don't understand if I would need MTOR to use them together or not. If so, it's not available for OSX, so there goes my plan!

One reason I'd like to use PRMan is because I hear that Mental Ray is pretty much garbage with Maya. I would be interested in hearing exactly why it doesn't work as good as XSI. Is it that it's not as stable, or that features are missing, or what? If it's still usable I'd rather use Mental Ray since it's included with Maya (makes it cheaper!).

Sorry if this has already been discussed in another thread. I tried searching for this stuff, but couldn't find any good answers.


07-03-2004, 07:40 PM
Comments? Insults? lol :shrug:

07-03-2004, 09:03 PM
I wont insult you but MR for Maya rocks, especualy in Maya 6 http://maxforums.net/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

07-03-2004, 09:21 PM
lol, really? Would you know of any good resources to learn how to use it at its full POWA? (really bad arnold impression, sorry!) :eek:

07-03-2004, 10:13 PM
www.learningmaya.com (http://www.learningmaya.com) contains many tutorials about MR.
But in general there is a lack of tutorials. Only practice will helps you learn how to make your render great and fast.

07-04-2004, 12:14 AM
Thanks for the link, man! Do you know if the mental ray training videos from digital-tutors.com are any good?

07-04-2004, 02:16 AM
Yes, you probably want RAT (Renderman Artists Tools) for Maya as the first step in getting started with PRMan for Maya.

MR for Maya is not "garbage" - it's true (as you've heard) that Softimage XSI was built around Mental Ray, so XSI had a big head-start in developing interactive MR rendering, integration of MR shaders, configuring customizable render passes, and support for other MR features - but MR for Maya is already quite usable, even if there is room for more improvement.

Also, in terms of learning useful skills, don't overlook the Maya renderer - a lot of people get themselves into more complicated rendering workflows without having really mastered what they could do with something simpler, and it ends up hurting their work. It is worthwhile to spend some time learning what you can do with all of Maya's light types, shaders, hypershade, paint effects, hair, fur, etc.


07-04-2004, 05:25 AM
Couldn't have said it better.

07-04-2004, 05:37 AM
I gotta say I am with Mr Birnn on this one. Maya render, despite sucking on a number of levels is well worth getting to grips with.

There is no need to use MTOR to get to PRman. MTOR is simply a nice interface and a bunce of shader and render manager tools. Don't get me wrong about MTOR, been there, done that, love it, bought the tshirt.

BUT it is in no way the only way to get from Maya to .rib renderers. You man want to look at shaderman or get a line on the possiblity of an osX version of Mayaman ( a superbtool for the translation of maya scenes to .rib compliant renderers)

the other alternative is to roll up the ol' sleeves and do some programmin'. SL and RIB are remarkably acessable. I can barely write an expression in Maya and I was able to get simple .rib going pretty damn quick.

07-04-2004, 04:53 PM
I think you cannot find any renderer beside -Maya native one- well integrated into Maya like MR. With Renderman you have always to make extra work to get your RIB files rendered without troubles, even with MayaMan.

07-04-2004, 11:12 PM
From my point of view prman is old stuff and very limmited. MR is more advance renderer for photorealistic images. But it is more easy to write shaders for prman.

07-05-2004, 05:58 AM
Thanks everyone! I think I'll stick with mental ray and maya. Thanks again! (no one know anything about digitaltutors.com's mental ray dvds?)

07-05-2004, 07:54 PM
Another option for connecting maya to prman or any other renderman renderer is Liquid.
The current version that comes compiled on that site for mac works with Aqsis, but you can compile it to work with just about any renderman renderer(3delight, pixie, prman, etc...)

07-06-2004, 04:02 AM
Quick question. What are some of the differences between the different renderman renderers such as 3delight, pixie, aqsis? Are they anywhere near as fast as prman? And are there any features lacking? Also, are there any features they have that prman doesn't? I'm sure this has been asked somewhere before on here.... maybe I'll do a search!

07-06-2004, 06:40 AM
It really depends the renderer. Some have a few unique features that Prman doesn't, others have a lot less then Prman. Some are pure raytracers, others are reyes like prman, others are hybrids. One example, on the Joe Alter msg board he mentioned that "Air" renders ricurves about 4x faster than Prman. There are about a dozen or so different renderman renderers out there. You really just have to compare each for your peticular situation.

Also Pixar owns many patents for rendering that prevent other companies from using those features unless they pony up the licensing fees for them. Some of the opensource renderers go under the radar and add those features anyways and Pixar looks the other way because they aren't much of a threat. Others like 3delight are in Germany where software patents are not valid, though they would still have to get a license in order to sell in States. So maybe they just work in the grey area because they are so small.

The big thing with Prman and reason why so many people use it is that
1. Pixar is the creator of the renderman standard, they write the specs and hold many rendering patents.
2. It is much more production proven(especially on very large projects) then the others and has been around much longer. This does not nessesarily make it better then the others, but people trust it more because of this.
3. It is supported by a larger team of people. Most of the other renderman renderers are only programed and supported by 1-3 people. Only 4 of the renderman renderers are actually commercial (Prman, Render Dot C, 3delight and Air)

I know that Moritz Múller is a big fan of 3delight and uses it on many projects. Hopefully he can chime in about specific 3delight advantages/features.

07-06-2004, 09:34 AM
Not to mention that PRMan bakes delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Out of the "free" RenderMan renderers, 3Delight is the fastest and the most stable (aqsis is NOT fast, Pixie just won't render a lot of stuff)

07-06-2004, 12:02 PM
I'm wondering if the other renderer beside PRMan are fast in features like Displacements, DOF and Motion Blur?

PS: Mortiz is in India learning how train snakes, I never seen him visiting this section though.

07-06-2004, 08:01 PM
PS: Mortiz is in India learning how train snakes, I never seen him visiting this section though.
who is Mortiz?

07-06-2004, 08:35 PM
He must be this guy Maurtius. the old picture in his avatar made me think he's Eminem, but now he's completmy different ;)


07-07-2004, 09:12 PM

Others like 3delight are in Germany .
Sorry, we are in Montreal, Canada. :>

- Aghiles.

07-08-2004, 12:10 AM
My bad, it was Martius who was from Germany.

07-08-2004, 12:48 AM
Back to your original question RenderMan Artist tools (RAT) were in development for OS X, and it says it at Pixar's renderman site somewhere. I read it when they released 64-bit support recently.

I would not be surprised if you'll see RenderMan w/maya at the Apple, and the Alias booth at SIGGRAPH.

Apple has made great deals for Maya customers in the past by offering Shake at a massive discount if you buy Maya on OS X. I'm hoping for something similar out of Apple, Alias, and Maybe Pixar at SIGGRAPH. :applause:

I'd like to see what I could get a new G5. Maya Unlimited, RenderMan server, and R.A.T. for after SIGGRAPH. Apple has an enormous presence there this year in comparison to past years. I'm sure they have something up their sleeves.

07-08-2004, 12:58 AM
It is sudo 64 bit support right now. Full 64 bit support/libraries for things like accessing more than 2 gig per process won't be available till 10.4 tiger ships.

07-08-2004, 01:04 AM
Buying a Mac for rendering is like buying a Schwinn 10 speed bicycle to tow your 40 foot Scarab boat.

07-08-2004, 05:31 AM
Not according to Pixar

07-08-2004, 05:33 AM
It is sudo 64 bit support right now. Full 64 bit support/libraries for things like accessing more than 2 gig per process won't be available till 10.4 tiger ships.

I was referring to this: https://renderman.pixar.com/products/news/rps11.5.3_release.html

07-08-2004, 06:23 AM
If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Birn can correct me on this, they use G5's for their workstations, and some flavor of Linux/Unix for their rendering farm.

07-20-2004, 08:34 PM
Some more questions...

I was looking at the 3delight website, and it says it's free... as long as you're not using it for commercial use. It does say you can use it for "limited scale" commercial applications though. I'm just wondering if any of you know how someone would go about using it commercially. Do they offer that at all? And if they do, how much?

Also, what do you think about the renderer Turtle? And I heard vray and finalRender were coming to Maya... any idea if those will be available for osx? How do they stack up to mental ray and PRMan?

Back to the original discussion... has anyone had any luck with rendering animations with mental ray and Maya? The Maya plugin, not mental ray standalone.

07-20-2004, 10:47 PM
I know mental ray for Maya was used on several shots in several recent movies, Day After Tomorrow being one of them. I have used it on pretty much every project including animation for the past 8 months or so and have had excellent results, when it doesn't spew out C++ errors on me.

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