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View Full Version : Renderman For Maya 3.0: Anyone tried it?


spiralof5
05-12-2009, 09:40 PM
I know that Renderman is not an efficient Raytracer. I also know that RFM3 is also a dumbed down version of Renderman but has anyone tried it and able to produce realistic results?

I know there is Pixie out there for free but doing things without a GUI is confusing and I don't understand even the logic of how you would go about doing things without a GUI. Same goes for the complete Renderman.

Thanks,

Scott

lightcache
05-13-2009, 10:22 AM
yeah we use renderman studio, and from what i can see this new version seems to have some major speed tweaks with point clouds etc and in raytracing ability, but imo its not a massive upgrade.
you can get realistc results fairly easily even if you dont know slim (rmans hydershade) as you can render most of mayas nodes in renderman (not fluids though)
and all this can be done without a line of code or cmd line or you can code an entire shader by hand, thats the beuuty in it

cheebamonkey
05-13-2009, 03:18 PM
yeah we use renderman studio, and from what i can see this new version seems to have some major speed tweaks with point clouds etc and in raytracing ability, but imo its not a massive upgrade.
you can get realistc results fairly easily even if you dont know slim (rmans hydershade) as you can render most of mayas nodes in renderman (not fluids though)
and all this can be done without a line of code or cmd line or you can code an entire shader by hand, thats the beuuty in it

That's actually where RfM fails.

They claim it's a Renderman for everybody but without some way to create customized Renderman shaders easily, you're stuck with Maya's shaders. At least with RMS you have SLIM. Outside of that, you can try to get 3rd party shader creators to kinda sorta work and spit out Renderman shaders for use w/RfM 3.0 or of course, write shaders in an editor. That's hardly friendly for everyone. I know some Renderman peeps bag on SLIM but it's better than nothing for someone who doesn't have the time, doesn't want to, or doesn't have the knowledge to write code.

lightcache
05-13-2009, 03:24 PM
yeah true enough, ur stuck with maya shaders. though alot of slo's for studio ive managed to get working in rfm. besides the point i know but it's possible. besides i think this chap would be advised to steer clear of renderman if he wants to do arch vis stuff as imo it doesnt really cut it for that type of rendering.

rBrady
05-13-2009, 04:14 PM
The big questions is, does it support 64 vista, or is it 64 bit itself. My big grip with RfM has always been that its only 32bit. Trying to use shave in 32bits is horrible.

leif3d
05-13-2009, 05:40 PM
I'm running RMS 2.0 (AKA pro version of RFM 3.0), and it's certified to work in Maya 2009 x64 and Vista x64.

So far, the biggest improvements are in speed, which is no small feat, given that RM is already super fast in many things that a raytracer Renderer fails. These speed improvements come specially in Raytracing, so calling it 'innefficient' may not be fair anymore. I've seen improvements of almost 100% in raytracing.
For example, I have a scene with Displacements, DOF, MB, and point GI with color bleeding all in under 1 minute, adding raytracing only adds 25 seconds...pretty sweet. BTW, this scene is entirely made up of Subd surfaces and Nurbs objects that never need tessellation, so they area always nice and smooth.

In terms of its ease of use, yeah, I understand everyone's issues. It's definitely not for someone that wants a one simple solution to things. There will a lot of reading and understanding the underlying technology of a Reyes renderer is not a small task, I know I've had some major problems learning it while having to deal with tight deadlines. In fact, if you go into the official RM forums, you'll probably see one of my 3 billion posts about how to do something, or a problem I've encountered.

Although RFM and RMS is as easy as you get for a Reyes Renderer, you are bound to hit some limitations and workarounds for many things, but in the end it's not powerful for its ease of use, but for it's great speed, flexibility and reliability.

There are many people in these forums that are Reyes renderer experts and can probably give some more useful insight.

lightcache
05-13-2009, 06:25 PM
yeah it looks hella faster. where you on the beta programme then leif?

leif3d
05-13-2009, 08:23 PM
Yep.
I was able to see how hard the guys at Pixar work to make this software as easy to use, stable and efficient as possible.

Ironhalo
05-13-2009, 09:10 PM
i want to get into renderman so bad! im basically stuck in a windows world, which ruled out the linux x64 obviously. this new release has me really excited! how did all of you start learning it? the biggest hurdle for me is buying a copy :( i know theres a 30 day eval, but thats obviously not enough time. at my work we're exclusively mental ray, i'd love to change that.

lightcache
05-13-2009, 09:40 PM
well u can start on a reyes complaint renderer and see if u like it, besides rfm is a steal tbh.

leif3d
05-13-2009, 10:15 PM
i want to get into renderman so bad! im basically stuck in a windows world, which ruled out the linux x64 obviously. this new release has me really excited! how did all of you start learning it? the biggest hurdle for me is buying a copy :( i know theres a 30 day eval, but thats obviously not enough time. at my work we're exclusively mental ray, i'd love to change that.

The new version of 3Delight came out a week ago. There has been a 64-bit version for a while as opposed to RFM.
I would jump on that if you are eager to learn a Reyes renderer.
It has a plug-in for Maya and is more cutting edge than RFM or RMS, because the releases are very fast and support the latest technology.
I consider it harder to use than RMS, but you may feel otherwise, especially with the new version.
It is free for the first two threads, even for commercial use.

Als
05-13-2009, 11:28 PM
I think there is a far point on using both. They sort of complement each other.
I found that 3Delight comes with lot's of nice shaders, specially new version has similar shader to mia in MR for maya.
I will test both in the near future, and will try to give some more comparison.
But in nutshell, while RFM is still easier to use, but 3Delight is updated more often and it's going in that direction, so it's better and better.
I also find that 3Delight supports better hypershade networks, but renderman shader is easier to use.
I wish actually they sit together and exchange all the good stuff, so we could all benefit ;)
I like them both.
Rendering nurbs with RFM is incredible.
3Delight renders gazzilion of polygons with no sweat.
Both worth testing and checking out...
3Delight lucks a bit of tutorials, RFM has two made by Digital Tutorials.
3Delight has no limitations, so you can do much more with it.
Some of the points, without going too deep...
Being able to write shaders and compling so easy is amazing experience, even for begginer.
Main issue is antialiasing for all the shaders you make.
Just some of my impressions...


Als

spiralof5
05-13-2009, 11:45 PM
I think there is a far point on using both. They sort of complement each other.
I found that 3Delight comes with lot's of nice shaders, specially new version has similar shader to mia in MR for maya.
I will test both in the near future, and will try to give some more comparison.
But in nutshell, while RFM is still easier to use, but 3Delight is updated more often and it's going in that direction, so it's better and better.
I also find that 3Delight supports better hypershade networks, but renderman shader is easier to use.
I wish actually they sit together and exchange all the good stuff, so we could all benefit ;)
I like them both.
Rendering nurbs with RFM is incredible.
3Delight renders gazzilion of polygons with no sweat.
Both worth testing and checking out...
3Delight lucks a bit of tutorials, RFM has two made by Digital Tutorials.
3Delight has no limitations, so you can do much more with it.
Some of the points, without going too deep...
Being able to write shaders and compling so easy is amazing experience, even for begginer.
Main issue is antialiasing for all the shaders you make.
Just some of my impressions...


Als

First of all, thanks to everyone that had responded. I may actually try it out with the eval version based on the thumbs up people have been giving it.

I'm not an easy 1 button solution guy. I've delved into the depths of hell with MR and I can get quite realistic results but the efficiency of MR is starting to bog me down with more complex scenes when using Final Gathering and Global Illumination. If I wanted to wait 1 hour for an HD rendered frame with Irradiance Particles and Importons, I could get even more realistic. Alas, I don't like pretty pictures and everything I do needs to move ha. I also freelance doing a lot of different things for 3D so I guess I'm looking into an industry wide renderer that's fast, efficient, and as realistic as possible to boot. Maybe Renderman isn't my renderer if you guys are saying RFM3.0 isn't good for things like that. I do, however, see my business expanding into the area of character animation so along those lines, I see an opportunity.

Am I off base? I feel like this is what the majority of you are saying.

Thanks,

Scott

leif3d
05-14-2009, 02:51 AM
When I was moving from MR to renderman, I also read many things and heard many opinions from many people, but in the end I decided on Renderman after my personal experience with the software.
I pretty much jumped in there with no knowledge on how to use it, read the docs, read forums and hit wall after wall...but in the end I think it has been worth it. I was discouraged at first, and have much to learn, but I've found RM to cover all my needs, specially the new version (based on RPS 14).

I've produced some pretty photoreal results with it as well, so don't think it's not possible. Look at most movies, they are mostly rendered in one way or another with renderman.

You just need a good eye for traditional arts and lots of study on how the real world behaves and why.

The problem with its customization, is that It's just not suitable for quick tasks like rendering a single frame of a photoreal interior, who cares how great and fast it is if you have to set up a scene for a week right?

Maxwell, Vray and Mental Ray will probably be your best bet for this. They have pretty intuitive and well documented Linear workflows (at least in forums), as well as a great userbase which shares great shaders and so on. (BTW, I plan to throw my web-site online soon, and I'll upload some of the shaders I've made these months along with some scenes.)

Now...if you want to animate something within a photoreal environment with DOF, motion Blur and displacements, then your best bet is RM. That's why different renderers find their markets.

What's the biggest thing you'll loose by learning? Sleep? We all know sleep is overrated.;)

Ironhalo
05-14-2009, 04:20 PM
im familiar with 3delight, i actually downloaded the previous version but never installed it :argh: i had heard that with the free license you dont get updates, and the version i would have got had bugs. however, this new version is something im going to sink my teeth into.

i really want to get into shader writing. i dont have a degree in computer science, but i can code mel pretty well. i heard rsl is easy to pick up, but how much will the inexperience with advanced math hinder a shader writer?

arjan_meerten
05-14-2009, 08:03 PM
Renderman sounds really interesting. especially for the speed and reliability.
The only problem with the software is that is very expensive. If we buy renderman for the 6 workstations and 4 rendernodes we have, it will cost us 20000 dollars. And for 3Delight it will be 30000 dollars.
That is a big investment for small studios for some more speed and reliability.

cheebamonkey
05-14-2009, 09:31 PM
Renderman sounds really interesting. especially for the speed and reliability.
The only problem with the software is that is very expensive. If we buy renderman for the 6 workstations and 4 rendernodes we have, it will cost us 20000 dollars. And for 3Delight it will be 30000 dollars.
That is a big investment for small studios for some more speed and reliability.

where are you getting those numbers from? 6 workstations + 4 nodes = 10 licenses. 3Delight (4 thread license) is $1500. 10x1500 = $15,000

Regardless, you have to be willing to invest in your business. If you use Mental Ray, you still have to pay for those licenses. The same goes for Vray, and so on.

Ironhalo
05-14-2009, 09:52 PM
Regardless, you have to be willing to invest in your business. If you use Mental Ray, you still have to pay for those licenses. The same goes for Vray, and so on.

very true. no matter how you cut it changing or investing in a render engine isnt a cheap venture. i'm not the worlds best lighter, so i rely on global illumination more than i should. thats an area that renderman isnt the best, and obviously mental ray excels. i saw a paper on point based ambient lighting published by ilm, and the results were amazing! lots of math, but cool none the less. if things like that become part of the core, then switching would be easier for the unskilled lighter.

arjan_meerten
05-14-2009, 11:28 PM
I forgot to mention these are dual quadcore machines. You get a mentalray license for each version of maya so you only need a render license for the render machines (1000 dollar each)
I know you need to invest in your business, but my point was that I think it's too expensive.

2stepdmb
05-15-2009, 01:17 AM
Ironhalo: doing pointbased ambient occlusion/colorbleeding should be pretty easy in RfM. All you need to do is add an environment light and then hook a RenderRadiosity pass to it.

Ian

spiralof5
05-15-2009, 09:07 PM
When I was moving from MR to renderman, I also read many things and heard many opinions from many people, but in the end I decided on Renderman after my personal experience with the software.
I pretty much jumped in there with no knowledge on how to use it, read the docs, read forums and hit wall after wall...but in the end I think it has been worth it. I was discouraged at first, and have much to learn, but I've found RM to cover all my needs, specially the new version (based on RPS 14).

I've produced some pretty photoreal results with it as well, so don't think it's not possible. Look at most movies, they are mostly rendered in one way or another with renderman.

You just need a good eye for traditional arts and lots of study on how the real world behaves and why.

The problem with its customization, is that It's just not suitable for quick tasks like rendering a single frame of a photoreal interior, who cares how great and fast it is if you have to set up a scene for a week right?

Maxwell, Vray and Mental Ray will probably be your best bet for this. They have pretty intuitive and well documented Linear workflows (at least in forums), as well as a great userbase which shares great shaders and so on. (BTW, I plan to throw my web-site online soon, and I'll upload some of the shaders I've made these months along with some scenes.)

Now...if you want to animate something within a photoreal environment with DOF, motion Blur and displacements, then your best bet is RM. That's why different renderers find their markets.

What's the biggest thing you'll loose by learning? Sleep? We all know sleep is overrated.;)

This has been a very well thought out response and I thank you so much. I'm not a c++ type of guy and really have no interest in it. Is that going to be a big damper in my Renderman adventure?

I know it sounds stupid, I just want to know as much about it before I invest time into. I think the thing you hit on the most is that it is efficient at quite photoreal things but with efficiency of animation. This intrigues me the most.

I still love my Mental Ray, I just feel I've hit the wall. I haven't hit the wall in terms of learning, I still have much to learn. It's a technical wall where efficiency has stopped me in my tracks a bit. I'll keep learning MR as I know the efficiency will just increase and increase but I'm thinking RM might be the thing to learn.

Oh, and I sleep 10-12 hours a day. I needs my dreams! Hey, Einstein did it and managed to do his best work!

Buexe
05-15-2009, 10:05 PM
I think RfM is pretty easy to learn and is rather well integrated, Most things work by adding a pass or set here ( usually just by clicking on on the apprpraite field in the AE) or adding a few attributes here and there. You get SSS just by adding the appropriate attributes with one click and then can start tweaking. Or as mentioned earlier you get point-based occlusion with a single click, very easy. The only time I had to use a Renderman shader was to get a fog like effect, because the Maya fog wasn`t/isn`t supported. But the support told me how to do it, so this was resolved rather quickly. I think that discussions here on cgtalk become quickly relgious when it comes to rendering and people try to talk other people in "trying this other awesome" renderer for this or that reason. I have to say that Im so comfortable with RfM now that I peak at what others have to offer, but my interest is rather limited since the tool I`m using is working. I`m not even really yearning for a 64 bit version, because I don`t hit the ceiling with what the 32bit version already renders.

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