View Full Version : Pixar announces RenderMan Pro Server 15 and Tractor 1

08 August 2009, 12:06 AM
Didn't see this posted yet, pardon if it's a duplicate…

Pixar announced RenderMan Pro Server 15 ( with support for Unlimited Threading ( per license! Also included in the announcement is Tractor (, a next-generation distributed computing solution.

From the press release:
Pixar Announces unlimited threading,
RenderMan® Pro Server™ 15.0 and Tractor™1.0
Highlights include unlimited threading for all RenderMan Products

EMERYVILLE, CA – (July 30th, 2009) Pixar Animation Studios made three major product announcements to users of the studios’ Academy Award® winning RenderMan® software and to every artist and studio creating cinematic quality imagery. The first announcement is unlimited threading across all RenderMan Products, the second is the upcoming release of RenderMan Pro Server 15.0, and the third is Tractor™ 1.0, Pixar’s new render management solution engineered for computing networks of unprecedented scale.

Unlimited threading will enable studios and artists to maximize the power of their render farms, allowing each license of RenderMan to utilize any number of threads on the latest multi-core platforms. RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 will be the first product to introduce unlimited threading when it is released in the fall of 2009. This will be followed with unlimited threading for RenderMan Studio and RenderMan for Maya.

The forthcoming RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 is a key component of Pixar’s core rendering technology and introduces several powerful new capabilities, including true volume primitives, major additions to the RenderMan Shader Language (RSL), Disney’s Ptex per face painted textures, imager shaders, an API for subdivision surfaces, and more. This release will also include significant performance enhancements for rendering production scenes, including optimized memory management and improved thread scalability.

Finally, Pixar is also releasing Tractor 1.0, a new industrial-strength distributed render management solution built on an architecture designed to handle the largest multi-core render farms of tens of thousands of cores or more. Tractor's streamlined design simplifies deployment, configuration, and control while emphasizing scalability and performance of the job queuing engine. Tractor 1.0 has been built from the ground up using proven, open, and extendable web standards to remove pipeline integration and administration barriers, allowing the render farm to leverage commodity web technologies, tools, and practical expertise.

"With RenderMan Pro Server 15.0, Pixar has changed the way we approach volumetric phenomena." said Rob Pieké, R&D Lead at MPC. "Thanks to direct support for volume rendering and color bleeding, we have been able to greatly simplify our work-flow for rendering dust, spray, smoke and fire, while enhancements to the implicit field sampling allow us to produce images faster than ever."

“RenderMan's widespread use among facilities whose reputation depends on creating consistently excellent imagery is telling." said John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic. "RenderMan's extreme flexibility, quality, and scalability have made it the standard among professionals that it is today.”

RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 is compatible with Mac OS X, Linux 32 and 64 bit, Windows XP 32 bit, Windows Vista 64 bit and Windows Vista 64 bit HPC Server. All RenderMan Pro Server customers on current maintenance will receive unlimited threading at the version 15.0 upgrade. Separate upgrade pricing from RenderMan Pro Server 14.0 to 15.0 will also be available. Customers of RenderMan Studio and RenderMan for Maya will receive unlimited threading in new versions to be announced later in 2009. Tractor 1.0 is initially compatible with Linux 32 and 64 bit and OS X and will be available as an upgrade to all RenderMan Studio customers. It will also be available as a separately priced product. In addition, Pixar’s maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades for an annual price. For more information please visit or contact

More Information?
Read the Unlimited Threading FAQ
Learn more about feautures in RenderMan Pro Server 15.0
Read more about Pixar's Tractor

About Pixar
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL•E and most recently, Up. The Northern California studio has won 21 Academy Awards® and its ten films have grossed more than $5 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The next film release from Disney•Pixar is Toy Story 3 (June 18, 2010).

08 August 2009, 03:09 AM
That's some really incredible news :)

We have to purchase a bunch of licenses for RPS next year, so this cuts down the cost dramatically. I'm glad a good portion of the money will go to buying more processing power.

Glad to see that the guys at Pixar are keeping things not only innovative, but competitive.:applause:

08 August 2009, 05:30 AM
So happy to see Pixar really outdoing themselves and getting all the info out there finally. Such a great system that is finally being made widely available.

08 August 2009, 12:45 AM
Wow, nice. I wonder how other Renderman compliant renderers will compete with Pixar's new licensing scheme. 3delight is still based on the number of threads, so licensing something like the top of the line dual Nehalem syetems (with 8 cores, but 16 total threads) becomes pretty expensive.

08 August 2009, 08:43 AM
The last 2 releases of prman have been fantastic. I wonder why they skipped 14.5 though?

08 August 2009, 07:00 PM
This is some serious news for the competition. With unlimited threads support, costs for a render farm setup can really come down and now with a tighter integration in Maya and the revamped website, it looks like Pixar wants to attract the uninitiated too.


08 August 2009, 12:13 PM
I wonder if it'll come out with 2010 integration.

08 August 2009, 12:46 PM
I wonder if it'll come out with 2010 integration.

Not for a couple months appaerntly

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