View Full Version : Renderman for noobs?

10 October 2003, 12:00 PM
I am studying animation at an university in germany. there are only a hand full of students doing 3d animation, all others do either cell animation ore stop-motion (puppet-animation). Now we got a letter from pixar offering us a seat of renderman for only 160 $, which is great. only thing is , all Iīve heard is that you need to be a TD to be able to handle renderman. at least you have to have some programming knowledge. none of our teachers know crap about cg the few students doing it have to learn maya by themselves and then teaching it to the others. Our school bought 4 Maya seats for that but the only teacher is still a student himself. I donīt think any of the students doing 3d animation here have any programming skills whatsoever. As we donīt have much money we must carefully look what we buy as an animation class. so here my question. does it make sense to buy this great deal, ore would it be 160 bucks thrown out of the window , as nobody here would be able to work with it?

please let me know because our proffessors want to know if we should go for it.

10 October 2003, 02:48 PM
It's not that hard to work with. For Maya, it includes a great set of tutorials. Even programming it isn't that diffuclut as there really isn't a whole lot to the interface. There are 3 good books

Essential Renderman Fast - this is a beginner book. It's very easy to follow. It doesn't deal with using Renderman with Maya, just the scene description, programming and the shader language.

Advanced Renderman: Creating CGI for motion pictures. - this is a collection of notes collated and written into a book with lot's of additional info. It covers some advanced topics, has a math refresher, and has a ton of general CG info you can apply to any renderer.

The Renderman Companion. - The original Renderman book. It's old and out of date, but it's required reading. There is an updated Companion to the Renderman Companion included in the help docs for The newest versions of Renderman. You should work through the docs with the book. - has a ton of info including course notes, immensely valuable stuff. - good Renderman site. Some tutorials and shaders. They've got a Renderman support forum. They are very helpful.

It helps to be familiar with some sort of programming language, but it's not necessary. Get C for Dummies or something and you'll know enough to completely understand the syntax of Renderman. The math isn't even that bad. If you are in college, you should know most of it by this point. Of course, you can just use RAT and Slim, and never program your own shaders or modify scene descriptions if you want, but in that case you might as well stick with MR or Maya's default renderer.

Pick it up and learn it, you'll be glad you did.

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