Pixar Renderman Pro Server 17 and Renderman Studio 4.0 released



Can’t believe nobody posted this yet :slight_smile:


Saw it earlier, too. What I cannot believe is that we don’t hear about more people using Renderman Studio - it’s cheaper than vRay, isn’t it? When did their pricing get axed like that?


about 4 years ago this feature release + price strategies would have been interesting…
now… still behind the competition


In the world of tablets and smartphones, where realtime is the king, CineBox and UnrealEngine 4 that will allow making 3D animated movies in realtime is beyond the corner, who cares about yestarday world that Renderman represents ? Only DD, and you saw last month where it led them.


This is a great release and Im really enjoying the new features and speed increases.


Same here. This release is the most user friendly out of all RMS releases and has an incredibly robust physical shading system. I’ve been doing production work with it for months with the betas and it kicks ass IMHO.
One of my favorite things is rendering physically plausible paint fx without poly conversion. There’s a new physical hair shader, fluids, caustics, gi, etc. So many more built in tools with the new unified shading system. It’s still a TD’s playground at heart, but it makes it so much easier for newcomers.

Also, the pricing strategy is way more simplified and cheaper, and the student pricing is amazing this time around. I think you can get RMS and RPS for $200 as a student.


Hold yer horses dude, realtime rendering is not near the quality or flexibility of a good off line renderer.

At least not for a few years to come


the GP material is amazing.

Even though this release is very realism focused I really love renderman for the illustrative work, when you want that “Incredibles” look …and needed it at 10 sec per HD frame with DOF and SSS.
With it’s current move towards more raytraced techniques things are changing a lot though.


Not entirely true. Yes, there is a new shift towards raytracing and photorealism, but the whole framework of what makes a reyes pipeline great is still intact in this release. Point based workflows for the gp shader are available and deep shadows are better than ever, they even work in area lights and environment lights, etc…
In fact you can still use it like any other release, it’s just better accelerated for hybrid workflows.
Stylized looks are still very much possible! :arteest:


I agree Leif, I wasn’t very articulate though :slight_smile:
This release is far from a step backwards, there’s a lot of great new workflows but the old ones still rock!

I still use mental ray as my primary renderer, I only started using RfM recently but with this release I’ll definitely be ramping RMS usage as so many more things became accessible to a novice like me.


The future is realtime yes, but Renderman was there at the beginning and will probably be the last offline renderer standing as long as Pixar will make films.

I tried RfM in the past and while it has amazing features, the hybrid renderengine workflow looked horrible to me. Nailing displacement, DOF and Motionblur is easier than anything out there, but the rest was rocketscience.

Why the hell aren’t there any videos on the web, that showcase anything about recent&new RfM features? Re-rendering speed, PPshaders, raytracing power…

I’d buy into it, but I’d have to see and testdrive first.


When Arnold stole the show, but dont mix renderman studio with PRMan.


Just a little bit of watching arts…


Not sure what you mean by this. The renderer is still PRMan and has been for several versions. In previous versions however the entry level version of Renderman For Maya didn’t give you access to the executable - so you couldn’t run PRMan as a standalone process. It also prevented you from exporting RIBs, custom procedurals and a few other more advanced features.

This version they’ve simplified it from three packages into one package called Renderman Studio.

I haven’t used the new Maya plugin so I can’t comment on the Maya integration in this new version (new shader, lights, etc), but the volume rendering performance (both in terms of speed and memory usage) in PRMan 17 is amazing, in the few shots we’ve tried it, we’re getting getting 8hr frames down to 1hr.

While it still probably isn’t the best choice for a small studio, as a rendering framework for larger studios it’s still up there. Even among studios switching the majority of their rendering over to Arnold, they’re keeping PRMan around for more esoteric problems that they may face.


I didn’t use it for a while and I made a mistake, I was thinking about Renderman for Maya instead of Renderman Studio.
Last time I checked it was quite limited in comparison to PRMan, but either way I wont be looking back now with Arnold.


this link was posted recently on the pixar forum:

A bit of info on some of the new tech under the hood.


I think this confusion in what the different packages do is the idea behind Pixar wrapping it’s various Renderman-For-Maya (RfM) packages into one package.

In Pixar’s product line, Pro Server comes with a number of executables in order to render (prman), process textures (txmake) and compile shaders (shader) - plus a bunch of other commands for doing other various things, but those three are the main ones.

It contains no user-interface tools or plugins to integrate with any other piece of 3D software, if you want to use it with Maya (or any other 3d application) you either need something which exports RIB files (Liquid, AnimalMan or RfM-Pro) or write your own tool to export RIB. Most large studios have chosen in the past to write their own Maya-to-Renderman tools, although I expect that will change to Katana over the next few years.

In terms of the renderer however, there has never been a difference between the entry-level Renderman For Maya and the studio-level ProServer. They both use the same renderer, it’s just what features you could use was limited by how the 3d application interfaced with the renderer.

RfM connected to the renderer directly via the Maya plugin - so you could only render locally, while RfM-Pro connected to the renderer via RIB files - which allowed you to render locally or to a farm.

The features that you couldn’t use in previous versions of RfM however are fairly advanced features which aren’t really for lighting artists and are more for technical directors, shader writers or coders.


Well, there’s this :
“A student bundle consisting of both RenderMan Studio 4.0 and RenderMan Pro Server 17.0 is available for $200”
Probably the closest thing you’ll find to a trial version.


The Pixar people are very good about giving you a trial lic (assuming you’re a studio and a serious sales proposition). They helped us immensely when we were trialling prman - unfortunately for them we decided to go with Arnold, but that’s neither here nor there. Get in touch with a local reseller or Pixar directly.



I’m not a student and no studio either, doing freelance work on project basis for ad agencies and other studios. RM is not suited for the type of work I do, but rather something I’d love to try for personal shortfilm projects. Oh well, maybe I should contact solidangle and ask if they will sell single nodelocked Arnold licences soon. That’s where the puck seems heading to.