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Maya Monday: Pixar’s RenderMan Version 22 is Now Available, Free Download, Tutorial

Maya Monday: Pixar’s RenderMan Version 22 is Now Available, Free Download, Tutorial

RenderMan 22 came out last week. Learn about the new features, and download it free for non-commercial use. Plus, a tutorial and a link to more software that you can download from Pixar.

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Press Release: Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 22

Featuring Interactive Performance and State-of-the-Art Features 

EMERYVILLE, CA – 18 July 2018 – Pixar today released RenderMan® 22, the highly anticipated new version of the Academy Award®-winning 3D rendering software for animation and visual effects. This major release is focused on artist productivity, improved data management, and advanced new features. With version 22, RenderMan redefines production rendering by delivering photorealism with new artistic controls, enhanced interactivity, and robust scalability for feature film.  

Major updates to the core architecture allow RenderMan to support “live rendering” at every stage of the pipeline, providing fluid feedback for fast artist iteration. These dramatic improvements to interactive workflows enable new kinds of collaboration throughout the filmmaking process and will transform traditional pipelines. The latest release also includes advanced lighting technology used on Pixar’s own animated feature films, including Finding Dory, Cars 3, Coco, and Incredibles 2. Pixar research and development provided important new features for producing superior imagery faster, and the latest version of RenderMan delivers the groundwork for USD (Universal Scene Description), a new technology for scene management also developed at Pixar Animation Studios.

RenderMan artist tools for Autodesk’s Maya, Foundry’s Katana, and SideFX Houdini have all been comprehensively updated for version 22. These upgrades make live rendering faster and more robust while also supporting entirely new kinds of interactive edits: modeling, animation, grooming, and more. Additionally, RenderMan’s Preset Browser and library of materials will now ship with all bridge products for easy sharing of materials, lights, and textures. New Maya and Katana interfaces are available immediately, with Houdini integration available shortly.

“The new RenderMan technology is already changing our pipeline,” said Pixar CTO Steve May. “We are moving to take full advantage of its interactivity and scalability. New workflow options will also open as we add direct RenderMan integration with Pixar's Universal Scene Description. RenderMan will play a critical role during this rapidly evolving industry move to adopt USD.”

“Artist freedom and productivity are both critical to large-scale productions,” said SVP Technology & Infrastructure, Production Services Damien Fagnou, “MPC Film chooses RenderMan because it is always driven forward by the requirements of real productions, and the latest release reflects that. It is a platform that provides great artistic versatility, scalable productivity, and inventive technical solutions that support the team in delivering groundbreaking visuals for major feature films.”

“RenderMan allows us to innovate in unique ways as a studio,” said Kevin Baillie, founder and VFX Supervisor at Atomic Fiction. “It allows us to achieve a director’s vision more effectively as a result. Version 22 is an amazing evolution of what is, in my opinion, already the best tool for the job. We are excited to get our hands on it!”

Pixar will be demonstrating the new version of RenderMan in a series of presentations at the upcoming ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 conference in Vancouver.  

RenderMan version 22 is available for download today at for customers on maintenance. Individual licenses of RenderMan are available for $595, and $250 for yearly maintenance. This new pricing reflects market adjustments and Pixar’s increased investment in RenderMan development.  Quantity discounts are available. Researchers, individual artists, and students creating non-commercial projects will have access to the Non-Commercial RenderMan release shortly after SIGGRAPH. Visit for more information, or contact with questions or to make a purchase.

About Pixar Animation Studios
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.  The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Cars, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL•E,  Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, Inside Out, and  Coco. Its movies have won 35 Academy Awards® and have grossed more than $11 billion at the worldwide box office to date.  Incredibles 2, Pixar’s 20th feature, opened in theaters on June 15, 2018.

Renderman 22 | First impressions | hands on

Meshmen Studio gives a quick overview in Maya 2018. 

Getting Started With Pixar RenderMan In Maya

This tutorial comes via Lester Banks and shows you how to use RenderMan with Maya, as well as the PXRsurface and the lights in RenderMan. 

Original Renderman Promo Video

Here's an old promo that was released when RenderMan first became available to the public. It's cute!

USDFreebie: Pixar’s Universal Scene Description + USD Tools for Maya, Unity, MaterialX

A few weeks ago I posted about Universal Scene Description (USD) from Pixar, the heart and soul of Pixar's 3D Graphics Pipeline. 

This article has information on where to download and how to use USD Tools, as well as some workflow tips.

Learn more


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