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In-Focus: A Look at Pixar’s All New RenderMan 19—3D Animation Software

In this In-Focus news report we cover all the details of the release of Pixar’s RenderMan 19, recently released in late November, including details on the product group reformation, new licensing and the free license, plus a backgrounder on the special video series where Dr. Ed Catmull talks about the future of RenderMan and a whole lot more.


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The Future of RenderMan—Ed Catmull Talks

Blending Pixar with Disney and George LucasFilm

In a special video interview series, Dr. Ed Catmull, President of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and original co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, discusses the future of Pixar RenderMan. The interview is most enlightening.

With regards to the merging of Pixar with Disney’s teams, Dr. Catmull explains that both companies have had a lot of really smart people working in various units that include places like Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney’s research group at two universities, including Zurich, Switzerland, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), plus the George LucasFilm group and naturally Pixar, which also had remote teams. These diverse teams, filled with brilliant people, give the overall Disney company great breath. Noting that the various groups are given great latitude to pursue their own directions, harness their preferred technology and conduct their own research, everything gets shared and the best ideas win out. The “various groups are trying to out-do each other…which is actually a good thing,” notes Catmull.

Today’s Market

Catmull also discusses the changes in the 3D industry and various markets that it participates. Noting that the company changed the Pixar RenderMan pricing to reflect the fact that access to tremendous amounts of processors is now widely possible. The company decided to produce a free non-commercial license option to widen the appeal of RenderMan, for exploration, teaching and research.

04 - Dr. Ed Catmull seen here in a video series available on the Pixar RenderMan website talking about the future of RenderMan.

04 – Dr. Ed Catmull seen here in a video series available on the Pixar RenderMan website talking about the future of RenderMan.

He said that Pixar is also a company that participates within the wider industry and takes part in the things that are made common, like shared technology via open standards. The desire with the RenderMan group is not to provide Disney with solely Disney-first technology but to respond to inputs in the larger 3D industry.

To watch the several-part video series click on this link.

Obtaining Pixar RenderMan 19

The commercial availability of RenderMan 19 has been available since 20 November 2014 and the non-commercial RenderMan 19 is due in early 2015. Tractor 2 was announced last August, a few months ago. To learn and see more and to acquire the trial version visit here.

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