Pixar has announced that it is to cut the price of RenderMan Studio and merge it with RenderMan for Maya when version 4.0 of the software is released later this summer.
Previously, Pixar offered two options: either use the $995 RenderMan for Maya plugin to render locally, or use the $2,000 RenderMan Studio to spit out RIB files to send to a renderfarm running RenderMan Pro Server.
(Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that, since you could also build a small renderfarm with RenderMan for Maya, or render locally with RenderMan Studio via an optional $1,500 embedded renderer.)
One single ‘premium’ rendering solution
Now the two have been combined into a “single premium software solution” costing $1,300: a saving of $700 for anyone exporting to a Pro Server renderfarm, and a whopping $2,200 for anyone rendering locally.
If you wanted RenderMan for Maya, you pay more, of course – but you do get a lot more power for that $305. Plus, you can upgrade from previous versions of RfM at the old update price.
Pricing aside, the release will also feature improvements in raytracing for multi-bounce GI and subsurface scattering, based on technology developed for RenderMan Pro Server 17.0, also due for release shortly.
No exact release dates have yet been announced.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
Pixar Animation Studios today announced that effective immediately, RenderMan for Maya is to be combined with RenderMan Studio as a single premium software solution at the new price of $1,300 including a fully functional embedded renderer. This major product consolidation sets the stage for the impending release of RenderMan Studio 4.0, which will provide Maya artists and Technical Directors with the latest tools to setup scene data, lighting, and shader assets for film-quality final rendering.
RenderMan Studio 4.0 also introduces the latest rendering technology developed for the forthcoming RenderMan Pro Server 17.0, and showcases significant advancements in ray tracing for multi-bounce global illumination and ray-traced subsurface scattering, including a system of physically plausible shaders directly integrated into Maya and the Slim shader editor. With these new features, artists can maximize today’s high performance multi-core architectures to create photorealistic images with minimal setup within the user interface of Maya. The process of shading and lighting setup has also been dramatically accelerated with new lighting tools, including the robust re-rendering technology used in “Cars 2″ and “Brave” as well as progressive ray-traced re-rendering for rapid look development. With additional new capabilities such as Dynamic Shader Binding, expanded RIB archiving, and a new library of RenderMan materials for Maya, RenderMan Studio 4.0 is the result of the feedback from numerous VFX productions allowing Maya artists to easily create photorealistic images at the highest levels of cinematic quality in a comprehensive solution that can be configured to accommodate any VFX pipeline.
RenderMan Studio 4.0 is compatible with Maya 2013 and earlier versions on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Upgrade pricing from RenderMan Studio 3.0 is available and existing RenderMan for Maya customers can upgrade to RenderMan Studio 4.0 for the same price as previous RenderMan for Maya upgrades. Student pricing is also available.