Pixar ships RenderMan 19
Pixar has released RenderMan 19, introducing its new RIS architecture for raytracing complex scenes.
Fast raytracing for scenes with heavy geometry
RIS, available alongside RenderMan’s traditional REYES architecture, is a “highly optimised mode for rendering GI” particularly scenes with “heavy geometry, hair, volumes, and irradiance … in a single pass”.
The RIS architecture incorporates a range of algorithms, including both a unidirectional path tracer and a bidirectional path tracer with progressive photon mapping.
It comes with a progressive renderer, shown in the video above, for rapid visual feedback on a scene.
You can read more about the technology in this detailed article on fxguide, which estimates RIS to be “2x to 10x faster than REYES in various situations”.
“RIS is very fast, very stable, and very simple to use. I got great results within my first two hours,” said Eugene Riecansky, Creative Director, Rockstar GFX. “This new version is going to be a game-changer.“
Pricing and availability
RenderMan 19 is available for 64-bit Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.7+, and Linux. As well as acting as a standalone renderer, it is natively compatible with Maya 2013.5 and above and Katana 1.5 and above.
Following a major price cut earlier this year, an individual licence of the software now costs $495. Licences of Tractor, Pixar’s renderfarm-management solution, now cost $100.
And for everyone waiting for the free non-commercial version, originally due to ship alongside RenderMan 19, that’s now due for release in “early 2015” to allow for “development of additional supporting materials”.