Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Pixar makes RenderMan free for non-commercial use

This Teapot’s Made for Walking: a promotional CG short for RenderMan, created by Pixar technical marketing specialist Dylan Sisson. The company has just made the legendary renderer free for non-commercial use.

Pixar has released RenderMan, its legendary production renderer, free for non-commercial use, including for plugin and tools development. The free version is fully featured and not watermarked or time-limited.

The move was originally announced last May, along with a cut in pricing of commercial licences to just $495.

Tailored to Maya and Katana users; Houdini and Cinema 4D plugins in development
Aside from the fact that it’s node-locked, the free version of RenderMan is identical to the commercial version of RenderMan 19: an efficient, production-proven renderer, offering both REYES and raytracing architectures.

It ships with plugins for Maya and Katana, The Foundry’s relighting system; with plugins for Houdini and Cinema 4D in development. Plugins for 3ds Max, Modo, LightWave and Blender are all listed as “possible”.

Pixar allows a bit of wiggle room in its definition of ‘non-commercial use’, too: using the free version to develop commercial plugins is fine, as are other ‘indirect’ profits, such as ad revenue from YouTube videos.

The main restriction is that you don’t get direct support, although in tandem with the release, Pixar has launched a new online RenderMan Community site.

As well as providing a platform for users to share information, the site contains five hours of video training, plus a lot of free shaders, textures and test scenes.

The non-commercial edition of RenderMan is available to download now for 64-bit Windows 7 and above, Mac OS X 10.7 and above, and Linux glibc 2.12 or higher and gcc 4.4.5 and higher.

The plugins are compatible with Maya 2013.5 and above and Katana 1.5 and above.

Download the non-commercial edition of RenderMan 19

Read Pixar’s FAQ document for the non-commercial edition