Monday, October 24th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Eye candy: Pixar’s RenderMan 21 feature reel

We don’t often post software developers’ product demos in the CG Theatre section of CG Channel: after all, they’re technical showcases, not eye candy per se.

But Pixar’s new RenderMan feature reel is so lovely, we thought we’d make an exception.

The new features in RenderMan 21, illustrated via clips of Piper and Finding Dory
Part of the pitch for RenderMan 21 is that it gives you the same lights and shaders used in production at Pixar, so a good part of the reel is shots from Finding Dory, including breakdowns of Hank the octopus.

You also get to see the hair improvements in the newly GPU-accelerated Denoise tool, illustrated through clips from Piper, Pixar’s charming accompanying short.

Other changes include an extension of the Patterns system, used for varying parameters across the surface of an object – and illustrated via the Pixar teapot – and an “up to 17x” speed boost in volume rendering.

The release also ditches RenderMan’s venerable Reyes rendering system and RSL shader language in favour of Pixar’s new RIS architecture and the open standard OSL shading langauge.

You can read about the changes in more detail in our original story on RenderMan 21, but the video gives you the highlights in under 90 seconds, with prettier pictures to boot.

Read more about RenderMan 21 on Pixar’s website