Monday, July 29th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Pixar ships RenderMan 22.6

The effect of altering sampling settings for PxrCurvature, the new system for rendering curvature-based effects like edge wear in RenderMan 22.6, Pixar’s latest update to its production renderer.

Pixar has released RenderMan 22.6, the latest version of its production renderer, adding a new integration plugin for Mari and integration with Hydra, the USD data exchange format’s imaging framework.

(Full disclosure: it actually shipped earlier this month, but we only spotted it when we were looking up Pixar’s tech talks for Siggraph 2019.)

New Mari integration plugin, plus early support for rendering USD files
Although it isn’t one of Pixar’s ‘major’ releases – the firm tends to save the biggest haul of new features for its point-zero and point-five updates – there are some noteworthy changes in RenderMan 22.6.

One is the new integration plugin for Mari, which enables artists to preview their work inside Foundry’s 3D texture painting software using RenderMan’s PxrSurface shader.

The plugin forms a RenderMan counterpart for the Arnold Standard Surface shader included in Mari 4.5.

Pixar describes it as a “first release”, although “most” of PxrSurface’s shader lobes are supported, indluding Clearcoat, Iridescence, Fuzz and basic implementations for glass and subsurface scattering.

The 22.6 update also introduces another notable integration: this time, with Hydra, the rendering framework for USD, Pixar’s own open standard for exchanging scene data between DCC applications.

At the minute, to render a USD file with RenderMan, you need to compile and run new plugin hdPrman.

The firm plans to introduce the option to render USD files natively from RenderMan later this year.

Finally, RenderMan 22.6 introduces PxrCurvature, a new pattern for rendering curvature-based effects, such as edge wear or damage on objects.

Pricing and availability
RenderMan 22.6 is is available for 64-bit Windows 8.1+, macOS 10.12+ and CentOS/RHEL 7.2 Linux. New node-locked or floating licences cost $595.

RenderMan’s integration plugins are compatible with Houdini 16.5+, Katana 2.6+, Maya 2017+ and Mari 4.5+.

There is also a free non-commercial edition of RenderMan 22.6, which can also be used for tools development. To download it, you will need to register for a free account on Pixar’s site.

Read a full list of new features in RenderMan 22.5 in the online release notes