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Pixar announces new RIS Renderman
Pixar Animation Studios Announces Monumental Innovations In Film Rendering
Posted on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 am IST
Pixar has created a new modular rendering architecture to RenderMan that brings raytracing to the Academy Award-winning software in version 19 (where they will be coding everything in C++ directly, not in shading language).

The new architecture, RIS, provides highly optimized methods for simulating the transport of light through multiple state of the art algorithms, including an advanced Unidirectional Path Tracer and a Bidirectional Path Tracer with Progressive Photon Mapping (also known as VCM). Along with major feature and performance enhancements, physically-based, artist-friendly workflows, progressive re-rendering, and the established advantages of RenderMan’s traditional REYES architecture, RenderMan now offers two rendering modes within one unified environment, providing the most advanced, versatile, and flexible rendering system available.

With rendering technology constantly evolving, RIS represents a forward-looking framework through which Pixar can deploy additional rendering methodologies as they become available. RenderMan is the conduit through which applicable advanced research from within the Walt Disney organization will be channeled into the production industry, including in the forthcoming release, Disney’s Principled BRDF shader and supporting materials.

“This truly brings the future of fully photo-realistic ray-traced rendering to RenderMan,” said David Hirst, global head of lighting at MPC. “We did tests with the production assets from one of our latest movies and were completely blown away by the speed and how interactively we could preview and render these assets. The RIS based integrator is going to change the way we work, with more scalable rendering and faster results.”

There were hints of this 0n Monsters University, where Pixar moved toward ray tracers and one pass renders (under global tech and research TD Christophe Hery). They’ve freed the artist from having to work out so many pre-passes. Ray tracers offer progressive refinement. The goal with the GI/ray tracing solution is to try and do everything in memory.  Greater photorealism and faster computation are the goals. And Hery worked with RenderMan developers to incorporate this methodology with the new hybrid approach.

As a further commitment to the advancement of open standards and practices, Pixar is announcing that, in conjunction with the upcoming release, free non-commercial licenses of RenderMan will be made available without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions. Non-commercial RenderMan will be freely available for students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use. Those interested in exploring RenderMan’s new capabilities are invited to register in advance on the RenderMan website to access a free license for download upon release.
Effective immediately, Pixar is also announcing that the price of the current version of RenderMan is $495 per license for commercial use, with customized peak render packages offering built-in “burst render” capability. The upcoming RenderMan release will combine the functionality of the previously separate RenderMan Pro Server and RenderMan Studio through a flexible license, providing unmatched versatility in allocating artist or batch render assets at different stages of production.

The new RenderMan is being released at SIGGRAPH 2014  in Vancouver in August and will be compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems, Mac OS 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8, 7, and Vista, and Linux. Autodesk Maya compatibility is with versions 2013, 2013.5, 2014, and 2015.  Pixar’s annual maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit or contact

What does RIS stand for?

Here are some of the other RIS naming

Rendernator Integrator Supercomputinato
Rather Intense Stuff
Renders Insane Scenes
Realistic Illumination System
Really Intense Scenarios
Replete Imagery Synthesize
Realistic Image Savant
Remedies Integration Syndromes
Rather Intriguingly Social
Relies Inherently on Sophistication
Really Important Sounding
Rendering In Speckles
Resolving Iterative Samples
Really Is Superior
Redivivus Iter Sollers
Render In Style
Repurposable Integrator System
Ray-casting Integrator Service
Rectius Illumi Subtilis
Ray Integration Scheme
Realistic Illumination System

This scene demonstrates volume rendering using the Unidirectional Path Tracer, PxrPathTracer. All indirect illumination rays in this scene originate from an interaction with the Cornell box, not the volume.
RenderMan’s Geometric Area Light system enable emissive volumes. All the illumination in this scene is provided by the volume; there is no other light source in the scene.
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