Last week the Pixar RenderMan team just made their renowned RenderMan software available to the public for free in non-commercial applications. This is essentially the same software that Pixar Animation Studios uses to render all of their movies. And while this doesn’t mean that anyone can simply hit the letter “M” on their keyboard to make a movie, it is really exciting news to a lot of people including myself.
Back when I was getting my start with 3-D storytelling tools, it was great being able to learn how to model, rig, light, and animate my primitive scenes, however I was always a little bit envious that my final images didn’t look like what I saw in the movies. Let me stop here and say that software does not, in and of itself, make one’s work look good. Not by a long shot. But if a better paintbrush can be put into the hands of an artist I believe that the quality of the end result can multiply into something spectacular.
My company, Creative Bay Media, uses a lot of different tools these days including our typical renderer of choice at the moment, Maxwell Render by Next Limit Technologies. However, this new announcement from the RenderMan group definitely makes the tools more accessible to many artists, and could be a tool worth adding to my company’s toolbox in future years. For now, students and other non-commercial intending individuals and artists can take advantage of this amazing toolset created by the 3-D feature animation pioneers at Pixar. With some hard work and practice, students can now approach the magic that we see in the movies. Happy demo reeling!