RenderMan 24


RenderMan 24

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RenderMan 24 

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RenderMan version 24 delivers a suite of exceptional tools for advancing look-development workflows for feature film animation and VFX.

Includes Pixar’s highly anticipated RenderMan XPU™ which allows artists to harness the power of the GPU for incredibly intuitive material creation. RenderMan Stylized Looks™ which allows users to create entirely new looks, including illustration and anime. Plus, Pixar's collaboration with Industrial Light & Magic brings a new modular shading technology for creating photorealistic surfaces of the highest quality. Version 24 delivers many more features, making it one of the most significant releases of Renderman to date.


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Release highlights

XPU™ — Pixar’s hybrid CPU + GPU rendering technology is a next-generation rendering engine, rewritten for speed and efficiency on film production assets. This first phase of XPU is focused on accelerating look development for shading artists.

Lama — A state-of-the-art material layering system developed at Industrial Light & Magic introduces a modular approach to building material networks and includes new developments on dispersion and energy conservation.

Stylized Looks™ — Move beyond physically based shading and lighting into a world where you can easily create a variety of styles for your projects. You can non-destructively control outlines, create sketch patterns, and develop a wide range of unique looks, including Anime, by using the same familiar toolset. Stylized Looks is available only in the Commercial version of RenderMan.

OpenColorIO — Robust support for the industry standard ACES color management system and other color spaces in all bridge products, including the interactive RenderMan Image Tool.

Live Statistics — Watch your rendering resource usage live, thanks to a completely redesigned statistics system that prioritizes interactivity and extensibility.

New Patterns — We are continually working to provide more artistic options for your look development. New with this release are production-proven technologies Hex Tiling Manifold and Phasor Noise.

Light Baking — Greatly enhance your real-time and VR rendering needs by baking lighting to 2D texture maps or Point Clouds.

OSL Patterns — We have converted the great majority of C++ patterns to OSL. This conversion allows the sharing of code between RIS and XPU, which provides confidence that the renders from RenderMan XPU are representative of what you will see in RenderMan RIS. C++ patterns are still supported, but they will only work in RIS.

Better Sampling — Blue noise dithering results in a perceptually cleaner image sooner

Updates to Artist Tools — Support for Autodesk’s Maya, Foundry’s Katana, and SideFX’s Houdini and Solaris (including support for LPEs and AOVs in Solaris).

Preset Browser — Now supports Presets for Lama and Stylized Looks and expect to see libraries for both shipping soon.

RenderMan for Blender — And last but not least, a new plugin for cutting edge RenderMan features in the open source content creation tool. Rewritten to take full advantage of the architecture of version 24.

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Pixar’s hybrid solution for CPU + GPU rendering combines available computing resources to accelerate production path-tracing. Starting from a system architecture that can leverage the latest developments in multi-core CPU and GPU hardware, separately or in combination, XPU has been developed to handle the scale and complexity of Pixar’s feature animation projects. Its first use in the studio has been focused on detailed look development, with more capabilities coming in future releases. The plan is for XPU to eventually replace RIS as a full production renderer. Similarly in version 24, this initial phase of XPU is also positioned for look development, and the renderer is fully featured for material creation. However, this limited feature set may still have roles in layout, animation, or even final frames depending on the scope and size of a project.


Enhancing The Artist Experience

RenderMan version 24 provides major upgrades to Look Development, with many tools that improve artist workflows and complement the creative process. Here are some of the key features for improved material creation:


With a feature set focused on production look development, XPU is engineered for fast and fluid material creation, whether it’s for hard surfaces, skin, or hair. Shade objects in the context of their scenes, get approval, and send to RenderMan RIS for a perceptually identical final frame. Physically based materials have never been easier, especially in combination with the new Color Management support for ACES in look development workflows.


Lama is a modular layered material system offering world-class features for physically-based look development. Coming from a close collaboration with Industrial Light & Magic, the advanced system for material creation has been battle-tested in some of the most ambitious feature film VFX.

Stylized Looks

The innovative Stylized Looks toolset allows RenderMan to deliver images beyond photorealism. Artists can render images that look like cartoons and illustration. This flexible system allows the creation of unique looks and is limited only by imagination.

Other new features for lookdev include:

  • Dispersion — The new layered materials system supports a sophisticated prismatic fringing effect for refractive objects.
  • USD — hdPrman includes dynamic rendering of LPEs and AOVs in all compatible Hydra viewers, such as Houdini’s Solaris and USDView.
  • Bump Roughness — An innovative system developed at Pixar Animation for rendering micro details such as scratches efficiently.
  • Bloom — Add gleams and blooms directly to your live renders with this physically-based tool for RenderMan’s Image Tool (IT).
  • Live Statistics — Look development is now complemented by real-time statistics, for keeping scenes efficient and fast by with immediate feedback on how shader edits impact performance.


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