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By Kathie Felix - Posted Sep 1, 2009
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The Product: RenderMan

The Company:

Pixar Animation Studios

1200 Park Ave.

Emeryville, CA 94608

Phone: (510) 922-3000


RenderMan, the software used by Pixar Animation Studios to create Academy Award-winning animated films and visual effects, is now available in a variety of education editions with special pricing options.

RenderMan for Maya 3.0 is the latest version of Pixar’s advanced rendering plug-in for Autodesk Maya featuring the award-winning RenderMan rendering tool. The software—suitable for use in high school art, computer graphics, film, or gifted programs—was created to provide ease of use and affordability, as well as signature RenderMan features such as speed and stability.

RenderMan for Maya renders all Maya scene data—Maya Materials, lights, geometry, Maya Fur, Maya Hair, particles, and more. The software provides the production-quality motion blur and displacements, ambient occlusion, 3D caching, and baking of Pixar’s RenderMan directly in the Maya "Render View" window.

The version 3.0 update includes renderer enhancements such as improved threading, accelerated ray tracing, faster depth of field, faster subsurface scattering, more efficient polygons, optimized long curves, organized point clouds, ray traced procedural unload, and more.

New plug-in features provide a new workspace editor, enhanced extendibility with more flexibility for production pipelines, and an easily customized RenderMan shading language (RSL) for Maya Materials. The update also extends the program’s compatibility to 64 bit Vista, Maya 2009, and Mac 10.5.x support.

A full-featured evaluation edition of RenderMan for Maya 3.0 is available as a free online download at Education pricing discounts as low as $125 for a 1-year student subscription can be found online at

RenderMan is offered in advanced professional editions such as RenderMan Studio and RenderMan Pro Server. Discount education pricing for these programs is available at

The RenderMan program was created by Pixar specifically for the film industry for 3D animation and visual effects. The software has been a part of every visual effects Academy Award winner of the past 15 years; 47 of the last 50 nominees for visual effects used the program.

Pixar Animation Studios, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co., is the creator of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL•E, and Up. The studio has earned 21 Academy Awards with its groundbreaking films.

—Kathie Felix

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