Elemental Elemental

Pixar has released version 25 of its Renderman software, used for rendering animation and vfx.

The big headline with this version is the inclusion of Renderman Denoising technology, developed by Disney Research. The denoiser can remove noise from images with significantly lower average sample counts. It’s especially effective with animation and motion blur.

The denoiser, which “excels on complex, detailed imagery that would cause other denoisers to fail,” was developed using machine learning and training data from Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), and Walt Disney Animation Studios. It has been used on every Pixar animated feature since Toy Story 4 and, according to the studio, has dramatically reduced render times at all three studios.

Here’s a brief highlight reel of what users can expect with the software update:

Another major improvement with Renderman 25 can be found in Pixar’s XPU technology, which features increased support for volumes, secondary passes, trace groups, thin shadows, progressive pixels, and enhancements for look development, lighting, and interactivity. According to the company, XPU convergence and interactivity have both been improved.

Renderman 25 also includes an improved Stylized Looks toolset that offers more creative controls to create non-photorealistic images, as seen in the image below.

Renderman 25

Other Renderman 25 features:

  • Progressive Pixels – Fractional first iteration display for improved image feedback with XPU, especially with very heavy models or volumes.
  • New Texture Cache – Improved performance on GPUs if the texture cache needs to do out-of-core texture lookups or is memory constrained.
  • Camera Controls – XPU now supports many controls of Pixar Camera, including depth of field and lens aberration.
  • USD Improvements – Houdini Solaris support has been improved with advancements in MaterialX, camera controls, motion blur, and more.
  • New Patterns – Extend your look development with new color and bump nodes.
  • Better Convergence – XPU support for Russian Roulette, Ray Depth, and more.
  • Bridge Updates – Houdini 19.5 and Katana 6 are now supported.
  • Deformation Motion Blur – XPU now supports full deformation motion blur, enabling studios to use XPU to generate fast quality control renders.
  • MaterialX Lama Improvements – ILM’s material layering system gets a new iridescence material response and improved physical accuracy.
  • Preset Browser – Native QT support in Blender.
  • New Presets – New collections for fur, hair, stylization, diverse skin, and more.
  • Light Baking – Improved global illumination baking by up to 2x, as well as additional controls for controlling resolution.
  • Vfx Reference Platform – Updated to the 2021 standard.

Pictured at top: Elemental

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