Pixar to offer higher-powered RenderMan 3-D rendering app

The following article is excerpted from Digital Arts.

Pixar Animation Studios has debut RenderMan Pro Server 15 and the brand-new Tractor 1.0 render management software, and announced that owners of its RenderMan rendering software will soon be able to use the product across all processor cores on a single machine for a single cost.

Unlimited threading will enable studios and artists to maximize the power of their render farms, according to Pixar, allowing each license of RenderMan to utilize any number of threads on the latest multi-core platforms. RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 will be the first product to introduce unlimited threading when it is released in the fall of 2009. This will be followed with unlimited threading for RenderMan Studio and RenderMan for Maya.

The forthcoming RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 introduces new capabilities including true volume primitives, major additions to the RenderMan Shader Language (RSL), Disney’s Ptex per face painted textures, imager shaders, an API for subdivision surfaces, and more. Pixar says that release will also include significant performance enhancements for rendering production scenes, including optimized memory management and improved thread scalability.

Finally, Pixar is also releasing Tractor 1.0, a new industrial-strength distributed render management solution built on an architecture designed to handle the largest multi-core render farms of tens of thousands of cores or more.

RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 is compatible with Mac OS X, Linux 32 and 64 bit, Windows XP 32 bit, Windows Vista 64 bit and Windows Vista 64 bit HPC Server. All RenderMan Pro Server customers on current maintenance will receive unlimited threading at the version 15.0 upgrade.

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