Pixar Animation Studios is considering bringing RenderMan to Mac OS X. What’s more, Pixar wants to know how interested Mac users are at its existing customer locations.
Pixar Animation Studios is the other company headed up by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and it’s behind the creation of hugely popular computer-animated motion pictures including Finding Nemo, which is currently in theaters. Pixar also makes a series of commercial products aimed at professional 3D animators under the RenderMan label.
RenderMan provides industrial-strength 3D rendering and animation technology that’s been used to produce Pixar’s own movies. RenderMan has been used in recently released movies like The Hulk, The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as well as forthcoming films like The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Pirates of the Caribbean and Terminator III: The Rise of the Machines.
While being careful not to promise anything concretely, Pixar’s statement outlines in broad strokes the company’s potential plans for such an offering. Pixar would possibly announce plans for a Power Mac G5-related product in August, and would begin a beta program at that time. The beta program would be open to active Pixar customers with current maintenance agreements, and the finished product would be released after the beta program was completed.
Existing Pixar customers interested in participating are encouraged to e-mail Pixar with contact information.
Pixar president Ed Catmull is an early booster of the Power Mac G5. An introduction video for the Power Mac G5 posted to Apple’s own Web site features Catmull explaining that the G5 allows Pixar animators to show frames at full resolution.
“After running our RenderMan benchmarks, we can now say that the G5 is the fastest desktop in the world,” said Catmull.