Pixar Animation Studios
— Steve Jobs’ “other” company — has officially announced that RenderMan Pro Server will come to the Mac in the fourth quarter. This brings the Academy Award winning rendering technology to the Macintosh platform.
RenderMan Pro Server is a US$3,500 software package that bundles several tools frequently used in film and video productions. It will include the latest release of Pixar’s RenderMan 11.5, which features technology developed during Pixar’s summer hit film, “Finding Nemo.”
RenderMan 11 includes Pixar’s Deep Shadow technology, a shadow map format that produces realistic shadows, especially for animation. Deep Shadow technology also provides methods for pre-filtering shadows and collecting transparency and volumetric information, which enhances shadow accuracy and enables a variety of effects.
RenderMan 11 delivers global illumination and ray tracing effects. Special effects such as reflections, refractions, color bleeding and shadow penumbras have always been achievable in RenderMan, but version 11’s new ray tracing subsystem extends these effects and allows them to be produced more accurately and in fewer steps, according to Pixar.