Pixar plans to make a non-commercial version of RenderMan freely available to students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use. The firm, owned by Disney, says it will release the three-dimensional (3D) rendering software "without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions."
The software has been used to render images for films such as "Toy Story," "Monsters Inc.," and "Harry Potter."
RenderMan has been around for more than 25 years and is "very important at the higher end of the entertainment, animation, and visual effects industries," says 3D World editor Ian Dean.
RenderMan is facing increasing competition from rival animation rendering programs such as VRay and Arnold, and Dean says Pixar's move could be construed as a response to this trend. He also notes Pixar and Disney are looking to nurture a community.
"It's great news that anyone with an interest in computer graphics will be able to have free access to a state-of-the-art renderer from Pixar," says Nick Cannon, director of technology and operations at MPC Film.
Pixar is expected to release the new version of the software ahead of the ACM SIGGRAPH conference in August.
From BBC News
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