that it will be releasing a new version of its RenderMan 3D software, in additional to doing an overhaul of its pricing restructure for those that wish to license the software. This includes a free license for uses under non-commercial reasons. The new software comes with improved lighting features and two different rendering modes in one environment.
RenderMan is a suite of tools for 3D animation that Pixar makes available to media based animators. The new version of the software will feature a new modular rendering architecture, which the company is calling RenderMan Integrator System (RIS). With it new algorithms can be used to simulate light, including the use of new tracers and Progressive Photon Mapping. RIS will also allow Pixar to add additional rendering methodologies to the software whenever they become available.
New licensing fees for the software will see the price drop to $495 for an individual commercial license, down from $1300. Access will be granted to either the artist interface or the batch render according to Pixar. The company will also offer more flexible packages for those needing "burst render" capabilities. A statement from Pixar's website gives some details as to why the company has given the software such a large drop in price.
"Given the continually falling price of computing, trends point to studios and individual artists needing more and more rendering capacity. Reducing the cost of RenderMan makes it more cost effective to expand capacity and generate higher quality pixels. Pixar has established a new price point to specifically encourage accessibility and remove barriers to growth."
Also with the new software and reduced price comes word of a free license being granted to individuals for non-commercial use. This will grant students, educators and hobbyists the ability to use the software without any sort of functionality limitations, watermarking or limited time with the software.
The new version of RenderMan is set to be released around the time of Siggraph 2014, which happens during the first half of August. The software will be compatible with 64-bit operating systems, including Windows 8, Mac OS 10.8 and Linux.