Learning Renderman - RIB understanding required?

Currently I am reading the book “Essential Renderman” which is divided into two chapters. The first is about how scenes are built in a RIB file (and an introduction to the Renderman C API), the second is about the shading language. Right now it feels like I won’t have an advantage learning the RIB coding. For what exactly is it useful? The RIB is created by the exporter, so is there ever a case when I would want to edit a RIB file manually?

Is the understanding of the RIB structure/C API more focused on people who want to write their own exporters?

I have that same book. You have to remember that RIB is for Renderman compliant renderers. Often there is a need to render things faster than a traditional/default approach. That is why shader writing is so important. Writing shaders to simulate surface geometry can often speed up rendering and make production deadlines doable. Whereas, trying to cram a high polygon count mesh through a small pipeline may make you miss the deadline.

Meeting a deadline often means getting paid. Or more importantly, getting your client to come back to you again for return work.

If you are a beginner or hobbiest, you may find more joy in using the internal renderer that comes with Blender. IF you goals lie in the direction of feature film or animated features, do consider learning RIB.

I still “dabble” in RIB, but I have been waiting for Mosaic to be converted to the 2.5 API. I have not seen a lot of news on that, however…

I see, I was just a bit confused by the basic shape stuff like the spheres, cones and so on. I was thinking “when am I ever going to need such simple shapes”. I want to get serious about Renderman, I actually plan to do a short with it (Not saying anything about the quality though :D). Guess I’ll just continue with those parts :). By the way: You hever had some problems writing your RIB files? First i started with the simple Windows 7 editor but sometimes it totally crashed my system when rendering in Aqsis, now I am using Notepad and right now I am happy with it, but maybe there is an even better solution like a special IDE for RIB coding?

look at www.fundza.com there are a few very good tutorials about rib code and basics of shader writing. the author recommends “Xemacs” as a good choice for shader and rib writing as you can directly render from xemacs without the need of an extra console.

i also would highly recommend learning RIB as renderman is all about very low level control about every aspect of rendering. so the power lies in optimizing your rib files to your needs.
although your exporter will create your ribfiles you often want to change some things or add extra code(thats why most exporters allow you to add rib blocks inside your modeling software).

i dont want to sound like advertising my own project but maybe it would be an idea to look into my exporter. at the moment i plan to make it a good renderman learning platform by not renaming hiding or camouflaging the way renderman works.
that could be a more comfortable way to get into renderman than working with a text editor.

but after all if youre realy serious about learning renderman you should also consider reading the RISpec and the siggraph renderman notes.

This is also a good resource as well.

Thanks for your feedback, both of you :)! I’m definitely going to download your exporter and try to figure things out with it :).

Learn 1 -1 7


May I ask what’s the latest revision that still works with your exporter script?

sorry didn’t update the exporter on that site for a while. It’s still lacking a lot of features and needs some optimizations.

But just uploaded a new version that should work with the current revision (trying it here on ubuntu 10.4 with rev. 32130.

Lots of things have changed since last version if there is interest i may upload a video explaining a few concepts. wanted to wait until i’ve finished motion blur, instancing and particles but may also do it now.


Very nice, thanks a lot :)! I’m going to try figure it out on my own later and when I get stuck I’ll definitely request a video ;). Thanks for the offering!