Pitch fork Unorthodox question: Is Renderman even that good to begin with?

Just using Renderman doesn’t automatically makes for a good artist.

The reason pixar is that great is because of the wonderful amazing team players inside, the animators, the art directors, the story tellers, the people…etc

Renderman’s strength seems to be subpixel shading [this would take a HIGH sample from Cycles to achieve but it’s no big deal for Corona] and its custom shader language [back then artist have to write shaders to force Renderman to do ray-trace when it couldn’t do it natively].

Anyone here who is indie and used Renderman for your animated shots ? How was it compared to your other experiences ?

Renderman is actually a pretty modern engine with its latest iterations. The Reyes-based system along with much of the scanline stuff is pretty much gone in favor of full pathtracing.

The sampling algorithms for instance is about as cutting edge as they come for production engines (like manifold exploration for caustic effects).

Sure you can make low-quality art with it, but this applies to all engines.

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Nice nice…
How is your experience with it compared to other renderers ?

It has gotten much more accessible, but its origins are as a production pipeline renderer where you probably employed more than one person who did nothing but do shader development and stuff for it, and that history still shows in where and how you find it used today. Originally it didn’t even come with basic usable shaders, you had to write everything yourself in RSL from scratch as part of your look development.

I personally would not recommend it as a solo artist tool just because there are so many other alternatives that are still more artist-friendly these days, and would definitely not recommend using it just because you’re impressed by Pixar movies and what big studios achieve with it. Unless you happen to be a big studio yourself. Otherwise you’ll likely be disappointed when you find it’s at least as hard, if not harder, to get beautiful results out of it compared to anything else.

It’s like buying a truck when what you really want is a sports car, even if the truck can now be made to fit in a suburban garage.