Poll: Do you use renderman renderers?

Just a quick poll to see who uses Renderman renderers.

Nope, but I’m always interested in new renderers - when there is decent material / settings GUI available to make it efficient in small projects.

Editing the rib files is pretty easy, but I understand if you don’t like that. Well, kindof, I like to edit rib files.

I’ve tinkered with a couple of them… mainly BMRT back in the day but, I would really prefer a whole GUI front end to a renderman renderer i.e. have an app that incorporates it as well as XSI does MentalRay.

Renderman is the strongest renderer there is. . .well, henrymop already has heard my feelings on this on another thread, so I’ll keep this short. Renderman is the fastest, most versitile renderer there is: true. Renderman is the most complicated renderer you will ever use: true. Aqsis and Pixie are just like PRman, but haven’t been used righ: false, PRman is the best and widest used renderer for the fact that a team of specialists work day and night to keep it that way. Open source Reyes renderer is nice, but nothing compared to its comercial brother. However, if Ton would include an REYES renderer into Blender internal then a team of dedicated members could get something close to PRman, as Blender is quickly catching up to its commercial brothers.

Are any of those free?

Yes. Pixie and Aqsis are open source. 3Delight is freeware. The others are commercial.

aqsis and pixie; 3delight is free for non commercial use but you still gotta get a license for it.

From what I read, the first license for it is (still) free, with no support. From the second license onwards, there’s a price (US$1,000).

Pixie is pretty powerful, though. But, could you make an animation that’s as good looking as PRman with Pixie?

could you make an animation that’s as good looking as PRman with Pixie?

Nope, as I said before you can’t compare them.

Strong words, can you elaborate on that statement a bit? Why exactly do you feel that Aqsis and Pixie cannot be compared to PRMan? Have you used all three in anger and shown categorically that they are not comparable? If so, can you show some results and explain with a little more useful information why they are so different? You should be aware that the only way Open Source projects can possibly improve to a point that they are validly comparable to the closed commercial equivalents is with valid, quantifiable feedback from the userbase, simply claiming that the OS tools are not of comparable quality serves no real purpose whatsoever.

Strong words again, I’d like to understand a little more why you feel that Blender coders are able to produce rendering code of comparable quality to Pixar’s commercial offering, yet the respective teams behind Aqsis and Pixie cannot. I feel if you are going to make such sweeping statements, in effect belittling the efforts of those two projects, you should at least quantify them with some detail.

Thanks

Paul Gregory

I am interested in what PRman has that Pixie or Aqsis don’t.

I will once I get there…

There are several reasons, PRman has Brick maps (sort of 3d baking), nice photon based SSS, is really fast, depth-shadow maps, production proven over the years - the list goes on; Aqsis has no raytracing at the moment and the quality and speed could be better; Pixie is nice but doesn’t support all PRman features, for instance it has no full NURBS support. The closest to PRman renderer are Air and 3Delight and even they are lacking some features but are speed- and qualitywise very close.

Bob

There are several reasons, PRman has Brick maps (sort of 3d baking), nice photon based SSS, is really fast, depth-shadow maps, production proven over the years - the list goes on; Aqsis has no raytracing at the moment and the quality and speed could be better; Pixie is nice but doesn’t support all PRman features, for instance it has no full NURBS support. The closest to PRman renderer are Air and 3Delight and even they are lacking some features but are speed- and qualitywise very close.

Well Pgregory that answers your first question.

I feel if you are going to make such sweeping statements, in effect belittling the efforts of those two projects, you should at least quantify them with some detail.

Ouch, let me explain. I was in no way belittling the two projects. I myself use PIXIE! I believe that if you look at the track record of both blender and the Two open source renderman renderers you will see that blender updates and upgrades more significantly than the other two (even if you were to just look at how much the intergrated renderer has advanced). Blender is more professional, and I truely believe that because of this, and because of the dedication shown to blender by it large community (dwarfing the others) that it could (hypothetically) execute a well made Reyes renderer with intergration to both blender and the Renderman’s shader network.

Not really, you see I get this sort of ‘feedback’ on a daily basis, but I can count on the fingers of one hand (in fact a ‘finger’ of one hand) the number of times someone has quantified the conjecture with actual empirical evidence. Sure the latest PRMan has some features that neither Aqsis nor Pixie have, but discounting that for a moment (especially as Blender has no way to produce the required information), I have yet to see a carefully put together comparison that clearly identifies why people ‘think’ that Aqsis (and I presume to the same degree Pixie, although I cannot speak from experience) is of lesser quality and speed. I’m confident that 99.9% of the negative feedback for Aqsis is simply ‘bandwagon’ feedback, someone somewhere claimed it was slow and poor quality, so it must be true, so when asked the obvious answer is it’s slow and poor quality. If that is not the case, why haven’t we seen qualified comparisons to backup the claims?

Paul Gregory

Pixie does have full NURBS support, I know this because I use it with Maya all the time, the only problem is that Blender’s NURBS are not exportable to RiSpec.

Besides, this subject has been debated time and time again here. Is there any reason to keep rehashing all this? True I added fuel to the fire, but in all reality there is no need to keep debating about this or that. It’s just like comparing Blender to Maya, so one is production proven while the other is a community based software. Each have their strengths, and while the open project “seems” to be worse than the commercial product - it’s free and open…thus if you want to improve on it then do so, and you do not have to pay thousands of dollars to use one copy. Ok, so Pixar keeps adding to the pile of things that PRMan is capable of doing, but so what? Eventually Aqsis and Pixie will get there, and we all should show these guys a little more respect for starting a free and open source RenderMan compliant software. They could have easily made the software a commercial product and instead made it open for all to see and use. So give em a break, they are trying to make these as good as they can be considering only a handfull of people are actually improving the code for nothing in return, as opposed to Pixar’s team of paid employees adding to the PRMan code.

Well said.

And it’s not like you won’t be able to produce quality stuff.