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Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 25

Featuring Advanced Denoising Technology for Animation & VFX Powered by Machine Learning


Pixar Animation Studios released version 25 of RenderMan, Pixar’s award-winning technology for rendering animation and visual effects. The latest version features advanced denoising technology which uses machine learning from Disney Research to significantly transform the rendering process. Additionally, this major release delivers many enhancements for production rendering with new creative controls for stylization, robust scalability, and increased integration with Pixar’s USD (Universal Scene Description). Finally, Pixar’s next generation renderer, RenderMan XPU™, reaches new milestones with support for volumes, secondary passes, and pure performance for feature film animation and VFX.

RenderMan’s advanced denoising technology in version 25 uses a novel approach to harness machine learning for unprecedented leaps in both quality and speed. Developed by Disney Research in collaboration with Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar Animation Studios, and Walt Disney Animation Studios, this state-of-the-art technology has already seen heavy use in production, including every Pixar film since Toy Story 4. The Denoiser excels at preserving fine details, like hair and scratches, which have traditionally been challenging for other denoisers, and it has dramatically reduced render times for both feature animation and VFX.

“The new Denoiser has transformed our studio pipeline allowing shots to be rendered which would otherwise be impossible,” said Pixar CTO, Steve May. “Bringing this new technology to the RenderMan community will transform pipelines and help inspire artists across the industry.”

RenderMan artist tools for Autodesk’s Maya®, Blender®, Foundry’s Katana®, and SideFX Houdini® have all been comprehensively updated for version 25, including support for the VFX Reference Platform 2021. More physically accurate results are now possible with updates to the MaterialX Lama shading system, and a broader range of non-photorealistic imagery is enabled with new artistic features for RenderMan Stylized Looks. Additionally, this release delivers new materials for artists, including new material libraries and production-ready assets.

“I’m super impressed with the quality of the deep-learning denoiser from Disney Research, its multi-frame denoising is fantastic for animation and VFX work - really helps in reducing our render times.“ said Will Earl, Head of Lighting and Optimization at MPC.

“Denoising of CG imagery is the most perfect use-case for neural processing imaginable, and the results prove it: they’re perfection!” said Mitch Prater, LAIKA Shading Technology Supervisor.

RenderMan version 25 is available for download today at for customers on maintenance. Individual licenses of RenderMan are available for $595, and $250 for yearly maintenance. Quantity discounts are available. Researchers, individual artists, and students creating non-commercial projects will have access to Non-Commercial RenderMan at the same time, now with the addition of XPU. Visit for more information, and contact for a quote today.

About Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Brave,” “Inside Out,” “Coco” and “Turning Red.” Its movies and technology have won 40 Academy Awards® and the films have grossed more than $14 billion at the worldwide box office. ”Elemental" Pixar’s upcoming 27th feature, releases in theaters June 16, 2023.

Pixar & RenderMan are registered trademarks of Pixar Animation Studios

Blender is a registered trademark of the Blender Foundation

Houdini is a registered trademark of SideFX

Katana is a registered trademark of Foundry

Maya is a registered trademark of Autodesk Inc.

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