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By deadalvs
hi !

i am thinking about learning RenderMan since it is the standard in the visualFX business.

anyone using RenderMan for maya here ?

what are the main differences between RM and MentalRay ?
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By 3dtrialpractice
thought about it too. looks liek the same dealio as w/ mental ray but seems liek us say its more xepted in vfx wourld to know renderman shdrs.. it think its way faster than mental ray for the most part.. and you also have all the renderman resources out there.. althouhgh not as nice as having the mxm gallary for maxell thats just sweetness..
By msantana
I was hoping someone more versed in Renderman would answer. I have very limited knowledge in Renderman, mostly because I haven't bought my license. However I have attended a couple of Pixar usergroup meetings and I can tell you that one of Renderman's strengths is displacement. Mental Ray is just imprecise and slow. I don't think this has been fixed in the latest mental ray release that has been bundled with Maya 2008.

I use volumetric effects in mental ray as well and they are slow as hell, even on an 8-core 3Ghz machine. However, since Maxwell doesn't have any, there really isn't any choice. I think Renderman's are better also (faster and far more controllable), but perhaps someone more knowledgeable can share his/her insight.

Definitely thinking about purchasing a license. I will be picky and say that I really haven't taken the plunge because I don't think they have Mac OS X 64-bit support yet. I don't think this is a problem in linux.

It is definitely worth a try. You can play with an evaluation version if you are very curious. They are free to download from Pixar's website (I believe this is only for Windows and Mac OS X)

Last edited by msantana on Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By deadalvs
thanks guys..

i was hoping for some pros too..

i have seen that MR for maya 2 is only available on mac and pc, no linux (so far), but accoring to pixar, they're still evaluating. (MR4Maya 1 is available)

if ever they'd port it to linux i'd chance platform.

i bought the digital tutors dvd on renderMan and it seems so extremely stable and efficient. also with simple render passes that can be directly be output in ONE open EXR file, which is great for compositing and keeping files together.

as i've seen renderMan has also many many algorithms built-in that automatically adapt to efficient rendering the scene. for example the shading rate in camera motion blur.
and automatic ultra-fast subpolydisplacement in every render, also natively with all nurbs is incredible ! no more tesselation artifacts !!!
also the rendertime booleans with subpolydisplacement!

the ability to freely write natively in a shader language is also great !

maxwell does an incredible job, but unless either GPU computing is implemented or very large budgets are invested to make animations, i see no way to keep smaller offices using in in production for anything else than still images.

currently, i am working on a digital set project for the school i am at the moment and i'm using exclusively maya software and depth map shadows ! but i have no other chance when working only on a laptop...

there are now so many renderers out there, it's incredible to keep track of them technically.

and the online documentation platform for renderman is incredible ! i'd totally invest the money for that just to get the information and the technical knowledge !

--> ... eware.html
By darinh
I've used Rman quite a bit but always in a facility where I have a lot of support from TD's. If I need a feature in a render I can just call and have it implemented. I'm not sure about Rman for Maya but I think if you want to be able to compile your own shaders you will have to pony up for the full Rman suite. Far be it for me to tell anyone what to do with their time but writing shaders is a career into itself!
I don't believe there is any comparison between Maxwell and Rman, Renderman is probably the most biased renderer out there and is optimised for speed and quality, it's open ended and extendable which is what makes it so attractive to large facilities that need to get 500-1000 shots out the door on time and under budget.

Personally I've found Mentalray to be very good with some limitations, the displacements are actually fairly fast when used correctly with the approximation editor. 8.5 - 2008 was a big improvement with the addition of the portal light, Mia MaterialX and new much faster Final gather settings. I bought Maxwell to look into using it to render stills for projection and rendering in either MentalRay or Rman, especially Rman cause it handles large textures and the motion blur is amazing.

I have been guilty of wanting to jump at the next big thing in rendering and now there's definitely a glut of choices out there. But there's really no magic bullet, they all have their drawbacks and you just find yourself being pulled in different directions trying to learn all this stuff.

One big plus about Mentalray in Maya, it's free! :)

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