a – 20 patches

My colleague Julien showed me last week a 3d format i’ve never heard of : Renderman.

Renderman, was created by Pixar animation Studio as an Interface specification and a photorealistic renderer. It is mostly designed for high end animations, but stays relatively accessible for who wants to generate and render a still image with simple shaders. Which just happened to be my case.

For diverse reasons i love working on Linux and i was positively surprised to see how many 3d applications are penguin friendly. I guess the stability of the os and the possible customization makes it an ideal candidate for heavy duty computational tasks.

Since it’s not like i was going to render bugs life 4 or The Matrix 5 i needed to find a simple, accessible and free renderer. And after a few tests i adopted aqsis.

So the pipeline is almost complete. The last thing needed is a programmatic tool that would help me creating .rib files. (that’s the Renderman interface format). There is a c library that seems to be the way to go, but i have no prior knowledge of writing and compiling c, and didn’t have enough time left to learn what seems to be yet another project, so here comes again trusty processing.

A few functions later. a rib was born. Then everything was ready for the long trial and error never ending happy accidents series that’s the visual creative process.

b – 100 patches

I think one of the most exciting things in this project and in trying 3d rendering is the ability to work with light in such a quasi realistic way. It almost took me back to the days i was experimenting in photography studios where every stops needs to be carefully calibrated to reveal the nature of the subject.

c – 100 patches 2

Pixar Renderman web site
Renderman on wikipedia
The book to get
The other book to get


  1. Hi! Sounds like a interesting work! I always loved “random” art. Are you planning to release the code to generate the .rib files? :)


    Marcello · Jul 30, 07:04 am · #

  2. Well the code is a bit of a mess and consists in a long series of functions call right now. So not pretty to put out there, but I’m more than happy to send them to you if that’s helps. Just send me a mail.

    Ideally in the future i’ll replicate the c api and get it into a processing library.

    Oli · Jul 30, 09:38 am · #

  3. Linux is also good for 2 things: it’s capability to cope well with big networks, and its price:free. In fact, Linux is the only viable platform for Rendering 3D images for film. Having hundreds of computers networked on Windows wouldn’t be an option.

    Julien · Aug 10, 12:06 am · #

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