Shadows and Light.
Geometric Area Lights.
RMS 18 introduced Geometric Area Lights, a powerful new way to create physically accurate lighting while optimizing sample budgets and performance. PRMan’s geometric floodlights support gobos, portals, blockers, light linking, groups, groups of AOVs and IES profiles.
RMS supports a sophisticated process for creating area shadows, either by raytracing directly into a scene or by tracing deep shadow files. Raytraced Area Shadows are faster than traditional Raytraced Shadows, while portable Deep Shadows deliver similar results with less memory overhead by using rasterization and texture caching.
RenderMan for Maya supports “Global Illumination” effects, subtle diffuse shading effects that occur when the lighting of a scene is scanned several times from a specific point. This technique can deliver very realistic results. Occlusion, which only scans the “coverage” of a point (and is cheaper than indirect lighting), is also supported.
Deep Shadows are a feature-rich shading map that supports transparency and volumetric data. Deep shadows can also be pre-scanned. Deep shadows have the following advantages over traditional shading maps, which make deep shadows ideal for the coat or when shading a collection of small, semi-transparent objects. Allow Deep Shadows:
- Semi-transparent shadows.
- Colored shadows.
- Motion blurred shadows.
- Fewer animation artifacts.
- More subtle, better-looking shadows.
RMS includes PRMan’s world-class volumetric rendering capabilities that enable the creation of volumetric effects, including Maya’s Fluid Effects, with full PRMan support – motion blur, RSL, depth map support ( for deep or area shadows).
True Curved Surfaces.
Tesselation settings are never a problem when rendering NURBS and Subdivision Surfaces with RenderMan. Because RenderMan renders true curved Surfaces, NURBS and Subdivision Surfaces will never have faceted artifacts. Maya’s tessellation mode settings are simply ignored and the benefits of RenderMan are immediately realized.
Constructive Solid Geometry.
RenderMan for Maya provides functionality for CSG Boolean operations on geometric surfaces – calculated in the renderer. Constructive Volume Geometry (CSG) allows you to combine two (or more) objects (or groups of objects) in different ways, creating complicated geometries and special effects.
RenderMan for Maya supports underground scattering, an important effect for realistic rendering of transparent materials such as skin, flesh, fat, fruits, milk, marble and many others. Subsurface Scattering is responsible for effects such as color bleedings in the material or the scattering of light across shadow boundaries. RMS 4 supports the Raytraced Subsurface Scattering introduced in PRMan 16.2.
RenderMan for Maya supports secondary outputs )AOVs or arbitrary output variables), which can be any information contained in a shader.
Custom RenderMan Shaders.
Custom RenderMan shaders can be imported for use with RMS. This allows you to take full advantage of the expressive RenderMan Shading Language and provides more control than what is possible with the Maya Material Editor. Note that custom RenderMan shaders must either be written (encoded) or created in a tool such as Slim.
As the basis of a RIB-based pipeline, RenderMan for Maya supports all types of procedures. In addition, RenderMan for Maya provides simple support for procedures via an MEL script attribute, either on a common geometric attribute node or directly on a transformation or form node.
In the pipeline below.
RenderMan for Maya is part of a potentially demanding production pipeline. To get your work from script to script to screen, you may need more and that’s where Tractor and RenderMan Pro Server enter the image. By implementing RMS in conjunction with Tractor and RPS, users can achieve a seamlessly integrated rendering workflow from the desktop to the render farm.
Tractor is a system for distributing tasks from queues over a network of computing servers. It includes a central queue mechanism, a remote execution server, a monitoring subsystem and a browser-based user interface. The Tractor was designed as a powerful replacement for Alfred and can be used in any work distribution capacity, but is particularly well suited for managing a RenderMan for Maya-to-RenderMan Pro Server pipeline.
Tractor is offered as a standalone product with its own documentation.
RenderMan Pro Server.
RenderMan Pro Server is the foundation for a powerful rendering pipeline. It provides standalone implementations of the renderer and its rendering utilities, as well as access to APIs that enable experienced users to extend functionality. As the core technology, RenderMan Pro Server is the font from which all pixels flow.