Advanced RenderMan - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781558606180, 9780080498829

Advanced RenderMan

1st Edition

Creating CGI for Motion Pictures

Authors: Anthony Apodaca Larry Gritz
eBook ISBN: 9780080498829
Paperback ISBN: 9781558606180
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 15th December 1999
Page Count: 560
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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction

1. Photosurrealism

1.1 Making Movies

1.2 Altered Reality

1.3 Production Requirements

1.4 Enter RenderMan

1.5 Sign Me Up!

2. Review of Mathematics and Computer Graphics Concepts

2.1 Trigonometry and Vector Algebra

2.2 Geometry

2.3 Physics and Optics

2.4 Computer Graphics

Further Reading

Part II Scene Description

3. Describing Models and Scenes in RenderMan

3.1 Scene Description API

3.2 Structure of a Scene Description

3.3 Rendering Options

3.4 Primitive Attributes

3.5 Other Shading Attributes

3.6 Lights

3.7 External Resources

3.8 Advanced Features

3.9 The Rest of the Story

4. Geometric Primitives

4.1 Primitive Variables

4.2 Parametric Quadrics

4.3 Polygons and Polyhedra

4.4 Parametric Patches


4.6 Subdivision Meshes

4.7 Reference Geometry

4.8 Constructive Solid Geometry

5. Handling Complexity in Photorealistic Scenes

5.1 Procedural Primitives

5.2 Lightweight Primitives

5.3 Level of Detail

6. How PhotoRealistic RenderMan Works

6.1 History

6.2 Basic Geometric Pipeline

6.3 Enhanced Geometric Pipeline

6.4 Rendering Attributes and Options

6.5 Rendering Artifacts

Part III Shading

7. Introduction to Shading Language

7.1 Shader Philosophy

7.2 Shading Language Data Types

7.3 Shading Language Variables

7.4 Statements and Control Flow

7.5 Simple Built-in Functions

7.6 Writing SL Functions

Further Reading

8. Texture Mapping and Displacement

8.1 Texture Access in Shading Language

8.2 Displacement and Bump Mapping

8.3 Texture Projections

Further Reading

9. Illumination Models and Lights

9.1 Built-in Local Illumination Models

9.2 Reflections

9.3 Illuminance Loops, or How diffuse ( ) and spcular ( ) work

9.4 Identifying Lights with Special Properties

9.5 Custom Material Descriptions

9.6 Light Sources

Further Reading

10. Pattern Generation

10.1 Proceduralism versus Stored Textures

10.2 Regular Patterns

10.3 Irregular Patterns: noise ( )

10.4 Fractional Brownian Motion and Turbulence

10.5 Cellular Patterns

Further Reading

11. Shader Antialiasing

11.1 Sources of Aliasing in Shading

11.2 Facilities for Filter Estimation

11.3 Analytic Antialiasing

11.4 Antialiasing by Frequency Clamping

11.5 Conclusions and Caveats

Further Reading

12. A Gallery of Procedural Shaders

12.1 Shader Strategy

12.2 Aside: Shading Spaces and Reference Meshes

12.3 Ceramic Tiles

12.4 Wood Grain

12.5 Wood Planks

12.6 Smoke: A Volume Shader

12.7 Lens Flare and "Clipping Plane" Shaders

Part IV Tricks of the Trade

13. Storytelling through Lighting, a Computer Graphics Perspective

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Objectives of Lighting

13.3 Directing the Viewer's Eye-The Study of Composition

13.4 Creating Depth

13.5 Conveying Time of Day and Season

13.6 Enhancing Mood, Atmosphere, and Drama

13.7 Revealing Character Personality and Situation

13.8 Continuity

13.9 Film Considerations

13.10 Conclusion

Further Reading

14. Lighting Controls for Computer Cinematography

14.1 Introduction

14.2 The Lighting Model

14.3 Implementation Notes

14.4 Examples

Further Reading

15. Volumetric Shaders for Visual Effects

15.1 Using Textured Geometry for Volume Effects

15.2 Ray Marching Techniques

15.3 In the Real World (Volumetric Effects for Production)

15.4 Conclusion

16. Nonphotorealistic Rendering with RenderMan

16.1 Introduction

16.2 Alternate Camera Models

16.3 Shading Nonphotorealistically

16.4 Indirect Rendering with RenderMan

16.5 Conclusion

Further Reading

17. Ray Tracing in PRMan

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Background: DSO Shadeops in PRMan

17.3 A Ray Server

17.4 New Functionality

17.5 Ray Tracing for Reflections and Refractions

17.6 Using the Ray Server

17.7 Implementation Notes


Advanced RenderMan: Creating CGI for Motion Pictures is precisely what you and other RenderMan users are dying for. Written by the world's foremost RenderMan experts, it offers thoroughly updated coverage of the standard while moving beyond the scope of the original RenderMan Companion to provide in-depth information on dozens of advanced topics. Both a reference and a tutorial, this book will quickly prove indispensable, whether you're a technical director, graphics programmer, modeler, animator, or hobbyist.

Key Features

Explore the Power of RenderMan

  • Use the entire range of geometric primitives supported by RenderMan.
  • Understand how and when to use procedural primitives and level of detail.
  • Master every nuance of the Shading Language.
  • Write detailed procedural shaders using texture, displacement, pattern generation, and custom reflection models.
  • Write shaders for special effects relating to volumes, custom lighting, and non-photorealistic media.
  • Use antialiasing to ensure that your shaders are free of artifacts.
  • Minimize the expense of rendering scenes by optimizing input.

Other Features from Advanced RenderMan

  • Offers expert advice and instruction applicable to any RenderMan-compliant renderer.
  • Filled with technical illustrations and many full-color representations of effects supported by the RenderMan standard.
  • Includes a chapter reviewing key math and computer graphics concepts.


No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2000
Morgan Kaufmann
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

Anthony Apodaca Author

Tony Apodaca is Director of Graphics R&D at Pixar Animation Studios, co-creator of the RenderMan Specification, and lead engineer of the PhotoRealistic RenderMan. His film credits include Tin Toy, Knick-knack, Toy Story, and A Bug’s Life. In 1993, Tony and five other engineers received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for work on PhotoRealistic RenderMan.

Affiliations and Expertise

Pixar Animation Studios, Emeryville, CA, U.S.A.

Larry Gritz Author

Larry Gritz is a co-founder of Exluna,, part of Nvidia, where he is a co-designer and the current technical lead of the Entropy renderer. Prior to joining Exluna, Larry was the head of the rendering research group at Pixar Animation Studios and editor of the RenderMan Interface 3.2 Specification, as well as serving as a lighting and shading TD on film and commercial projects. His film credits include Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc. Larry has a B.S. degree from Cornell University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the George Washington University. Prior to joining Pixar in early 1995, Larry was the original creator of BMRT. Larry's research interests include global illumination, shading languages and systems, and rendering of hideously complex scenes.

Affiliations and Expertise

Exluna/Nvidia, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.