As you can see from the list below, there is a LOT of very useful information available regarding RenderMan. In addition to print-based material, there are
a vast number of resources on the web. You are advised to peruse as much of the material as you can. But don't be overwhelmed. Start small, keep incrementally learning as you advance in your
skill level and confidence.
The 'Spec' is *the* last word on RenderMan, as it is the official, technical specification. Use it as a reference and to deepen your understanding of
RenderMan. Also, if you want to write your own version of RenderMan [say, for the emerging handheld devices], this is the document that spells out what your software needs to do. Version 3.2
is the latest update of the Spec, with version 3.3 currently in the works.
RC: The RenderMan Companion - Steve Upstill - Addison Wesley - 1990
AR: Advanced RenderMan: Creating CGI for Motion Pictures - Anthony Apodaca and Larry Gritz - Morgan Kaufmann - 2000
eRm: Essential RenderMan Fast - Ian Stephenson - Springer-Verlag - 2002
RfB: Rendering for Beginners- Saty Raghavachary- Focal Press - 2005
- RSL: RSL book [upcoming]
T&M: Texturing and Modeling: A Procedural Approach - David S. Ebert, F. Kenton Musgrave, Darwyn Peachey, Ken Perlin, Steven Worley - AP
Professional - July 1998
PR: Production Rendering - edited by Ian Stephenson - Springer - 2005
SIGGRAPH course notes
Amazingly, all the past course notes [from '92, '95, '98, '99, '00, '01,'02, '03 and '06 - but not '91] are available on the web. Look for them at the RMR site (link below), under
'Books'. These notes are required reading for hard-core shader writer types and those wanting a detailed and advanced understanding of RenderMan.
Application notes [part of PRMan docs]
There is an excellent collection of documents called 'Application notes'
which are short documents that focus on specific topics such as creating shadows, modeling for efficient rendering, anti-aliasing, etc.
The RenderMan User Group meeting takes place during SIGGRAPH (Wednesday) each year. Especially popular is the 'Stupid RenderMan/RAT Tricks' contest.. Links are at the 'RMR' site mentioned below.
The mother lode site for RMan-related info. Find it at www.renderman.org. If there is just ONE link you'd rather remember,
make it this one.
Other courses, tutorials, links..
At the RMR site, under 'Offsite', look at the 'Misc' link for a bunch of sites with tutorials. Particularly useful are Steve May's Digital Lighting course and Katsuaki ["Kat"] Hiramitsu's site.
Steve's 'RManNotes' is an excellent introduction to pattern generation using a layered shading approach. Simon Bunker's RenderMania site is also very helpful, as is
the set of 'CG References and Tutorials' site by Malcolm Kesson. Deathfall contains wonderful tutorials on PRMan, Slim,
BMRT, etc. There are even more resources available - RenderMan Academy, Renderglobal.org, etc.
Although you can use MTOR to translate *your* scenes into RIBs and study the results, you might find the collection of RIBs at the RMR site more useful. Look under 'RIBs' in the 'Examples' section. Even more RIBs are at my RfB site.
Shaders are RenderMan's currency [$$$] as they help calculate lighting and shading information. You can find dozens and dozens of them at the RMR
site [under 'Shaders'] for your education and entertainment. It is often possible to start with an existing shader and modify it to do what you want rather than to start from scratch, so it
pays [$$$] to know what is out there. My RfB site also has a lot of shaders.
For those interested in writing RenderMan programs using Java, Perl, Tcl or Python, 'bindings' are available for those languages. Also, a large number of
modelers, converters and scripts/utilities are also available as freeware, shareware or commercial software. Look in the RMR site under 'Offsite' for an extensive list.
Pixar - RenderMan info., trivia, merchandise..
Pixar's site contains a wealth of R'man information, both technical and non-technical. You can read about their
feature films, shorts and commercials [all produced using RenderMan as the predominant software], look at a list of the movies where RenderMan was used, access all of the technical docs, get
sample shaders and source code, etc.