RenderMan shader-writing resources

'RSL' has been around since 1990, so there is a *lot* out there on it you can learn from. Don't get overwhelmed, though! Learn the basic RSL syntax well, study existing shaders, experiment by modifying some, gradually start writing your own.

RenderMan Spec

The 'Spec' is the official word on RenderMan - it is the technical specification of the RenderMan interface. Part II of the Spec exclusively focuses on the shading language.

Version 3.2 is the latest update of the Spec, with version 3.3 currently in the works.


Just a handful of books, buy them all :)

SIGGRAPH course notes

Amazingly, all the past course notes [from '92, '95, '98, '99, '00, '01,'02, '03, '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.

Notes from '91 and '92 are particularly useful for learning shader writing.

PRMan docs

Be sure to browse through the doc. pages that ship with PRMan. They contain a lot of info. on shader writing, eg. on Slim templates, MEL commands, shadeops, procedural RIB generators, etc.

Forums (fora?!), sites..

Links to info. provided by individuals, groups, academia..