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Transitioning from RAT to RMS

If you're familiar with using the RenderMan Artist Tools and MTOR, RenderMan Studio (RMS) is going to present a slightly different workflow. The RMS way of doing things is “multifaceted”:

  1. Wherever possible, use the natural Maya-centric method for achieving/controlling various affects.
  2. Never sacrifice the RenderMan-centric method of doing things.

We achieve #1 by carefully translating all the effects and knobs that we are aware of… As Maya is a moving target, we're always on the lookout for holes in our translation and new or changed Maya features and workflows.

We achieve #2 by providing you direct access to the Ri stream (Ri Injectors) and dynamic attributes that can be assigned to shaders, lights, shapes, and the camera, or wired-in for sharing across all these. The collection of attributes and options available through these channels is completely open-ended. The files $RMSTREE/etc/rfm_param.rman, rfm_nodetemplate.rman, etc. embody the policies presented in the GUI and, should you need something we haven't provided, itis possible to extend the system using our standard extension machinery.

For example, you can add a custom Matte attribute to primitive shape nodes using the RenderMan-> Manage Attributes menu item in the Maya's Attribute Editor. There, you'll find the entire list of powerful and obscure RenderMan options for assignment to your objects. You can also create a node representing the sharing of a collection of RenderMan attributes and wire these into a bunch of shape nodes via Window-> Rendering Editors-> RenderMan-> Shared Geometric Attributes.

RenderMan attributes are divided into a few categories:

For additional practical information on making the transition from RAT to RMS, please consult the RAT to RMS FAQ in the Recipes and Tutorials section of the documentation.

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