RenderMan Artist Tools

PhotoRealistic RenderMan

Interrogating PhotoRealistic RenderMan Shaders

November, 1990 (Updated Jan 2006)

This document describes the software available from Pixar that can be used by application programs to interrogate the parameters of PhotoRealistic RenderMan shaders and Pixar Looks.


PhotoRealistic RenderMan allows small procedures to be written in the RenderMan Shading Language[1] to allow user extensible shading features to be added to the rendering algorithm. These procedures are known as shaders, and provide one of the most powerful concepts and features of the RenderMan Interface.

Many modeling applications that support the RenderMan Interface wish to present information about shaders to their users, including which shaders are available, the parameters for each shader, and the default values for each shader parameter. Since source code to shaders may not be available for shaders that a user may wish to apply to his model, an alternate means for interrogating shaders is provided.


A library of procedures (sloargs) is available[2] to interrogate the parameters of a shader. This library is available for each platform that Pixar has produced a RenderMan product. The reference documentation for this library can be found here.


Use of the sloargs library will ensure that shaders are interrogated in a simple and consistent fashion by all applications.


  1. The RenderMan Interface V3.1,September 1989
  2. RenderMan Toolkit, Pixar

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