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Pixar's RenderMan 26 Introduces Interactive Machine Learning Denoising

The latest version of Pixar's flagship renderer includes the interactive version of the denoiser powered by machine learning and major RenderMan XPU enhancements to advance rendering capabilities and streamline workflows for artists. 

Pixar Animation Studio has released RenderMan version 26, calling it a significant advancement in Pixar's rendering technology. While the key highlight is the introduction of an interactive version of machine learning Denoiser, there are plenty of smaller rendering performance updates including faster instancing and texture read parallelism as well as RenderMan's Stylized Looks now delivering enhanced creative control and a more intuitive user experience.

"Since the Interactive Denoiser has been rolled out in production, most of our lighters have turned it on by default, and some say they'll never go back again and they can't live without this", commented Renee Tam, Global Technology Supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios.

Thanks to machine learning, the Denoiser is so accurate, that it significantly reduces rendering times while maintaining high fidelity, and "has been occasionally called 'magic' by industry veterans". It's perfect for demanding applications like animation and VFX since it manages to preserve all the intricate details.

Interactive Denoiser is capable of removing noise on images with very low average sample counts and is predictive of the full offline Denoiser, which revolutionizes rendering workflow and reduces iteration times.

Image Credits: Pixar, RenderMan 26

RenderMan XPU hybrid renderer has received major updates, enhancing light support, camera controls, and adaptive sampling capabilities, accelerating rendering and interactivity. 

Both XPU and RIS received greatly improved performance when creating and editing scenes with many instances and textures. The updated Stylized Looks toolset gives artists new ways to express line work and toon effects.

Image Credits: Lucasfilm, The Mandalorian

Image Credits: Pixar, RenderMan 26

Lastly, RenderMan 26 has expanded XPU support for Pixar camera features, received USD advancements, and more.

Check out the full list of release notes here and don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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