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Use of CGI Renderer “Renderman” in Disney-Pixar Films

Info: 1713 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 9th Jul 2021 in Computer Science

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COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGERY RENDERER “RENDERMAN” HAS ENHANCED DISNEY-PIXAR MOVIES FOR YEARS

When people think of Finding Nemo, they think of funny characters, and a colorful sea movie. When they think of Toy Story, they think of toys that have personalities and look real. And let’s not forget Monsters Inc. Somehow, Sully looks so fluffy that you’d want to give him a hug. Throughout each person’s childhood, they have seen a Disney-Pixar animated movie that made them happy. The question that remains as a child grows older is how were these Disney-Pixar movies brought to life, and how did the characters become so real through animation? The answer is through Computer Generated Imagery, or CGI software programs such as the renderer “Renderman,” which is an animation program that Pixar has created and used for many years. It’s time to discover how the computer animation program “Renderman” has opened up the world of animation to Disney – Pixar and their movies that are a part of each person’s childhood.

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What is Renderman?

Before one can understand how Renderman has made the Disney – Pixar movies it is in better, it is important to understand exactly what Renderman does and what it is. First, it is important to know what the term “rendering” means in animation. Applied to animation, rendering is the process of creating 2D or 3D images from models by using certain programs or software. [1] Now that the term “rendering” is understood, one can apply that to why the CGI animation program Renderman is called what it is. Renderman is Pixar’s own rendering software program. Pixar produced it in the 80’sto conquer 3D animation and effects. Renderman is Pixar’s application program interface (API) that helps meet the needs of the making of Pixar’s films. This software provides special 3D image properties. Renderman has been used in many of Pixar’s big movies and has helped make the characters come to life. [2]

What Disney-Pixar movies has Renderman Enhanced?

It is important to understand what movies Renderman has enhanced to truly have respect for this animation software. It is also important to understand what has made everyone’s favorite childhood movies and why the characters come to life.From the very beginning, Pixar knew they could create phenomenal films that could awe audiences when they watched it. The first film that Pixar made using Renderman was “Tin Toy.” It also happened to be the first film awarded a 3D animation Academy film award. Lots of workers from Pixar worked together to create the film and make the 3D toys alive. This film was the inspiration behind the famous movie that every child seems to have seen – “Toy Story”. If it were not for Renderman, the toys in “Tin Toy” would not be the 3D figures that broke the ice for Pixar.[3] The CGI animation in this movie was quite rewarding for the company.  Now that it is clear how Renderman has started, it is important to see how some of the biggest Disney-Pixar movies known of came to be with the help of CGI animation like Renderman. Below are some of the most well known Disney-Pixar movies that Renderman has been used in and how Renderman has enhanced them. [4]

Toy Story

Like many other Disney – Pixar movies, Toy Story was developed using Renderman.[5] Toy Story was a sort of legend in CGI animation considering that it came out in 1995, when animation was still being figured out and developed. Using Renderman, animators figured out what images needed to be re – rendered and developed and rendered them as the movie went along. The animators had to make sure that they could balance images and animations in the film. The director of Toy Story (John Lasseter) was given a special Oscar award for developing and applying certain techniques that created the first normal length computer animated movie.[6]

Monsters inc.

Monsters Inc. is an impressive movie in the world of Rendering. What may surprise viewers about this bright, fun film is that animators were in charge of rendering the characters and making them look the way they are in the film. The Pixar animation team was challenged to make Sully’s hair. Since they had to make so much hair for the character to make him appear real, they took lots of time rendering his hair. A single hair on Sully was rendered using CGI programs and the hairs were all used together to make his body furry. CGI software including Renderman enabled this movie to have good visuals, movements, and expressions in the film.[7]

Finding Nemo

This movie was more of a challenge for animators because of the colorful under-the-sea setting of the film. Animators had to carefully plan what sea life should look like. Also, the colors and sea surface were emphasized in the movie and given a lot of attention to when developing them. Each part in Finding Nemo went through lots of rendering to make the movie have the best animation appearance.[8]

Conclusion

It is important to respect the animators that make movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc., but it is also important to value companies like “Renderman” that make animation movies possible. Making a Disney-Pixar movie has been made easier thanks to Renderman and the CGI animation capabilities it allows when animator artists can use this renderer technology to create 3D characters that come to life and movies full of detail. If it were not for this renderer, Pixar would not be same. CGI animation software such as “Renderman” has unlocked a whole new world of animation for Disney-Pixar. Even if this company was only a key part of Pixar’s movie making until 2014 since Pixar wanted to share a version or Renderman with the public,[9] it was an amazing program for Pixar and helped them create some of their legendary movies in the time they used this CGI animation program.

REFERENCES


[1] Author unknown, What is Rendering?- Definition from Techopedia, Techopedia, Date of publication unknown,  https://www.techopedia.com/definition/9163/rendering

[2] Tina Lee, “The Best Rendering Software for CG lighting animation,” TDU, February 14, 2019, https://td-u.com/the-best-rendering-software-for-cg-lighting-for-animation/

[3] Mike Seymour, “Pixar’s Renderman turns 25,” FX Guide, July 25, 2013, https://www.fxguide.com/featured/pixars-renderman-turns-25/

[4] Mike Seymour, “Pixar’s Renderman turns 25,” FX Guide, July 25, 2013, https://www.fxguide.com/featured/pixars-renderman-turns-25/

[5] Mike Seymour, “Pixar’s Renderman turns 25,” FX Guide, July 25, 2013, https://www.fxguide.com/featured/pixars-renderman-turns-25/

[6] Author unknown, “Technology Behind The Magical World Of Pixar,” AviDesigns, November 22, 2013, https://sites.psu.edu/avidesigns/2013/11/22/technology-behind-the-magical-world-of-pixar/

[7] Author unknown, “Technology Behind The Magical World Of Pixar,” AviDesigns, November 22, 2013, https://sites.psu.edu/avidesigns/2013/11/22/technology-behind-the-magical-world-of-pixar/

[8] Author unknown, “Technology Behind The Magical World Of Pixar,” AviDesigns, November 22, 2013, https://sites.psu.edu/avidesigns/2013/11/22/technology-behind-the-magical-world-of-pixar/

[9] Tina Lee, “The Best Rendering Software for CG lighting animation,” TDU, February 14, 2019, https://td-u.com/the-best-rendering-software-for-cg-lighting-for-animation/

 

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