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Rendering for Beginners by Saty Raghavachary

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2

RenderMan

We begin this chapter by exploring the origins of RenderMan and its continuing contribution to the world of high-end visual effects. We then move on to discussing the various components of the RenderMan system from a user’s perspective, and conclude with a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar’s RenderMan implementation works.

2.1 History, Origins

During the 1970s, the computer science department at The University of Utah was a computer graphics hotbed which gave rise to a host of innovations widely used in the industry today. Its alumni list reads like a CG who-is-who, including pioneers such as Jim Blinn, Lance Williams, Ed Catmull, John Warnock, Jim Clark, Frank Crow, Fred Parke, Martin Newell and many others. Catmull’s work there ...

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