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RenderMan is a high-level API for describing 3D scenes to render engines, sometimes described as "PostScript" for 3D scenes. There are many implementations of the RenderMan API, see the following list. We recommend Aqsis for use with K-3D.


K-3D interacts with a RenderMan compliant render engine using an instance of RenderManEngine, plus a number of RenderMan Plugins related plugins.

Renderman Implementations


3Delight is a fast RenderMan-compliant renderer designed to produce photorealistic images for serious production environments. Some of its features include ray tracing, global illumination, motion blur, depth of field, subdivision surfaces, programmable shaders, quality antialiasing and antialiased multi-depth shadow maps. It is available for a wide variety of platforms, including Windows, MacOS X, Linux and IRIX. License: Non-free.


Fast, high-quality 3D-rendering for architectural visualization, industrial design, advertising, television, film, and digital content creation. License: Non-free.


Aqsis is a Renderman(tm) compliant 3D rendering toolkit. It is based on the Reyes rendering approach. Features include - programmable shading, true displacements, NURBS, CSG, Motion Blur, direct rendering of subdivision surfaces. License: GPL.


jrMan is a project to write an open source version of the REYES rendering algorithm used by Pixar's PhotoRealistic Renderman.


Pixie is a RenderMan like photorealistic renderer. It is being developed in the hope that it will be useful for graphics research and for people who can not afford a commercial renderer. Pixie is an open source project licensed under GNU General Public License. The source code is provided without any guarantees for those people who wish to fix bugs, optimize the code or implement new features.

Photorealistic RenderMan

Photorealistic RenderMan, or "prman" is the grand-daddy of all RenderMan render engines. It is used widely in the motion picture industry, including such popular films such as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo.

Render Dot C

RenderMan compliant render engine. License: Non-free.


Siren is a scanline implementation of the RenderMan standard for describing 3D scenes. It renders simple scenes well. It supports most of the basic RenderMan functionality and provides many of the optional capabilities described in the RenderMan standard. Siren runs under MS-DOS. License: Non-free.

Other Renderman Compatible Modelers


Ayam, previously known as The Mops, supports NURBS, uses TCL as scripting language.

Innovation 3D

Includes bones, has preliminary support for NURBS.

Moonlight 3D

Resurrection project.

Wings 3D

Mesh modeler only.

RenderMan Specification

RenderMan Interface Specification

The RenderMan Interface Specification, the RISpec, is the official technical specification for the RenderMan Interface. It is quite terse and requires substantial prior knowledge of computer graphics in general and photorealistic image synthesis in particular.

RenderMan Application Notes

Shaders and Tutorials

The RenderMan Academy

Offers free didactic material on learning RenderMan from introduction to advance courses. Be sure to check out their Library section!

RenderMan Repository

The RenderMan Repository.

Steve May's RManNotes

General information about writting shaders.

Highend 3D

RenderMan shaders, tools, forums, etc...

CG references & tutorials

An illustrated and comprehensive shader tutorial, and a book named Introduction to RenderMan in PDF format.

My IMAGE Made with RenderMan

Nice example pictures, unfortunately not all the shaders are available.


RenderMan shaders, information and tools.

GaragePost shaders and tutorials

Some shaders and a Translucent Object tutorial.

RenderMan Tools

DCT Systems Renderman Page

RenderMan tools and tips for shaders, RIB files, etc.

Affine Toolkit

Affine Toolkit tools based on the RenderMan standard.

Personal tools