The Foundry and Pixar Animation Studios Collaborate on Katana and Renderman

Category: Siggraph
ANAHEIM, CA — The Foundry and Pixar Animation Studios are collaborating to bring Katana and RenderMan together, creating a combined best-of-breed tool set for high-end lighting and rendering.

Katana will now include a full RenderMan license as standard, along with a base set of shaders and free Katana batch render licenses to help get the most out of any RenderMan pipeline. The results of these efforts will be released to all customers inside future releases of Katana.

"RenderMan represents the pinnacle of rendering technology and Katana represents the state of the art in lighting," says RenderMan Business Director Chris Ford at Pixar. "At Pixar we are proud of how we achieve excellence in look development and our collaboration sets a new standard for lighting and rendering that complements our extensive investment in RenderMan Studio for Katana. Our end goal is to help create production-efficient software that is not only loved by artists, but also produces the amazing quality that Pixar's RenderMan is known for."

The Foundry's Katana lighting tool and Pixar's RenderMan, for visual effects and animation rendering, were employed together on Disney/Pixar's acclaimed short, "The Blue Umbrella," now playing in theaters with Monsters University. The successful outcome involved significant dedicated engineering effort from both parties, not only to better support RenderMan workflows, but to build new features into Katana itself, based upon Pixar's own creative expertise and production-proven technology, according to a spokesperson.

"We are thrilled to be working with some of the world's most creative talent at Pixar as well as the RenderMan team. This development cements Katana's already impressive pedigree for a piece of commercially available software--this really is the best of innovative lighting in production today," says Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry.

Every Katana customer will receive one RenderMan Pro Server license incorporated into the first 10 Katana interactive desktop licenses as part of the base package. Each of these Katana interactive licenses will also come with 10 free Katana batch licenses to support any additional RenderMan renderers on the render-farm.



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