RenderMan has been Pixar's core rendering technology for over 25 years. It's goal is to meet the ever-increasing challenges of 3D animation and visual effects. Today, RenderMan has been completely modernized, with a state-of-the-art ray tracing architecture. Used in the biggest blockbusters, such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Jungle Book, RenderMan is capable of delivering the highest quality visual effects with unparalleled creative flexibility and artistic control.
RenderMan is a CPU-based, multi-threaded rendering application, therefore the more processor cores the better.
In general, 3-6GB of RAM per CPU core is recommended. For example, if you select a single 12-core processor, 32GB will suffice for basic tasks or 64GB for more demanding workloads.
We recommend having two drives which provides the best performance:
- Primary Drive: SSD for the operating system and software
- Secondary Drive: another SSD, or for better performance, an NVMe Flash Storage Drive (the "HP Z Turbo Drive") for active project files
If you need additional storage for large, infrequently accessed files, we also recommend one or more 4TB, 6TB or 8TB+ hard drives. Hard drives also work well for storing export files as the export/rendering process is generally not write intensive.
GPUs are an important aspect of the future direction of rendering that Pixar is currently researching, some of which has already demonstrated in public. RenderMan 21 introduces GPU accelerated denoising, with further GPU support planned in upcoming releases. Therefore given current software design decisions, your budget is better spent on more CPU cores rather than multiple graphics cards. We recommend the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 for this application.
The Z840 is recommended if you require dual processors or dual high performance graphics cards. The Z840 can support up to 6 hard drives or 10 SSDs.
The Z640 is recommended if you require a single high-end processor or single high-performance graphics card. You can always add a second processor and double the memory at a later date using the optional Z640 processor riser. The Z640 can support up to 4 hard drives or 6 SSDs.
The Z440 is recommended if you require a single processor with a low core count or mid-range graphics card. The Z440 can support up to 4 hard drives or 6 SSDs.