Pixie: Rendering for the rest of us

Way back before Toy Story, Pixar were making amazing digital cartoons and shorts, Luxo Jr. is one of the all time favourites (have a look at the clip then have a look at their logo) as is Tin Toy and Knick Knack. You can see all the titles for these early pieces on the bookshelf in Toy Story. Now at the same time as they were arguably inventing the craft of digital movies they were also writing the software tools they needed to make their movies. Way up at the top of the list is a program called Renderman. It costs a bundle. Worth every penny and the list of movies it has been used on is astounding.

So you have checked out some of the samples above ( I know I did) and have decided you want to have a play with some of this stuff and had a quick look at their price list and decided that it is a tad out of your league.
Demo of Pixie

Well the open source movement have come to your rescue. Pixie is a RenderMan like photorealistic renderer.

Pixie is an open source project licensed under Gnu Public License that 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 a pretty amazing renderer for 3D that is attempting to duplicate some of Pixar’s award-winning Renderman product and from the examples that they have in their gallery I’ve been looking at, they are pretty close.

Too cool not to have a look at.

Oh yeah, you WILL need a hefty PC to run it. One with lots of everything.

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