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Getting Started with Pixar RenderMan

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Pixar RenderMan is the core rendering technology used by Pixar in their movies, the technology is available for free for non commercial use as of March 2015. RenderMan is an extremely powerful technology for rendering, it’s available as a Maya and Katana add-on, it’s also available as a stand alone application. The technology was used in many blockbuster movies like; Avatar, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story, Titanic and many others.

Learning Pixar RenderMan would be very helpful for those who are working in the TV and Movies industry either as an independent creator or part of a studio as it’s a very powerful tool that would give you access to  very powerful technology that was used by a giant like Pixar for years.

The aim of this post is to present and compare between free online sources that beginners can rely on to learn Pixar RenderMan, the sources stated here are full-structured courses that beginners can follow along.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn Pixar RenderMan) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Getting Started with Pixar RenderMan Online from Scratch

RenderMan University

RenderMan University is the first free online outlet where beginners can start learning Pixar RenderMan through a mix of video and text tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: The training is divided into 5 main sections, each section is divided into a group of lessons that cover the various tools and techniques available in RenderMan.

Interface: The interface is simple, just click on the section you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the lessons resides, from there you can select the lesson you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the lesson resides.

1 - RenderMan University Pixar RenderMan Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured for beginners.
  3. The training has a huge collection of video as well as text tutorials.

Cons

  1. The training isn’t well-organized for beginners.

Verdict: This is an excellent free online outlet where beginners can start learning Pixar RenderMan through a mix of video and text tutorials.

Mark Flanagan YouTube Channel

Mark Flanagan YouTube Channel is the second free online outlet where beginners can start learning Pixar RenderMan through video tutorials.

Structure: The training is divided into 45 video lessons, each video lesson covers various tools and techniques in RenderMan. The training focuses on RenderMan for Maya.

Interface: Standard YouTube interface.

2 - Mark Flanagan YouTube Channel Pixar RenderMan Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. The training focuses on RenderMan for Maya.

Verdict: This is the best free online outlet where beginners can start learning Pixar RenderMan  through video tutorials.

3D Tutorials

3D Tutorials is the third free online outlet where beginners can start learning Pixar RenderMan through video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: There’s no real structure in this outlet it’s just a huge collection of 55 video lessons that cover the various aspects and tools available in Pixar RenderMan. Some of the video tutorials available on this outlet are already available in the above two outlets, as 3D tutorials is just a collection of video tutorials available for Pixar RenderMan.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the video lessons you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the video lesson resides.

 3 - 3D Tutorials Pixar RenderMan Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. A large collection of video tutorials.

Cons

  1. Lacks structure and organization.

Verdict: This is a good free online outlet where beginners can start learning Pixar RenderMan through video tutorials.

Bottom Line

The recipe for learning Pixar RenderMan:

  1. Mark Flanagan YouTube Channel is the best outlet for beginners to start learning RenderMan through video tutorials.
  2. RenderMan University is the best outlet for beginners to start learning RenderMan through a mix of video and  text based tutorials.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in learning RenderMan.