Thursday, October 16, 2008


The developers of Aqsis and MOSAIC have recently been working very hard on correctly exporting Blender fur to Renderman and the results are paying off very well. One of the major issues with Blender and Renderman is that the particle system in Blender is difficult to work with and up until recently had been impossible. Since Blender's fur system is based on particle data there was only the ability to export a general description of the fur to the RIB file but no way to actually control the fur. This makes for some ugly fur, let alone hair.

Now there is a way to export Blender fur using guide hairs! A lot of it comes from a custom DSO that handles the generation of the hairs based on the guide splines, so it's not so much a part of MOSAIC but the script does make calls to it using fragments associated with a particular shader assigned in Blender. There is also work to allow the layered shader function of Aqsis (note: Aqsis is the ONLY RiSpec renderer capable of this, not even PRMan can do this!!), so this allows for even more interesting work.

One of the projects in the works is some talk about rendering the entire Big Buck Bunny short using Aqsis as the render engine with little modification to the scenes. However that is only a rumor and not set in stone. hehe.

To view the topic posts on the Aqsis site click HERE.


  1. Just to clarify one small point, the intention has never been "rendering the entire Big Buck Bunny short using Aqsis as the render engine". This effort was started mainly to prove that the pipeline can work, and that there are significant benefits to working with a RenderMan based renderer.

    However, that doesn't take away from the amazing work that Eric and Chris have been doing, hell, it might even be possible at some point. That doesn't mean it's desirable, but it might be possible.


  2. I agree, the intent is to use the BBB project files as a "real world" production test case to hammer out issues with the pipeline =) Once most of the issues have been dealt with it may be possible to render the movie but... it would require a renderfarm similar to what they used to actually render BBB, not to mention the man-power resources to iron out all the problems inherent with such projects.
    I am however trying to get to the point I can render at least one small scene using my small 10 node farm at my home studio ;-)

    BTW I'm haven't been apart of the apparent bad blood between the Blender and OSRenderMan communities, and don't care too. Blender is NOT inferior to RenderMan for what most Blender users require and RM only really begins to shine when needing extreme control over the production pipeline. I think we should be careful not to speak negatively of Blender's internal render or we WILL start a flame war (I've been guilty of this too!). There's place for both, we just need to be convincing that OSRenderMan can offer a world class studio production pipeline, but we'll have to prove that ourselves =)

  3. Opps.

    Must have gotten too far ahead of myself Paul, lol.

    As for the render war, I don't intentionally start them and I have been known to praise the Blender internal engine, what it can do is amazing. Compared to what it did back in 1999 it is awesome.

    I only try to express this one point, professional studios and new users alike can use this. It does work and the the things you guys have been working on to improve the functionality has been superb! This did not exist even 4 years ago, not like this. I would put the level of use similar to the Liquid plugin for Maya 6, of course a few things aside.

    I'm just all excited over the fur posts I guess, after being able to work with fluids and cloth.

  4. No worries, that post sounded more harsh then I meant ;-) Just think we all need to be very careful, for me at least everyone in the Blender community has been very friendly and supportive. They just don't see the potential I see in RenderMan, so I hope in time we can show them =)