Sunday, May 03, 2009

Blender to Renderman Artist Tools v 0.5 Released! (UPDATE!!!!)

(EDIT: UPDATE! See below original post for more info!!!)

Finally this LONG awaited release has come! Sorry for such a long delay everyone, it has been a hectic year for me. Over the past 2 months I have been working hard on testing Blender 2.48 and the recent versions of Aqsis and Pixie to make sure that it can be considered "production stable", I have been on and off with making this ISO over the past year (to many people's dismay - sorry again) but so far with latest developments this looks good. Most of the tests I have done have been successful and I decided to finally put together this ISO for everyone to use, previous versions were not so bug free. I am listing it as version 0.5 because this is the fifth time I have undertaken such a task, the first time was just for my own use and each time since marked another "version" of this toolkit.

Anywho...... on to the goods!!!!

In this release are:

Compiled and sources of Blender 2.48, Aqsis 1.4.2, Pixie 2.2.5
Mosaic 0.2 Beta
Python 2.5.4 (installation for Windows - Linux already has it)
CGKit 2.0
Shaderman 0.7 and ShadermanNEXT
Shader sources (hundreds of them!!)
Shaderman shader projects
OpenEXR 1.4.0 (Windows install, Windows and Linux source)
OpenEXR 1.4.0 sample images
Dr. Queue (compiled and source)
Cinepaint (Linux only!! There is no recent Windows build)
Documentation from Pixars Online Research library as well as SIGGRAPH papers
Crimson Editor (Windows code editor)
Dev C++ and MinGW (Windows only, Linux has gcc which is the basis for all Linux builds)
Python scripts for Blender (various usefull ones not released with Blender)
Voodoo (for visual effects camera matchmoving)
Blender files (examples and test files)
Some usefull textures

This ISO is available HERE and we are also working on having it hosted elsewhere on a more permanent basis. This ISO is available free of charge, nobody is making money off of this at all, we have included all the required licenses (such as GPL and BSD). You are free to host this ISO and redistribute it as we have done so, we only require you to credit as original source since it has taken quite a number of man hours to test the software and put together the ISO. Please note that Pixar and ILM do have copyright information that MUST be included with the package, we do NOT want to upset these guys and it is only respectful that we do this since they pretty much influenced the industry and provided us with the means to do all of this.

Please note that while this is a "production stable" release, that there may be unforeseen bugs. Due to the nature of programming on different operating systems there is always the chance that something might be wrong. While this has been tested on Linux and Windows by myself personally, I have experienced some bugs here and there. That is the nature of the game, sometimes things get broken in the mix and there is a lot of code between all of the software. For the most part, and I mean %95 of the time, this release is stable enough for production, be it small studio or individual.

Also I am posting my updated Blender to Renderman Pipeline document originally posted in 2006. This has been revised to reflect current developments but is still being worked on and should be complete by late May, at most.

All the Development software for Windows like MinGW and DevC++ are to be considered AS IS! Like I said I am not a programmer but have included these into the ISO anyway, it is up to the end user to collect the necessary libraries and tools. I have not included any Linux libraries because it is easier to download them as needed from a repository, thus ensuring proper compiling of code. Any Linux programmer will be well versed in the trials of finding the right source if not found in repositories.

Lastly I want to thank the following people for their work and contributions towards this (of course not listed in any order).

Eric Beck
Ildar Ahmetgaleev
Ton Roosendaal
Paul Gregory and the entire Aqsis development team
Okan Arikan
Alexei Puzikov (ShaderMan!)
Bobby Parker
Malcolm Kesson
Syoyo Fujita
Andrew Silke (for the original Generi Rig!!)
Larry Gritz
Saty Raghavachary
Tal L. Lancaster
Florian Kainz (for developing OpenEXR)
Robin Rowe

And everyone else who has joined our project, offered advice, testing and support!! Without everyone's encouragement none of this would be possible.

Oh yeah and thank you
Google for developing superb software to host our site!!


Due to some oversight an update was required. Sorry for that and promise to not make the same mistake!

Changes :

Code:Blocks added to replace Dev C++
GIMP source added
Python source added
CGKit 2.0 source added
Blend files removed (plan to add it next update with BRAT stable models, some required too much initial setup and didn't render right)

Hosting update

For now a torrent file has been created for this update but we are still hosting the original ISO as well since not everyone uses torrent programs.

BRAT 0.5rc1 (original host)

BRAT Release Update 0.5rc2

RenderMan is a registered trademark of Pixar.
All other products mentioned are registered trademarks of their respective holders.
© 2009 Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC. OpenEXR, Industrial Light & Magic and ILM are trademarks and service marks of Lucasfilm Ltd.; all associated intellectual property is protected by the laws of the United States and other countries. All rights reserved.


  1. Let be the first to say congratulations on this excellent release! I know from first hand experience it can be very difficult pulling and writing this much information together in one place.

    As I haven't been very publicly active over the last few months I think it worth mentioning I've been hard at work rewriting MOSAIC's shader system for better integration with Blender. As it stands now I'm confident to achieve around 80% direct compatibility with Blender's material, light and world settings, with the other 20% possible by editing the shader parameters directly. I'm also adding photon mapping, brick mapping and more advanced raster techniques to the render pass system.

    Its impossible to give a release time as every little feature added to the shaders is nearly impossible to make compatible between the big five renderers but it is progressing non the less. With tighter integration to Blender it should be possible to do everything Blender's internal can automatically, so combined with the resources your providing here theres an exciting opportunity to finally start jumping into deeper waters with RenderMan 8-D

    Anyhow excellent work!
    Eric Back (WHiTeRaBBiT)

  2. Anonymous4/5/09 01:26


  3. This is great!
    and Whiterabbit: This is fantastic news! I'm eagerly awaiting the next release of MOSAIC. Keep up your excellent work!!


  4. Could you ost a torrent link?

  5. I'm are waiting for next cvs release of mosaic very much!

  6. BlenderFan10/5/09 11:31

    Ouch!!, I can't download the .torrent . I don't know if it's a restriction of my ISP or the link is down :'(. Anyway, is there a nice guy who can upload it to a server or put the torrent in other site? :-D.

    Thanks :)

  7. Any chance of a rapidshare upload for those not using torrents?

  8. BlenderFan11/5/09 07:48

    It'd be enough to add the links to the downloads missing in the first iso so we can add to it.

    Thanks :)

  9. Well since some people do not use torrent programs the original ISO is still available - though the "updates" are not included. Since there is limited space on that host, plus the time needed to upload (+1 hour) I am not putting the updated ISO on that host.

    Other than the sources included and the Code:Blocks package, the ISO is relatively the same.

    Sorry for all the confusion guys, it's been a hell of a time trying to seed out the update enough and at the same time find a permanant host. Next release will ensure a proper rollout, with both ftp host as well as torrent. I have never tried torrent distribution before so it was kind of a weird weekend, though so far the seeding went well and I can remove my system from the torrent network, I ended up distributing almost 8 GB of data alone!

    Anyways thank you all for your interest and downloads (combined 35 downloads total), hopefully next time things will go smoothly to avoid such problems.

  10. BlenderFan11/5/09 19:55

    Yes, I know the changes are relatively small, that's why I propose just to give us the link to the files so we can join them to the iso.

    Well, It's true we can search it by ourselves, but I'd like to have the exact same version as every other user to avoid the dependency-problems...

    That's the point.

    Anyway, thank you very much for this incredible collection of software, that I know for sure has taken you a lot of time.

    Thanks :)

  11. Anonymous13/5/09 04:38

    Thanks for gathering this together but are there any docs on how to configure all this so everything will work together?

    If the only changes in RC2 are the ones below maybe you could just post these as a separate file rather than reissue the entire iso by torrent.(Its very slow).

    "Code:Blocks added to replace Dev C++
    GIMP source added
    Python source added
    CGKit 2.0 source added
    Blend files removed (plan to add it next update with BRAT stable models, some required too much initial setup and didn't render right)"

  12. Yes in fact there is -

    That file gives at least 4 steps to set up the core of the pipeline. Python, then Blender, the RenderMan program and then finally a directory where all the project files go.

    The only reason why one is a torrent and the other is the same ISO at the host is because I only have limited space on the host and the torrent is fully seeded... if there is any reason to obtain the same source it is easier for one to get the sources (which is all I changed) for Python, GIMP and CGKit. It was just to comply with GNU license, unless you are compiling these packages yourself it shouldn't be required to actually need them. If you are compiling them though it should be just easier to get the packages separately.

    I messed up - that is just what happened. I was in a hurry and overlooked some parts so because of it there are 2 versions of the same release. Next time it will be planned out better, better host, more torrent locations and above all fully checked ISO to prevent such mistakes from happening again. It was the first official ISO so it was kind of like a trial run and I was nervous as hell. Now in retrospect it could have and should have been planned out better.

    Again the next one will be much smoother.

  13. Anonymous4/6/09 06:51

    [quote]Yes in fact there is[quote/]

    Oh great thanks!
    I was just a bit overwhelmed by the amount of content.
    I actually experimented with BtoR in 2006 and managed to get a couple of renders going but not enough to hold my interest at the time. The are looking much better now!

  14. Anonymous24/6/09 23:07

    hi... i'm new in 3d world and i'm still a student. is there a tutorial site on how to use these tools? i'm already start learning blender, but for renderman compliant renderer and all of those shader maker tool, i don't know where to start learning. Most of the sites assume that the reader already an expert in 3d. Is there a place where i can start learning to use SLer or other renderman shader maker.


    Just to note that SLer is very similar to Shaderman.
    This is my old tutorial but it is still usefull - I will be transfering this page to a new loaction eventually. - always a good resource.

    That is about as much as I can give you, its a good start to learn. The best way to go after that is to experiment and SAVE your files for future reference.

    Hope this helps. :) Email me if you need any more help and I will see what I can come up with -