This has been floating around the net recently, something that is actually quite impressive for what it does as well as what it could be. Interactive REYES rendering on a GPU, which really in a sense has been something a lot of people and studios have been looking for.
CG Society Link
According to a source recently in the comments of this post the source code(?) for this is located here : http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/283bb827-8669-4a9f-9b8c-e5777f48f77b/default.aspx
There have been other similar types, such as Pixar's LPics which was featured after Cars was released, as well as Lightspeed which ILM had developed during the Transformer production. However the difference was these used GL shader equivalents of RSL shaders, so they both did not really use a Renderman based rendering. Both were very impressive though.
Gelato was also something that had been designed for such a purpose but was discontinued after a few years, certian tools did have the ability to convert basic RSL shaders into it's own shader language so in a sense it was sort of a start of what could be. Larry Gritz, the same person who had developed the first non Pixar REYES renderer, BMRT, had developed Gelato. So maybe that was another reason for Gelato being non REYES based considering the legal issues between Gritz and Pixar in previous years.
RenderAnts is a GPU based REYES rendering system, using RIB and RSL code to render the resulting image from the GPU, rather than the traditional CPU software we currently use. The ability to get fast rendering feedback is always a great thing, the only current way to do this is to render smaller sized images along with turning down the detail features of REYES, or do something like Crop rendering which will only render a certain region. This does in fact make an image render faster but if you are concerned about details, or lighting changes, having to render out a new image just to see if something works or not is quite a painfully slow task. This is why RenderAnts is a huge deal. It is not because of the fact that Elephants Dream was used to showcase the speed difference of normal CPU based rendering versus GPU, though it was pretty cool to see that. Elephants Dream was used mainly because it is Open Content, these were fully animated scenes that can be used for any reason within legal bounds.
What makes it so interesting for us, the Blender to Renderman users and developers, is that Mosaic was used to export these scenes out. This is why open source Blender to Renderman is important, it can be used for research, not only production. It is far easier and cheaper to use Blender, Mosaic and Aqsis or Pixie to showcase some new 3D research where you have access to the source code and can make your research possible, than it is with closed source commercial software. At best you can make a plugin for Maya if you were to make something like say a new form of fluid simulation that used a custom RSL volume shader. You would also only be able to do this on one system, while with open source you can have several copies spread out over a network, even at home.
This is the first time Mosaic has been officially used and cited in a published research paper.
If you watch the video make sure to notice that this NOT real time, it is fast but it does not have the ability to render at even 1 fps. At best it does take a few seconds, the few that do look fast are more like camera placement changes or lighting changes. Anything really drastic does seem to take a bit longer to render. However considering the same frame using the same data would take a considerable amount of time for PRMan to render does say quite a bit. What this also means is that this is not to replace current software for final frame rendering, at least not for a while. The best use for such a system is for previewing during production, the little changes that artists and TD's make for instance. Something so tedious like shader development would cut such time in half, making 30 renders of minute changes in the shader is a very time consuming task. It is not hard to imagine that this will be used by the big boys very soon, it is also only a matter of time before a commercial adaptation of this is released in the next few years.
We just have a nice warm feeling knowing that our work here has helped in this, we were used first. THAT is something.