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Rendering surfaces in RenderMan relies on a single layerable material called PxrSurface.

This is the same material model used in Pixar Animation Studios' feature animation. As such there are some important benefits to this material:

  • A single material handles all your looks like:
    • Wood
    • Skin
    • Plastic
    • Glass
    • Car Paint
    • and many many more!
  • Physically based presets provided.
  • Flexible controls are not required to be physically plausible.
    • Artists can selectively "break" energy conservation.
    • Art direction becomes natural without workarounds.
  • Layering provides limitless possibilities.

As an artist, being able to choose a single material for all your shading eliminates guesswork and allows RenderMan to optimize as needed. Below we discuss all the different settings and their relevance to making certain materials. Pay special attention to notes about performance considerations as well as hints on what combinations will be