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Welcome to RenderMan 22.0!

Welcome to RenderMan 22. This release introduces improvements to the previous RenderMan in very significant ways.

Please dive right into the release notes below for more detailed information on the latest version of your favorite renderer!

New Features in 22.0

Revolutionary New Workflow

RenderMan 22 brings truly interactive rendering that works with the artist from concept to completion.

Artists can continuously render while modeling, animating, texturing, shading and more! Previously artists may have had to restart renders to see their changes to their scene during live or interactive rendering. Many of these roadblocks have been removed so that you can continue to work while seeing the image refine. Importing and exporting assets are now visible in-render as are changes to geometry while modeling, updates to animation, object placement, material and light parameter tweaks, even light path expression authoring!

Examples include:

True Interactive Rendering — Rely on RenderMan like never before with the ability to continuously render while you work. We no longer use the intermediate step of rendering to RIB in interactive sessions. See changes immediately and make decisions sooner while refining your artistic choices. RenderMan has the ability to update while artists model scenes, complete layout, perform look development, and much more.  We've removed many of the restrictions that require users restart a render or wait for feedback.

All New Curve Representation — We introduce new curve rendering techniques designed around ray tracing large amounts of curves while editing grooms and looks without needing to re-render to see changes. Now you can comb, style, and dye without having to wait!

Lighting Improvements — Changes to our light selection techniques improve convergence on scenes with many lights and many types of lights at the same time. Move lights and change parameters with immediate results.

UI Enhancements — Bridge products enjoy streamlined workflows to enhance our interactive rendering capabilities. Improved exposure of RenderMan Attributes and Options help users make decisions and see results at all stages of production.

Rewritten RenderMan for Bridge Products — RenderMan for Maya and Katana have been redesigned. Better integration means less looking for options, fewer clicks, and faster images. Render directly to Viewport 2.0 in Maya and see your changes as they happen. Time to first pixel is greatly reduced and your work is uninterrupted.

A New Ray Tracing Core — To compliment our interactive always-on workflow, we've rewritten the ray tracing core to improve speed and quality. Scenes interact quickly and converge faster than ever before!

Opacity from Presence — We now support partial presence values (values between 0 and 1) for true opacity. This changes how we calculate presence on camera rays and results in noise-free partially opaque effects up to a user-specified depth in the integrator.

OpenVDB Updated — PxrVolume provides more sampling options to enhance performance as well as new support for OpenVDB 4.0.

Improved Sampling Stratification – This improves noise reduction, time to converge, and preview renders. Please see the paper on Progressive Multi-Jittered Sample Sequences.

New Adaptive Sampler Option – In addition to the new stratification, we include a new experimental adaptive sampling technique as an option. You may find better convergence at higher Variance thresholds.

Important Differences


There have also been many subtractions designed to improve the user experience through simplification and streamline performance options. In many cases they were a duplicate function and valid options and attributes can be found in the Developer Section of the documentation. These changes may impact your scripts, plugins, pipeline, and more.


Miscellaneous Changes

  • A change in the display driver channel order now outputs RGBA instead of ARGB
  • The default (current) coordinate space is different. We now render in world space. Previously this was all in camera space. This affects features like the P AOV
  • RenderMan can now use more than 64 logical cores on Windows
  • Many shading operations are now in object space (displacement is particularly affected and will likely require lookdev or shader changes)
  • Any string that is passed to the renderer must be a "UString" or "unique string". Refer to the RtUString Class in the Developer's Doxygen Guide
  • Curves with normals are supported, as are round curves. But curves with no normals as a notation for desiring always camera-facing curves is not supported. as such, orientation and reverse orientation for curves is no longer supported
  • For subdivision surfaces, face edits higher than depth 1 are not supported
  • dPdTime and dPdCameraTime have changed
  • All functions in librx have been removed, including RxGetContext
  • RixTransform API is deprecated and will be removed soon.
  • Added circular bucket/tile order
  • A new InvalidateTexture call has been added to RixRiCtl.
  • A new mechanism has been added to RixRiCtl to cancel a render
  • Default cache limits have been increased to better reflect modern machines
    • Texturememory and Geocachememory limits are now 4194304
    • Ptexturememory limit is now 32768
    • Opacitycachememory is 2097152

Known Rendering Differences

Known Limitations

Interactive/Live Rendering Limitations

RenderMan Pro Server