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The Story Behind Pixar’s RenderMan CGI Software

Full  article: https://spectrum.ieee.org/story-behind-pixars-cgi-software
The ceremony is available to watch on demand.

Watching movies and TV series that use digital visual effects to create fantastical worlds lets people escape reality for a few hours. Thanks to advancements in computer-generated technology used to produce films and shows, those worlds are highly realistic. In many cases, it can be difficult to tell what’s real and what isn’t.

The groundbreaking tools that make it easier for computers to produce realistic images, introduced as RenderMan by Pixar in 1988, came after years of development by computer scientists Robert L. Cook, Loren Carpenter, Tom Porter, and Patrick M. Hanrahan. RenderMan, a project launched by computer graphics pioneer Edwin Catmull, is behind much of today’s computer-generated imagery and animation, including in the recent fan favorites Avatar: The Way of Water, The Mandalorian, and Nimona.

The technology was honored with an IEEE Milestone in December during a ceremony held at Pixar’s Emeryville, Calif., headquarters. The ceremony is available to watch on demand.

“I feel deeply honored that IEEE recognizes this achievement with a Milestone award,” Catmull, a Pixar founder, said at the ceremony. “Everyone’s dedication and hard work [while developing the technology] brought us to this moment.”



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