Foundations of 3D Graphics

3D Industry- Development and Practitioner



RenderMan is as rendering software that was created by Pixar, they released the first commercial version in 1989, it has since become “the industry standard software for rendering computer graphics in film.” (Pixar, 2017 p.8). It is used in both the animation and film industries, as the software is reengineered it is reflected in the quality of the films that use it. Pixar’s Finding Dory (2016) and the short film Piper (2016) utilises RenderMan 21, the rendering power of it is from the RIS technology. RIS allows the creation of complex images that were “previously thought to be impossible to render.” (Renderman) and the ability to create photo realistic images (RenderMan).


Scene in Finding Dory, created using RenderMan.

RenderMan allows animators to render scenes with intricate geometry and hair, their complexity is often difficult to render efficiently, without losing detail (Renderman).

RenderMan has the flexibility to be used with software including Maya, KATANA and Houdini (RenderMan).

Some features of the newest version include;

  • “Progressive Rendering & Image Check Pointing”
  • “Interactive Lighting and Look Development”
  • “Light Transport & Intergrators”
  • “Art Ray Tracer”
  • “Access to Pixar’s production shading and lighting tool set”



Practitioner- John Lasseter

John Lasseter, born 12th of January 1957, is a very important figure at Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios as their Chief Creative Officer. His career begun at Lucasfilms (which then becomes Pixar) in 1983 (Pixar, 2017, p.3-4). His role has meant he has been the Executive Producer in some of may favourite films including Big Hero 6 (2014), Tangled (2010) and The Incredibles (2004).

Scene from film The Incredibles.

He worked on Pixar short films, in various roles including writer, director and animator such as The Adventures of André & Wally B (1984), Luxo Jr (1986), Red’s Dream (1987), Tin Toy (1988) anddownload Knick Knack (1989). They were the first of their kind, some of which were nominated for or won awards (Pixar, 2017, p. 4-8).

download (1)


He directed the “world’s first feature length computer animated film” (Walt Disney Studios) Toy Story (1995) this role got him awarded “Special Achievement Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his ‘inspired leadership of Pixar Toy Story Team’” (Pixar, p.11).


John Lasseter’s work in the field of animation has lead to its evolution and the creation of 3D animation, as well as the success of the animation produced by both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and associated companies.


RenderMan. “Introduction To RIS”. Pixar’s RenderMan. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

RenderMan. “Introduction To RIS”. Pixar’s RenderMan. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Pixar. “Pixar”. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

IMDb. “John Lasseter”. IMDb. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Walt Disney Studios. “John Lasseter”. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

RenderMan. “Renderman Technical FAQ”. Pixar’s RenderMan. N.p., 2017. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

RenderMan. “What Is Renderman?”. Pixar’s RenderMan. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Fresh Movie Trailers. (2016, June 25)”Disney Pixar’s FINDING DORY – ALL The Movie Clips Including BABY DORY ! (2016)”(Video file) Retrieved from

Screengrab via Kashi Suraweera/Vimeo [image/screenshot] Retrieved from

Finding Dory [image] (2016) Retrieved from

Disney [image] (2016) Retrieved from

Poster for Luxo Jr [image] Retrieved from

Tin Toy [image] Retrieved from

Early work on the original Toy Story. [image] Retrieved from

Theatrical release poster [image] Retrieved from



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