Thursday, 16 December | 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM | Room E6

Presented in English, translated simultaneously to Korean / 영어로 발표 됨 (한국어 동시 통역)

Procedural Shading in RenderMan

Wednesday, 15 December | 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm | Room E6

Proceduralism is a powerful concept in computer graphics. It facilitates scenes of enormous scale, exquisite varieties of detail, and impressive efficiency. However, artists who are fluent in procedural techniques are still rare, and many studios miss out on the possibilities that this exciting field offers. This course explores how to create procedural shaders without programming, using Pixar's industry standard renderer, RenderMan, and its Autodesk Maya-based front-end, RenderMan Studio.
The first section of the course is an overview of RenderMan, its history, use in the industry, important features, and how it works. Topics include the Reyes pipeline and how it has helped to create some of the most impressive visuals in computer graphics, and proceduralism: its pros and cons, both in general and as it applies to shading.

The second section is a live demonstration of how to create a procedural animated shader for an orange that ages over time, from unripe to fresh to old and dusty. The demo begins with a sphere in Maya, then shows how to create all the detail using a shading network in RenderMan Studio. No textures are used. The look is created entirely with noise, splines, displacement, and more! Finally, the course presents examples of how the techniques used in shading the orange apply in industry and beyond.



Intended Audience

Technical or non-technical artists who want to learn about RenderMan and/or procedural shading. The concepts are directly applicable in animation and visual effects, and they are also valuable in real-time and game graphics, where use of and interest in procedural shading is growing.

Presentation Language

Presented in English, translated simultaneously to Korean / 영어로 발표 됨 (한국어 동시 통역)


Basic familiarity with computer graphics and rendering. Attendees should have opened a 3D application, created a sphere, and clicked render. No programming or scripting experience is necessary, though some of the concepts presented are more meaningful to those who have a deeper understanding of rendering technology.


  Course Overview
  Instructor Background

  Pros and Cons
  Survey of Procedural Tools

Introduction to RenderMan
  What is RenderMan?
    RIB and RSL
  RenderMan Studio

Live Demo: Procedural Shading of an Aging Orange
  Simple Materials
    Modular shading
    Diffuse and specular
  Patterns & Displacement
    Turbulence and noise
    Displacement and bump mapping
    Colorizing a grayscale pattern
    Modeling an orange stem using a displacement ramp
    Manifolds and warping for stretched fractals
    Combining patterns
  Layered Shading
    Adding a dust layer to the orange shader
    Using facing direction and noise for opacity
  Parameterizing the Shader for Aging
    Concept for aging
    Parameterizing dust opacity with age
    Parameterizing color with age
    Float splines for remapping time
    Parameterizing displacement with age
    Parameterizing specular with age.
    Adding mold and dirt
    Inorganic materials
    Example: an alleyway aging over time

Questions and Answers

Paul Kanyuk
Pixar Animation Studios

Instructor Bios

Paul Kanyuk is a lead technical director at Pixar Animation Studios with credits on "Cars", "Ratatouille", "Wall-E", and "Up". His specialties are crowd simulation, shading, and rendering, and he is responsible for the procedural animation and rendering of numerous crowd spectacles, including the hordes of rats in "Ratatouille", the deluge of falling passengers in "Wall-E", and the vicious pack of dogs in "Up". He earned his BSE in digital media design at the University of Pennsylvania and teaches courses in RenderMan and Crowd Simulation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.