Pixar Animation Studios has announced two major releases of its RenderMan software – RenderMan Studio 1.0 and RenderMan for Maya 2.0 – together with a new licensing policy delivering major performance increases on multi-core computers.

RenderMan Studio is a major expansion of Pixar's next generation render tool suite for the advanced professional, including a "pro" version of the RenderMan for Maya plug-in, major enhancements to the Slim graphical RenderMan shader editor, the Alfred dispatcher for managing network rendering, the "it" image compositing tool, and unrestricted RIB generation. RenderMan Studio 1.0 directly interfaces with Pixar's RenderMan Pro Server 13.0, and an optional floating internal RenderMan Embedded Renderer is also available for either render preview or final output.

In a major upgrade, RenderMan for Maya 2.0, Pixar's advanced rendering plug-in for Maya, introduces powerful multi-threading, substantial increases in ray-tracing performance, improved fur, new camera effects, caustics, point based global illumination, and compatibility with Maya 8.5.

Additionally, both RenderMan Studio 1.0 and RenderMan for Maya 2.0 incorporate a new licensing policy permitting up to four threads or four parallel renders per host machine, potentially quadrupling performance or more on a per frame basis.

RenderMan for Maya 2.0 is available on Windows XP and Mac OS X for US $995 per licence. Pricing for RenderMan Studio 1.0 starts at US $2,000 per licence and is available on Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. Upgrades from RenderMan Artist Tools 6.5 to RenderMan Studio 1.0 are free to all RenderMan Artist Tools customers on current maintenance.