Pixar Animation Studios - Apple CEO Steve Jobs' other company - has announced a new version of its RenderMan 3D-rendering software. Version 11 improves support for ray tracing, global illumination and deep shadows. It also improves performance, according to Pixar. A beta version of RenderMan 11 is due in June, with a final release slated for the fourth quarter of the year. RenderMan 11 will run on Windows and Linux, but the product’s frequently asked questions Web page says RenderMan doesn't run on Mac OS X "at this time". The FAQ site notes that "if your machine is able to run Maya then it's more than capable of running the full RAT (RenderMan Artists Tool) suite”. RenderMan 11 will employ a hybrid rendering architecture that delivers global illumination and ray-tracing effects under precise control of the artist as a natural part of the REYES architecture. Special effects such as reflections, refractions, colour bleeding, and shadow penumbras were possible before, but with release 11's new ray-tracing subsystem these effects can be produced with greater accuracy, Pixar claims. Also, because the renderer can calculate effects that previously required manual intervention, the artist's set-up time for a shot can be dramatically reduced, according to Pixar. For more information on RenderMan, including product descriptions and price lists, go to Pixar's Web site. Discuss this story at Digitmag.co.uk/discuss.