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Animate like a pro using Pixar's free RenderMan software

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Disney/Pixar

Animating like the geniuses at Pixar just became a bit easier.

You still need to be a great artist, of course, but the minds behind some of the most beloved animated films in he last few decades have made their own in-house software available to the public.

Pixar announced on March 23 that it would be releasing RenderMan, the software Pixar developed and has used to power its library of films, for free to the public for noncommercial use. RenderMan has become popular in the film and video game industry—Groot and many of the other Guardians of the Galaxy special effects were created with the software—used by many other companies seeking to animate like only Pixar knows how.

Free RenderMan is intended to be used for research, education, and private projects and not for commercial use, but will still offer users the full suite of animating tools Pixar employs.

Pixar is also launching the RenderMan Community alongside the software to allow users to share their knowledge and experience with the program. 

Pixar has a full breakdown of just what exactly RenderMan allows users to do on the program’s official site, as well as an ongoing YouTube channel walking viewers through some of the software’s potential. 

Whether this inspires a new generation of animators to make the next Toy Story or Finding Nemo—or simply to try reanimating those movies on their own—this should be a big opportunity for nonprofessional animators looking to use a professional set of tools.

And it certainly won’t hurt Pixar’s chances of scouting out the best talent in the years to come.

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