Latest Updates

"Pixar's Essential RenderMan Training" on Lynda.com

Filmed at Lynda.com's studios in Santa Barbara in December 2015, this brand new course covers the very latest in Rendering, Materials, and Lighting in Pixar's RenderMan for Maya.

Setting up an object as an emissive light (5m8s)


First look at the still-life scene (6m45s)

Workshops & Talks

Filmakademie Workshop 2015
Location: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Our 2nd workshop at the filmakademie in Ludwisgsburg, Germany. Covering HDRI capture studio-sessions and brand new material on the cutting-edge RIS technology in the latest RenderMan offering!
Day 1 Morning: Image capture in vfx, Shading paradigms in vfx
Day 1 Afternoon: Practical capture, Equipment use/setup, Lighting setup capture
Day 2 Afternoon: Rendering with RIS in RenderMan: overview, RIS vs REYES.
Day 2 Morning: Making Light maps, Making HDRIs (Photoshop+RV), Stitching maps (PtguiPro+RV), Gray/Color correction (Nuke+RV)
Day 3 Morning: More EnvLight: Importance Sampling, Area Lights
Day 3 Afternoon: Studio/Outdoor session, Practical capture II, More Lighting setup capture/ Hiresolution capture

Shanghai 2014 Private Workshop
"Intro to Path Tracing and RIS in RenderMan"
5-day workshop teaching the instructors at SIVA in the latest Path Tracing and RIS technologies, who will then take this knowledge to craft their own courses for their students in the years to come.
Location: Shanghai, China
>> View hi-res photo

Siggraph 2014 Talk "Intro to Path Tracing and RIS in RenderMan"
Location: Vancouver, Canada
>> View the newsletter for full details including photos & renders!
>> View full talk description on the RenderMan site!.
Path Tracing and RIS in RenderMan Christos Obretenov – Shader Architect at LollipopShaders & Instructor at FXPHD Presentation – Covering some of the topics in his new course on FXPHD, Christos will be going over the brand new features in the latest RenderMan. These include the definition of RIS and how it differs from the traditional Reyes system, Uni-Directional Path Tracing vs Bi-Directional VCM through concepts and RenderManStudio sessions. Pros & Cons of Path vs VCM will be explored, as well as tips on settings to balance quality over noise. Also covered will be the new "Disney Principled BRDF" BxDF, including historial context of the paper it was based on, and its use as "PxrDisneyBRDF" in RenderManStudio.

Siggraph 2013 Talk "Path Tracing and New Physically Plausible Workflows"
Location: Anaheim, California
>> View the newsletter for full details including photos & renders!
>> View the full talk description on the RenderMan site!.
RenderMan Studio 18: Path Tracing and New Physically Plausible Workflows
Presentation – With 25 years of RenderMan evolution, RenderMan now offers a big toolbox of rendering techniques to choose from. Christos Obretenov will use RenderMan Studio 18 to take a look at RenderMan’s brand new path tracing rendering mode, comparing it to distributed ray tracing as well as the trusted Reyes approach. Christos will examine the pros & cons of each approach and when you might want to use one over the other on your project. Within the context of these rendering modes, we will explore some of the newer physically plausible shading/rendering techniques, such as IBL, geometric area lights, and the new subsurface scattering workflows.


Filmakademie Workshop 2013
Location: Ludwigsburg, Germany
>> Watch 2min video montage!
Arkell & Christos travelled to the Filmakademie to give a hands-on 3-day workshop on HDRI light capture & physically plausible shading.
Day 1 Morning: Image capture in vfx, Shading paradigms in vfx
Day 1 Afternoon: Practical capture, Equipment use/setup, Lighting setup capture
Day 2 Morning: Making Light maps, Making HDRIs (Photoshop+RV), Stitching maps (PtguiPro+RV), Gray/Color correction (Nuke+RV)
Day 2 Afternoon: Rendering with Light maps, Intro to RMS shaders: Envlight (dome), Sampling techniques, Energy Conservation & Normalized BRDF’s
Day 3 Morning: More EnvLight: Importance Sampling, Area Lights
Day 3 Afternoon: Studio/Outdoor session, Practical capture II, More Lighting setup capture/ Hiresolution capture
Day 4 Morning: Other RMS shaders: GPSurface, Matte, RMSGlass (transparent objects, refraction), Environment Camera shader
Day 4 Afternoon: Creative stitching/Tonemaping of HDRIs


Siggraph 2012 Talk on Physically Plausilbe Shading in RenderMan.
Location: Los Angeles, California
>> View The Newsletter for full details!
>> View the page on the RenderMan website for full list of speakers!
Exploration in Physically Plausible Shading Presentation – Christos will begin by examining a rendering scene with professionally captured unclipped HDRI maps and a traditional shaders & lights setup in PRMan, and see where it leads to artifacts and inconsistent material settings across different lighting environments. We then render the same scene but in our Physically Plausible Shading environment in PRMan16/17, demonstrate how our previous issues have been resolved, and introduce the physically plausible surface and light shaders. We talk about a full Physically Plausible system including energy conservation, physical properties in materials, lights with area for solid angle sampling, importance sampling, ray-tracing, as well as plausible fur and volumes.


FMX Conference 2012
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
>> Read the newsletter for full info!

Talk #1 Title: Capturing Light Maps for Image Based Lighting by Arkell
Light maps form the basis of realism in any image and physical based environment lighting system. This presentation examines the techniques, tricks and limitations of practicality capturing and creating unclipped HDRI light maps. We detail the workflow of capturing and making the real world lighting light maps by examining the capture apparatus, the post tools and the lighting accuracy of rendered results when such maps are deployed in a typical infinite dome light.

Talk #2 Title: The Importance of Unclipped HDRI Lightmaps and Resulting Material Setup in Production by Christos
In CG film production, we rely on captured HDRI maps to drive realistic lighting response from the environment. Many of these HDRI Environment Maps, or Lightmaps, used in production by either on-set capture or purchased through a 3rd party, contain clipped high values, especially the sun. When using clipped maps from a look development process through to lighting on a production, inconsistency in material settings result, creating unrealistic and inconsistent responses in materials. One major source for clipping these maps for use in production and the reason they have been so prevalent has been due to non importance-sampled shader setup requiring too many samples to practically deal with unclipped map sources. With Renderman’s introduction of Physically Plausible Shading, and other proprietary importance-sampled shading setups becoming more common, it has become more practical and necessary to use properly captured and unclipped HDRI’s. In our presentation we test multiple unclipped HDRI Lightmaps using fully raytraced importance-sampled shading, and compare with clipped HDRI maps found in production.



Online Training

We have some great courses on fxphd:

RND203: Shading with RIS in RenderMan Branching off from our intro to the latest in RenderMan’s RIS technology (RND102), we dive deeper into all the goodies this new package has to offer: The new layered LM Shading system, new Pattern nodes including procedural texturing, scripting with SE Expressions, OSL, custom presets, and much more! We’ll be focusing our work in Maya/RenderManStudio as well as touching on more advanced topics with RenderMan ProServer.


RND102: Introduction to Path Tracing and RIS in RenderMan With a new version of RenderMan (19) comes an additional completely different rendering architecture: path tracing (uni & bi-directional) in RIS mode, new BRDF's and Integrators wrapped in a new shading pipeline. With all this new stuff as well as support for the "classic" REYES rendering mode, prof Christos Obretenov will dig into definitions of core concepts and terminology, cover this paradigm shift with all the new features and workflows, as well as compare with the "classic" support of REYES rendering and compare the pros/cons of each within different contexts.


RMS201: Physically Plausible Shading in RenderMan Studio. So much has changed since the recent addition of the physically plausible shading paradigm in Pixar's RenderMan, this course presents the concepts, explanations, and practical workflows of this new shading and lighting system in RenderMan Studio. If you're familiar with previous "traditional" rendering in older versions of RenderMan Studio, this course will get you up to speed with the contemporary physically plausible system, and if you're new to RenderMan Studio its a great place to start with the latest techniques used in rendering.


RND301: Production Shader Writing Fundamentals & Physically Plausible Shading. Following the RND202 class “Renderman Techniques in Production”, this course dives deeper into the fundamentals of Shader Writing in the Renderman Shading Language (RSL), as well as the newer Physically Plausible shading in Renderman. Technical Directors will find this course useful for expanding their shading knowledge in Renderman, by diving into the shaders and building them up step-by-step. Coming out of the course the student will be able to put into practice, in a production environment, building and using Renderman Shaders, as well as a deep understanding of Physically Plausible shading including Importance Sampling and Image Based Lighting. In addition, we cover the Phsyically Plausible shading library inside Renderman Studio 4 (for Maya), raytraced re-rendering technology, and a crash course on Renderman setup in Houdini.


RND202: RenderMan Techniques in Production. Taught by Christos Obretenov, this course covers the use of the software in production. Artists and Technical Directors will find this course useful for expanding their shading knowledge in RenderMan, as well as learning some of the newer advanced ray tracing, physically-based shading, and image-based lighting techniques being used in production today. Coming out of the course the student will be able to put into practice, in a production environment, the procedural shading techniques we cover and understand their use more thoroughly, as well as design a shading/lighting pipeline around the physically-based shading and lighting paradigm.


Contact us at info@lollipopshaders.com for any questions about your personal or staff training needs.