You Can Grab Software That Helped Pixar Make Wall-E For Free Soon

Illustration for article titled You Can Grab Software That Helped Pixar Make Wall-E For Free Soon

If you're an aspiring animator, this might be the best news you'll hear this month: Pixar is giving away—that's right, giving away—a version of RenderMan, its in-house rendering software. Gratis. No catch. You'll be able to download the program some time in August.

Pixar has used RenderMan, which costs $500 a pop for commercial use, to render some of its best-known animated features like Wall-E, Up and Toy Story, so this is a really, really big deal. It's just one part of a larger software suite that goes into a Pixar blockbuster—it's not an animation program, and you'll definitely need one of those—but it's remarkably capable. And it's free.

Simply fill up a registration form, download the program when it's available in a couple of months, and start creating Toy Story 4, if that's what you've always dreamed of. Don't sell it if you don't want your ass sued, though. The free version is for non-commercial use only. [Pixar via Geek.com]

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It should be made clear that RenderMan is a render engine. You still need to drop over $1000 for a decent modeling and animation package like LightWave or others. These days till probably also want specialty sculpting and texturing software like 3D-Coat too, that's another few hundred bucks. Unless you plan to use blender of course *snicker*. Not to mention years of training. I've been in the industry for 10+ years and still couldn't compete with some of the top guys.