All right, long story short, my 20th anniversary at Microsoft coincides with the 20th anniversary of Pixar’s RenderMan. Almost to the day. Same 20th . Same industry. And, of course, the same long history of success and innovation. But their celebration will be bigger. Not sure anyone really knows about my anniversary, I had to liberate the 20 Year Endurance Trophy from my manager’s office after 3 weeks, it was just sitting on his window sill collecting dust, but I digress. The key takeaway here is this: Pixar’s RenderMan 14.0 will be fully compatible with Windows HPC Server 2008 <on my anniversary, sniff>. That’s right, we’re working with Pixar, the guys who did The Incredibles, Toy Story, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc. The shaders they used? All of it on RenderMan. 14 versions going back 20 years, nothing else like RenderMan, and now you’ll be able to work with 64-bit datasets, get some choice in your pipeline configuration, faster AOVs, enhanced threading, let’s put it this way, your graphics pros, your render wranglers, they just got their headroom doubled, I’m talking creative headroom but that’s a conversation we should take offline, I don’t want us to get rat-holed here, the 30,000 foot view is to grok the future, it’s like nothing I’ve seen since Microsoft Research, 11 years I was over there. Okay, okay, back to what I was saying before , Incredible image complexity, accelerated ray-tracing, optimized hair performance, every last strand, RenderMan is the gold standard, they win Academy Awards, you can’t do animation right without RenderMan. A new SDK? Python binding? Custom tools? George Lucas would’ve killed to have this stuff, he was like Microsoft Research all by himself out there on the cutting edge. This Pixar relationship is a very big deal, we’re talking empowered customers, new graphics, creative headroom, and let’s not forget our shared 20th anniversary.
— Todd Needham, Senior PM in HPC