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A key tool used in animation production by Pixar (think Toy Story) has been released for  free for non-commercial usage on Windows, OS X, and Linux.

For teachers working with students on high level computer graphics, animation, media, science, architecture, or any other courses creating animation this is great news.

To download Renderman, Pixar requires you to register for a forum account and provide a valid e-mail address. Once that’s done, you are given an installation package which in turn downloads the actual Renderman components appropriate for your operating system and 3D package.

Renderman is only a rendering engine. You need a 3D modeling and rendering application or application suite, The most popular free 3D application,Blender, doesn’t yet work with Renderman but work is being done to make this happen.