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Blender to RenderMan: Aqsis/Air Depth-Mapped Occlusion using multiple light rigs


Here's something we don't *nearly* write enough about on BlenderNation: the Aqsis RenderMan compliant renderer, and the MOSAIC plugin that allows Blender and Aqsis to work together. Eric Back has just published a very cool sample of what kind of quality you can achieve with these systems - check it out.

Oh! And these guys are aiming at rendering a small part of Big Buck Bunny as well, "the perfect project to really push MOSAIC's integration with Blender and its ability to efficiently export a large animation.". Awesome.

Paul Gregory wrote:

Eric Back, the author of the MOSAIC plugin that bridges Blender and RenderMan compatible renderers, has posted a sample animation showing some of the in progress features of the MOSAIC scripts. Specifically depth mapped occlusion with multiple depth maps.

This shows some of the advanced functionality that MOSAIC brings to the Blender/RenderMan arena, functionality that no other solution so far has even got close to. It shows that the combination is very close to being able to produce professional quality results.

The source to the example is included in the article.

About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I am very impressed by the quality of the shadows. I wonder how long that video took to render. I'd definitely like to see how Big Buck Bunny looks with the renderer.


  2. Hey everyone =)

    the entire project took a day to setup but 4 days to render on a Core2 Duo 2.8ghz dual core, but Aqsis is not threaded so only one core was used for most of the render. The render time is also very misleading right now since Aqsis is in the middle of a major rewrite for optimization that I think will eventually cut that time by half at least :-) I'm fairly sure if rendered in Air it would only take a little less then a day (but I haven't tried). Also something else to keep in mind is the project could use micropoly displacements and layered shaders to quickly "complicate" the scene with practically no addition render times, so there's a lot of potential just under the hood ;-)
    Anyway I'm surprised at the interest in such a simple demo but thanks to everybody nonetheless :-D

  3. @Nik: ah, but once it's rendered... ahh, bliss. ;) of course, if not enough render tests are done before you do the final render you could be in bad shape (if the final render turns out less-than-optimal) ;( But anyhow, I'm glad for the fact that rendering means the computer does the rest of the work and you can leave it to it's huffing's and puffing's and watch the sweet result when it's all done. ;D

  4. Not related to the 3D work, looks great btw, ...your youtube video post has some questionable following videos. I wondered if you even had bearing in what appears afterward or if it was out of your control. I was thinking your name might have been a reference for what followed.

  5. I see that... no I have no control over what shows there and don't think "Eric Back", "dreamscapearts" or "WHiTeRaBBiT" has anything to do with it :-s
    The videos do use tags but they weren't anything that should be associated to those video's I think.

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