The first section introduces RenderMan, computer graphics concepts, and mathematics, followed by a section on "Scene Description." This includes chapters on "Describing Models and Scenes in RenderMan" and "Handling Complexity in Photorealistic Scenes."
Sections 3 and 4, "Shading," and "Tricks of the Trade" supply the meat of the book and make it worth the cost of admission. These sections include examples and insight from not only a technical perspective but also a cinematic one. The chapter "Storytelling Through Lighting" should be required reading for beginning computer animation artists.
There are numerous color plates, including some rendering tests from Toy Story. These show the same scene (Andy's room) using different lighting and color palettes, each suggesting a different time of day.
Given the difficulty of the book's subject, 3-D artists or animators with limited technical chops, amateurs, or hobbyists might be better served by something more general. This is, however, an outstanding reference for CG technical directors or anyone with experience in graphics and 3-D programming. It is filled with coding examples used to create RenderMan shaders and case studies citing which techniques were used to create a specific look in, for example, Toy Story or A Bug's Life.
The book has no accompanying CD-ROM, but the publisher maintains a Web site from which code snippets and examples can be downloaded. At first, this may seem inconvenient and merely a way to cut production costs, but it's actually an excellent way to keep the examples current. The field of computer graphics and animation is moving at the speed of light, and the examples and tutorials must move with it. But have no fear--RenderMan is here. --Mike Caputo
Don't buy this book expecting to learn the intricacies of Renderman. This is really geared towards shader programmers and Renderman theorists. Read morePublished on June 5 2004 by Taddese Zicke
This is a great book, written in clear and understandable English. It proivded me (a novice) great information about the RenderMan interface. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2001 by "d_fung"