Leading lights in the workstation and graphics software markets, among them Autodesk, Sun Microsystems and Apollo Computer have backed Pixar Corp’s RenderMan 3D rendering interface, with the implication that workstations could be standardised round the interface in the way that laser printers have standardised around the PostScript page description language from Adobe Systems. RenderMan is an interface between three-dimensional modelling packages and the rendering facilities that turn three-dimesnional wireframe models into shaded and coloured graphic images. Other companies backing the standard are Alias Research, Ardent Computer, Digital Arts, Intelligent Light, MIPS Computer Systems, Next Inc – not surprisingly, since it is a sister company to Pixar in Steve Jobs’ portfolio of firms, but where’s that Scholar’s workstation, Steve? – Prime Computer, Stellar Computer. As a result of the agreement, developers are hopeful that the work involved in adapting modelling soft.cw 8 ware for different pieces hardware to be reduced.
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