Open source 3D rendering solution adhering to the RenderMan standard

RenderMan standard Python API ?

Hi all,

I often see reference to Python in RenderMan papers. As far as I understood, seems there is, since 2008, a standard Python API defined with the RenderMan reference. The RenderMan Reference version 3.2 (the PDF file) is dated 2005, so is not aware of it. I could find a more up to date draft version of the RenderMan standard, but this one too, does not make reference to a standard Python API.

Just wanted to know if there is really one, and if Aqsis supports it.

With thanks and happy modeling, all.

c42f's picture

Third party python bindings

Hi Hibou,

There is no "standard" renderman python API in the sense that the standard document (the RISpec) doesn't mention it, as you found out.  So... I assume you're talking about this presentation, and I agree that suggests PRMan has had a python binding since 2008.

Aqsis itself doesn't provide a python API, but there is more than one external project which might be able to help you.  The obvious one is cgkit which I know works with aqsis, but the design of the binding is somewhat different from the one mentioned above.  A quick google search also brought up a binding called terry which looks more similar in design to the prman binding though I haven't used it myself.  There may be others too...



Not part of RISpec so

Thanks Chris, Ok, I see the point, this is part of PRMan only, and not part of RISpec.


So the best bette to stay in something standard, is probably to use a direct binding from Python to the standard C API, possibly droping all prefixes like “Ri” in favors pour module, like Terry do. I saw this Terry, but as there was no mention to RISpec around it, I did not care and though this was just a non-standard toy.

Now I know this is the way to do.

I have to seek for either something which write RIB from Python, or a Python binding to a specific render C API.



Terry could not compile, it's made for an old Python version (Python 1.4)

After a quick look, it seems CGKit follows the RenderMan standard API enought. There is a light installation availaible, if you want to avoid installing multiple libraries and go for an error prone process.

For Ubuntu/Debian user only. The documentation is not clear enough in that matter, there is fortunately another page which explains the few steps:

Works fine. Note: instead of installing system wide via and using sudo, you may also install in your $HOME, using “python install --user” instead of “sudo python install”.

For the limitation (and strength may be for you like for me) of the light installation, see:


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