Pixie is an open source RenderMan renderer for generating photorealistic images. This is a project I was working on 2001 to 2005. It is no longer maintained.

You can download the latest Pixie source code from Sourceforge.


  • Object instancing / delayed primitives
  • Displacements
  • Programmable shading (using RenderMan Shading Language)
  • High quality texture/shadow/environment mapping
  • High dynamic range input/output
  • Scalable, multi-resolution raytracing using ray differentials
    • Pixie now has a new raytracing engine that automatically tesselates surfaces on the fly to a desired accuracy determined using the ray differentials. This means rays tracing blurry reflections or computing global illumination are faster to trace and sharp reflections and shadows are more accurate. Pixie also contains a memory manager that keeps the memory that is used to keep these tesselations around under control. Similar to texture caching, Pixie will maintain a set of active surfaces and only those surfaces will consume raytracing memory.
  • Motion blur
  • Depth of field
  • Level of detail (LOD)
  • Reyes style rendering (very fast)
  • Occlusion culling
  • Network parallel rendering
  • DSO shaders
  • Global illumination
    • Pixie supports global illumination thru photon mapping and irradiance caching – The same machinery described in the latest RenderMan interface.
  • Automatically raytraced smooth reflections / shadows
  • Caching/baking computation with LOD (bake3d / texture3d)
    • Using this functionality, you can save any value you compute in a shader to a file that you can later re-use. This allows you to perform expensive shading computations at a lower resolution and re-use these computations in the beauty passes. This functionality will also enable exporting shading data from Pixie into your own applications.
  • Scalable, multi-threaded rendering
    • Pixie rendering core has been first completely reorganized/optimized and then multi-threaded. We are very proud of this change. You will see significant speed improvements over the Pixie v1.
  • Arbirtaty output values
    • Pixie can save arbitrary variables (built in ones such as N, P as well as arbitrary, user defined variables) just like rgb values into images. Using this machinery, you can generate multiple outputs from a single pass and combine them as a post process.
  • 64 bit compatibility
  • Inline archives
  • Conditional execution
  • Named resources