I am working at the moment on producing a custom version of Blender (Tuhopuu) that has built in support for Aqsis (Renderman renderer) in the same fashion as the current 2.32 release has for Yafray. It will appear under the renderer choice dropdown.
The main reason for doing this is for a personal animation project. I want to use Blender as I think it is a powerful animation solution, and have wanted to explore it's functionality out of sheer curiosity for a while. While Blenderman is an excellent tool, and within the constraints of the Blender/Python plugin system, works wonders, I want to write a more integrated solution for two reasons.
- I need to do some things that simply cannot be done with the Blender/Python interface, maybe someday they will as the Python interface grows.
- I want to learn a little about the internal workings of Blender as I go.
Anyway, the main core of it is in place, it uses the libri2rib, RIB generation library that comes with Aqsis, so producing the RIB itself, is a walk in the park, just call the 'C' Renderman calls and it gets converted to RIB. This makes the whole thing easier to code once the core is in place, rather than relying on printing RIB directly to a file. I also plan to use the TexBlender shader as a basis for a complete Renderman implementation of the Blender shading system, so, theoretically, I should be able to author the scene completely in Blender, including materials, and render in Aqsis.
The reason I am posting here about this is, I am, as I say, doing this mostly for a personal challenge, however, if there is any interest in this I would be more than happy to integrate the changes into the CVS trunk. What would peoples thoughts on this be, if it would be well recieved and thought to be useful, please let me know what I have to do to get the code submitted back into the Tuhopuu tree.