I went to a presentation here in Sydney on the new version of renderman coming out very soon. Some exciting new technologies were discussed, as well as Pixar's entering into totally unbiased global illumination for their upcoming Nemo sequel, pegged for release in 2017.
On the agenda was in-render noise reduction, borrowed from Disney's Hyperion renderer. Also was the totally new engine, RIS, replacing the outgoing REYES that has served Renderman users so well for over 20 years now. Another exciting technology that I really hope will ripple across other renderers (in particular, VRay!) is checkpoint rendering, which enables the artist to render a sequence for a certain amount of time, check it, then continue where it left off without having to restart from square one. To my mind, this makes progressive rendering, truly progressive, and would have to be a massive benefit to studios of any size and scale of complexity.
A great presentation from a studio that remains world leaders in their field, and a very exciting product Renderman remains. Thanks again, Peter for your time on this.