RenderWrapper 1.1.0 (March 1, 2001)


Introduction

RenderWrapper (RW) is a simple Tcl/Tk script for conveniently setting the parameters for the rendrib, rgl, and rendribv renderers from the Blue Moon Rendering Tools (BMRT). It provides a GUI for rendering single or multiple frames in wireframe, polygon, and photorealistic modes. RW runs on Unix and Windoze95/98/00/NT systems.

Because RW is based on Tcl/Tk, you must first install Tcl/Tk version 8.0 or later on your system. To get a copy of this FREE software, use the link above. In addition, you must download and install BMRT (which you probably have, otherwise you wouldn't be interested in RW ;-). The current version of RW runs with BMRT 2.4, but should work with most later versions.

There are two archives for RenderWrapper: rw.zip is a zipped version and rw.tar.gz is a gzip'd tar'd version of the necessary files. To obtain a copy, simply Right-Click on one of these above links and choose "Save This Link As...". Copy the archive into the directory you wish to use as its home, and unpack it.

Setting Environment Variables

After unpacking the distribution onto your machine (let's say you put it in C:\RendWrap for this discussion), you'll need to set an environment variable before RW will work.

If you use WindozeNT/00: Edit your environment

Right click over the "My Computer" icon and select "Properties". Go to the "Environment" tab. You'll want to set the RENDERWRAPPER_PATH variable to the directory where you installed RW (i.e. C:\RendWrap).

Variable: RENDERWRAPPER_PATH
Value   : C:\RendWrap

If you use Windoze95/98: Edit autoexec.bat

You will want to add an item to your autoexec.bat file. You should add

SET RENDERWRAPPER_PATH=C:\RendWrap

to this file, and then restart your computer.

If you use Unix: Edit your .profile (or .cshrc)

You will want to add an item to your .profile file. You should add

export RENDERWRAPPER_PATH=/usr/lib/rendwrap

to this file, assuming you installed RW in the directory /usr/lib/rendwrap.

Using RenderWrapper

Starting RenderWrapper

On Windoze systems, double-click the rw.tcl script in Windoze Explorer. If it fails to start, then the environment variable RENDERWRAPPER_PATH has not been set correctly (see above).

On Unix systems, simply type /usr/lib/rendwrap/rw.tcl from your working directory, or make a link to this file.

The Working Directory

The Working Directory determines which directory will be the default when the renderer is called. Any RIB file or program command-line declarations (see below) can be made relative to this directory.

Choosing a Renderer

Select the renderer you wish to use by clicking on the appropriate pick list. "rendrib" produces the highest quality images, but takes the most time to render. "rgl" is a polygon renderer, but is much faster than "rendrib," and can be used to preview motion. "rendribv" is a wireframe renderer.
Note that under Windoze, you can only choose between "rendrib" and "rgl," as rendribv has not been implemented under Windoze.

Each time a different renderer is selected, the display is updated based on the parameters available for that particular renderer.

Choosing a RIB Source

You must select a "RIB Source" before rendering. If "Read from a RIB File" is selected, then the renderer will take its input RIB stream from a file. If "Output from a Program" is selected, then the output from the specified program will be passed to the renderer as stdandard input.

You can enter the name of a RIB file or the name of a program, along with any command-line arguments, in the "File(s) or Program" field.

You may use wildcards in this field in order to render multiple frames. For instance, if you had 100 RIB files named "rib\frame000.rib" to "rib\frame099.rib", you could enter "rib\frame0??.rib" in this field. Alternately, you may use the "Browse..." button.

You may also specify multiple RIB files to be passed to the render. For instance, you might have the camera information in one file, and scene information in another. You could therefore specify "optfile scenefile.rib" in the "File(s) or Program" field.

Setting Renderer Parameters

Enter the values for any parameters you want to pass to the renderer. If you want to use the default setting for a given parameter, simply leave the entry blank (or delete any values you have entered). For a description of the parameters, see the documentation included with your BMRT distribution.

Rendering

Once you have selected the parameters, click the Render button at the bottom of the RW screen. This starts the renderer and displays a status window for the rendering process. Any error messages will be displayed in the status window. If "rendrib" is used as the renderer, a progress bar will also be displayed.

Problems

If you have any problems or comments, please send me mail <gogo at gwu.edu>!

Remember that this software is a fairly simple (read: Quick-and-Dirty) wrapper for BMRT. It basically represents the result of a few days of work writing Tcl/Tk scripts.

As such, it might not be the most robust or user-friendly interface. Any suggestions you might have are welcome.

Related Stuff

You can call tkmatman from RenderWrapper under the "Tools" menu. This tool allows you to interactively manipulate RenderMan shaders.


" is the lonliest number."

Robert W. Lindeman <gogo at gwu.edu>

Last modified: July 12, 2001