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Pixar Showplace
Pixar logo.svg
Original author(s)Pixar
Initial release1992; 29 years ago (1992)
Final release
2.2 / 1995.12.22; 25 years ago (1995.12.22)
Operating systemMacOS System 6, System 7, Windows
Type3D graphics
LicensePixar EULA

Showplace is a 3D computer graphics program. It was released in the 1990s by Pixar with versions for Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows. The Mac version was co-developed by Phil Beffrey[1] and Dana Batali. Version 1.0 sold for US$995. It would create a basic primate model, from which the user could change model surfaces and set lighting and camera angles. Version 2.0, which cost $495–695, provided additional modeling tools for users call Clip Objects Library and require Pixar's Renderman for render images.[2] Users can import model from other software by use file RIB format.[3]


Version 1.0:[4]

  • 42 Clip Object library
  • Import objects using RIB format
  • Requires 32 bit QuickDraw, math coprocessor
  • LabelMaker utility for creating Looks
  • 4 kinds of lights (ambient, sun, point, spot light)
  • Unlimited number of lights
  • Background rendering
  • Export TIFF and PICT images

Version 1.1[5]

  • Upgrade for Mac Quadra 700 and 900
  • CD version ($695 US)

Version 2.0 features[6]

  • 18 plugins for basic geometry shapes
  • Import Adobe Illustrator 3.0+ files, DXF files[7]
  • Create 3D type from outline fonts
  • Lathe curves while creating 3D objects
  • Glimpse
  • Professional Look browser
  • 3 node version of NetRenderMan
  • MacRenderMan standard render

In 1992 Valis group create PrimeRIB object library and PickTure (345$ US) and 3 shader libraries (345$ US) for Showplace.[8]

It was discontinued when Pixar chose to concentrate on film production instead of application development.[9]

Universal Scene Description[edit]

Pixar's Universal Scene Description (USD) software tool included many Showplace features, such as importing models, creating basic primate models and applying transformations. Transformations include organizing, rotating and scaling models, adding lights, adjusting and changing lighting and changing model materials. USD is designed to work with the modern 3D animation pipeline. Unlike Showplace, Pixar uses USD to create 3D animated movies. USD uses an internal OpenGL renderer.[10] Pixar released an open source version of Universal Scene Description on 2016-07-26.


  1. ^ "People Behind the Pixels".
  2. ^ "Pixar Perfect", MacUser, April 1992, page 51
  3. ^ David Biendy, "The Third Dimension", MacUser, September 1992, page 120
  4. ^ Deke McClelland, "ShowPlace 1.1", Macworld, June 1992, page 185-186
  5. ^ jeanette Borzo, "Pixar enhances special effects tool", InfoWorld, 23 March 1992, page 16
  6. ^ Carlos Domingo Marinez, "ShowPlace 2.0", Macworld, April 1994, page 67
  7. ^ Jeanette Borzo, "Graphics vendors flaunt their software at Macworld Expo", InfoWorld, 9 August 1993, page 20
  8. ^ Infoworld, 7 September 1992, page 20
  9. ^ "Pixar Typestry - Typophile".
  10. ^ "Introduction to USD",