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Getting Started

tobspr edited this page Apr 23, 2016 · 69 revisions

Using the Render Pipeline only requires a few steps to setup:

Installing the pipeline

1. Getting an up-to-date Panda3D build

For the pipeline you need a recent Panda3D build. You can either use a precompiled build from here: Panda3D Devel SDK Downloads or compile it yourself, using the sources from the Panda3D git repository (instructions can be found here).

When you successfully installed/compiled Panda3D, head over to the next step. In case you have trouble compiling it, you can always ask for help on the forums or the panda3d irc channel on freenode.

2. Getting the Pipeline

You should download the latest version from github, by cloning the repository, for example with:

git clone --depth=1 --branch master --single-branch render_pipeline

Alternatively you can use the Download ZIP button. Place the pipeline in a subfolder of your project, e.g. render_pipeline/. If you don't have a project yet, or just want to run the samples, it does not matter where you place the render pipeline.

3. Setting up the Pipeline

Before use, you must run This will configure various stuff including unpacking the pipeline assets.

You will also be asked if you want to use the C++ modules. If you want to use the C++ modules, see the instruction on how to compile them here.

Running the Samples

If you reached this point, the pipeline should now be setup, and you should be able to run all samples. Verify that the samples run correctly by comparing them to the included screenshots (The screenshots might be outdated sometimes, but I try my best to keep them up-to-date).

Integrating the pipeline into your project

1. Initializing the Pipeline

You can find a code-snippet showing how to initialize the pipeline here: Sample: Loading the Pipeline.

The sample shows the basic code required to run the pipeline. The script also offers to install this sample amonst others.


In the most cases, you want to store the pipeline in a subfolder. If your example fails to run with:

ImportError: cannot import name rpcore

or a similar issue, then make sure the RenderPipeline main folder is on your system path. You can configure this in python by adding sys.path.insert(0, "path/to/render/pipeline/) before the import.

2. Accessing the Pipeline Tools

To configure the various plugins that control the pipeline, see the Plugin Configurator. (Note, you need the PyQt4 libraries.)

There is also a Time of day editor, see Time of Day.

In a running program, you can use these hotkeys to inspect the pipeline:

3. Adding Lights & Models

When you start adding the render pipeline to your own program, then in order to make your objects shaded, you have to add some lights. You can find a list of supported lights at the Lights page, also more detailed information how to create a light.

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