RIB (.rib)

Background & Context

    • RenderMan RIB user entity file.
    • 3D geometry format.
    • Used for photorealistic modeling and rendering.
    • Stores 3D object definitions and scene descriptions.
    • Native format of the RenderMan application.
    • RIB is an acronym for RenderMan Interface Bytestream.
    • Developed by Pixar in 1990.

Import & Export

  • Import["file.rib"] imports a RIB file Graphics3D object.
  • Export["file.rib",expr] exports a Graphics3D expression to a RIB file.
  • Import["file.rib"] returns an expression of the form Graphics3D[ GraphicsComplex[vertices,primitives,opts]].
  • Import["file.rib",elem] imports the specified element from a RIB entity file.
  • Import["file.rib",{elem,suba,subb,}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.rib",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file","RIB"] or Import["file",{"RIB",elem,}].
  • Export["file.rib",expr,elem] creates a RIB entity file by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.rib",{expr1,expr2,},{{elem1,elem2,}}] treats each expri as specifying the corresponding elemi.
  • Export["file.rib",expr,opt1->val1,] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.rib",{elem1->expr1,elem2->expr2,},"Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • See the following reference pages for full general information:
  • Import, Exportimport from or export to a file
    CloudImport, CloudExportimport from or export to a cloud object
    ImportString, ExportStringimport from or export to a string
    ImportByteArray, ExportByteArrayimport from or export to a byte array

Import Elements

  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements" list of elements and options available in this file
    "Summary"summary of the file
    "Rules"list of rules for all available elements
  • Data representation elements:
  • "Graphics3D"RIB user entity file represented as a Graphics3D object
    "GraphicsComplex"list of GraphicsComplex objects, each representing a 3D geometry stored in the file
    "PolygonData"polygon data in indexed form
    "PolygonObjects"list of Polygon primitives given in absolute coordinates
    "VertexColors"colors associated with each vertex, given as a list of color primitives
    "VertexData"list of vertex coordinates
    "VertexNormals"normal vectors corresponding to the vertices given by "VertexData"
  • Import and Export use the "Graphics3D" element by default for RIB files.
  • The "VertexData" element corresponds to the first argument of GraphicsComplex.
  • When rendering a RIB color model, Import automatically uses the setting Lighting->"Neutral".


  • General Import options:
  • BackgroundAutomaticwhat background color to use
    ImageSizeAutomaticoverall size of the graphics to display
    LightingAutomaticwhat simulated lighting to use in coloring 3D surfaces
  • Meta-information options:
  • "Comments"Nonelist of strings, representing user comments
    "CreationDate"Automatictime and date when the file was created, given as a string
    "Creator"Automaticapplication used to generate the file
    "Scene"Automaticscene name associated with the entity file


Basic Examples  (3)

This imports a RIB example file, rendering it as Graphics3D:

Create a simple 3D model using RegionPlot3D:

Export it to a RIB entity file:

Export inline 3D graphics: