New Features In Deadline 2.7.27948 (Released May 22, 2007 )

New Features In Deadline 2.7.27948 (Released May 22, 2007 )

 

Per Frame Dependencies

In the Job Dependency dialog, there is now an option to enable per frame dependencies. Basically, this means that a frame from one job won't begin rendering until the same frame from the other job is complete. This is useful if you have a job that is dependent on the frames of another job, and you want the two jobs to render concurrently.

Plugin Specific Properties For Multiple Jobs

The plugin specific properties can now be modified for multiple jobs at a time, providing the selected jobs use the same plugin. Only values that are modified will be saved, so you can change one or two settings for multiple jobs without overwriting everything else (similar to how the normal job properties work). Settings that are modified will have their label text set to bold so it's easy to see what you've changed so far.

Net Sends

Deadline no longer relies on Windows net sends to notify the job's user when the job is complete. Instead, the slave sends a message to the Deadline Launcher running on the user's machine, which pops up a message for the use. This was done because security settings in Windows XP64 make it difficult to enable net sends, and they've been completely removed from Windows Vista.

Submission Dialogs (Should) Launch Faster

The calls to gather the pools and job category lists from Deadline are now faster, and should result in the submission dialogs being displayed faster.

Local Overrides For VNC And Radmin Executables

You can now specify the location of the VNC/Radmin executable on your machine by selecting Tools -> Options in the Monitor. This will override the current settings in the Global Repository Options. Administrators can still set a global executable to keep setup easy, but local users can now override the setting if they wish.

User Command Permissions

You can now control which menu commands and job properties Normal and Power users can use by selecting Tools -> Manager User Command Permissions in the Monitor while in Super User mode.

Windows Explorer Submission Context Menu

When you right-click on a file in Windows Explorer, there should be a Submit To Deadline option available. Based on the file type, Deadline will launch the appropriate submission script. You can configure which files the context menu will work for in your c:\deadline\context_menu.ini file.

Tile Rendering - Automated Assembly

Automated assembly of frame fragments is now done automatically for 3dsmax, Maya, and XSI. The image formats that are supported include bmp, exr, jpg, png, tga, and tif.

Monitor Improvements

  • In preparation for porting Deadline to other operating systems, we had to re-write the list controls that you see in the Deadline Monitor (Job list, Slave list, etc). This has allowed us to make some visual improvements, as well as improve the searching mechanism.
  • The job filter tool bar now allows you to filter on more than one job category at a time, as well as the plugin the job uses.
  • You can now save a previous selection in a list by right-clicking and selecting Save Selected. You can then restore the selected items by right-clicking and selecting Restore Selection. This can be useful if you have to suspend a bunch of jobs that need to be resumed later, but you can't remember what the selected jobs were.

Slave Improvements

  • The Slave log window can now be split in two. The bottom half will continue to scroll while the top won't move. This makes it easier to view output in the slave log while the slave is running.
  • The slave UI now shows a bunch of information about the slave machine, such as CPU and memory usage.
  • Pressing F12 or clicking the last line in the Slave log window will reset the selected line and allow the log to scroll again.
  • The Slave application now updates its environment variables to match the system's whenever it loads a new job. This feature can be disabled from the Repository Options if it causes problems for whatever reason.
  • Slaves will no longer try to send emails if the SMTP server setting in the repository options is blank, even if the job's user notification method is set to email. This will prevent slaves from hanging on the last frame of a job while they try to send emails that will never go though anyways.

Pulse Improvements

  • The Pulse/Slave job dequeueing code has now been unified. Because we no longer have to maintain two different sets of code, problems related to the scheduling of jobs will be easier to fix and less likely to occur.
  • If Pulse is running on the same machine that the repository is installed on, you can configure it to use the local repository path instead of the UNC one (right-click on the Deadline Launcher and select Change Repository). This greatly improves job search performance, and greatly reduces the load on your network.
  • The job dequeuing process is now multithreaded, which will also improve job search performance.

Deadline Configuration Tool Improvments

  • Under the File menu, you can now add additional machines that Deadline Configuration may have missed when gathering the list of machines on your network. You can specify either an ip address or host name. These additional machines are maintained between sessions.

New Plugin Support / Improvements

  • 3dsCmd
    • Added a new plugin called 3dsCmd, which works with both the 3ds Max and VIZ command line renderers. The 3dsCmd submission maxscript is also compatible with both 3ds Max and VIZ.
    • Split rendering is supported for 3ds Max 9.
  • 3ds Max:
    • The install settings for 3ds Max 9 are now respected with regards to the location of the plugin.ini file and Max.log file. This fixes the bug where users had to modify the plugin.ini file in the Max 9 root directory to work with Deadline when they have Max 9 configured to use User Profiles.
    • In general, missing DLL errors are now ignored properly if specified by the user.
  • After Effects:
    • Frame Range in the intregrated submission dialog is now pulled properly from the Render Queue settings.
  • Cinema 4D:
    • Added option to override output path during rendering, and added popup handling.
    • The slave now reads in the RENDERLOG.txt file after rendering and parses it for errors (assuming the Log File option in checked in the Cinema 4D render options.
  • Cleaner XL:
    • Added Cleaner XL support to Deadline.
  • Frame Fixer:
    • Added Frame Fixer support to Deadline.
  • Fusion 5:
    • Added support for Fusion 5.1.
    • Now works with ConsoleSlave.exe (Fusion 5.1), RenderSlave.exe, and Fusion.exe executables. Rendering with ConsoleSlave.exe produces more log output which is appended to the regular render log. Eyeon recommends using ConsoleSlave.exe as the render executable.
    • Also added a plugin configuration option to use command line rendering, as opposed to script execution which is done by default. This option has some limitations (comp is reloaded for each task, and proxy, high quality, and output checking options are ignored), and is therefore only recommended if you are having problems rendering with the default method.
  • Indigo:
    • Added Indigo support to Deadline. Note though that single frames cannot be split up between multiple machines yet.
  • Lightwave:
    • Re-added option to render with ScreamerNet or simply with the command line renderer. ScreamerNet option keeps the scene loaded in memory between frames, but is known to cause problems with Lightwave 7.5. Lightwave 8 and 9 should work with the ScreamerNet option just fine.
    • Deadline now supports the FPrime 3 command line renderer, wsn.exe. There is a setting in the Lightwave plugin configuration to specify the path to the FPrime render executable, and a checkbox in the submission dialog to use it.
    • Deadline now supports the FPrime 3 command line renderer, wsn.exe. There is a setting in the Lightwave plugin configuration to specify the path to the FPrime render executable, and a checkbox in the submission dialog to use it.
  • Maya:
    • Added support for Maya 8.5, as well as explicit support for Maya 4.5 and 6.5 (before, only the major version numbers were supported).
    • Added support for Vray For Maya and Mental Ray Export renderers.
    • An option has been added to the Maya submission script dialog to use the experimental MayaBatch plugin which is currently in development. This plugin keeps the Maya scene loaded between tasks, which should save the overhead time involved in loading the scene before every render.
  • Mental Ray Standalone:
    • Completely re-wrote the Mental Ray plugin from scratch. It is now more flexible with regards to filename formats, and offers a few more submission options. We've also added the option to pass additional command line arguments to the renderer.
    • The Mental Ray plugin configuration also lets you specify error numbers you would like Deadline to ignore during rendering.
  • Particle Illusion:
    • Added Particle Illusion support to Deadline.
  • Quicktime Generation:
    • Fusion Quicktime plugin now works with ConsoleSlave.exe (Fusion 5.1), RenderSlave.exe, and Fusion.exe executables. Rendering with ConsoleSlave.exe produces more log output which is appended to the regular render log. Eyeon recommends using ConsoleSlave.exe as the render executable.
    • You can now save and load presets from the Quicktime submission dialog, which can save you the hassle of entering the same information over and over.
    • Quicktime jobs now show the frame range that is being rendered in the job's single task. This means you can change the frame range by right-clicking on the job and selecting Modify Frame Range.
  • RIB:
    • Similar to the Mental Ray plugin, we re-wrote the RIB plugin to be more flexible with with regards to filename formats. We've also added the option to pass additional command line arguments to the renderer. Supported RIB renderers include 3Delight, Air, Aqsis, BMRT, Entropy, Pixie, PRMan, RenderDotC, and RenderPipe.
  • VIZ:
    • Added VIZ support to Deadline (using the new 3dsCmd plugin mentioned above).
  • VRay Standalone:
    • Added VRay Standalone support to Deadline.
  • Vue:
    • Added Vue 6 support to Deadline.
  • XSI:
    • Added XSI 6 support to Deadline.
    • The XSI plugin configuration lets you specify return codes you would like Deadline to ignore during rendering. Also added an option to change the XSI workgroup before rendering.
    • XSI 6.01 completely changed the command line syntax for rendering, which Deadline now supports. The only limitation is that the user can no longer specify their own command line arguments because the majority of render options can only be changed by running a script now. There is the option in the XSI plugin configuration to use the old style of batch rendering, which is still supported by XSI 6.01. However, Softimage recommends to avoid using the old style rendering, so use with caution.
    • Tile rendering now works properly with XSI 6.
    • FxTree rendering is now supported in XSI 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x.