New Features In Deadline 3.0.32934 (Released September 4, 2008)

New Features In Deadline 3.0.32934 (Released September 4, 2008)

 

Overview

This release marks the first step toward multi-platform support, and includes some other popular feature requests. Due to significant changes, this version isn't compatible with previous versions of Deadline. In addition, a new license is required. New features/bug fixes include:

Linux Support

You can now run the Deadline client on Linux machines that have Mono installed. So far, we have tested Deadline on Fedora/RedHat, Suse/openSuse, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian. The Deadline applications that can run on Linux are DeadlineCommand, DeadlineLauncher, DeadlineSlave, and DeadlinePulse. There is no Monitoring tool at the moment (other then using DeadlineCommand to query the repository for information), but you can still submit jobs from and render jobs on Linux machines.

.NET 2.0 / 64 Bit

Upgraded Deadline to run on top of the .Net 2.0 Framework. Deadline will now run in native 32 or 64 bit mode depending on the operating system it is running on.

Slave As A Service

On Windows, you can now set up the client software to run as a service. There is now a DeadlineLauncherService service that can run in the background, and be used to start up background instances of the DeadlineSlave and DeadlinePulse applications. You have the option to set up the service during installation, or you can set it up afterwards using DeadlineCommand with the following commands (run DeadlineCommand without any arguments for usage instructions): InstallLauncherService, UninstallLauncherService, StartLauncherService, and StopLauncherService.

In addition, you can now configure drives to map in the Repository Options. This will allow the slave to access these mapped paths when running as a service.

Python Scripting

All scripting in Deadline is now done in Python. This includes the Monitor submission scripts, the pre/post job scripts, etc. In addition, the plugin system has been completely rewritten to use Python and a more object-oriented approach to plugin creation. Unfortunately, scripts and plugins written for previous versions of Deadline will not be compatible with Deadline 3.0.

New Pool/Group System

The pool system has been refactored in hopes of making it simpler to use, while allowing for improved customization. In Deadline, there are now Pools and Groups.

Groups can be used to organize your farm based on machine configurations (specs, installed software, etc). For example, if you have a 64 bit machine with 3dsmax installed, you could assign it to groups like '3dsmax', or '3dsmax_64', or simply '3D'. The Groups have no impact on the order in which jobs are rendered, they just help to ensure that your job renders on the machines you want them to. If you don't care about grouping your machines, just use the default 'none' group.

Pools still work the same as they did before, except now it's encouraged to use pools for prioritizing shows, shots, etc. If you don't want to set up pools on your farm, you can use the default 'none' pool. Because of the addition of the 'none' pool, the Pool Exclusive option has been dropped, and there is no longer an Excluded Pools list for slaves.

All in all, this should simplify using Deadline for small shops that don't necessarily need to set up pools/groups, and give larger shops more flexibility on how they organize and prioritize their render farm.

Flexible Installation

The Deadline Client software can now be installed anywhere, instead of forcing the installation to c:\Deadline. On Windows, Deadline now stores per user data in the user documents folders. The path to the Deadline bin folder is now added to the PATH environment variable.

Miscellaneous Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Tile Assembler no longer drops the alpha channel for certain formats.
  • Created 64 bit version of Tile Assembler.
  • Added new auto-delete/archive job feature.
  • Slave can now be minimized to the System Tray.
  • Removed task timeout limit of 23h 59m 59s.
  • Add a new option to un-delete deleted jobs (before they're purged from the Trash folder).
  • Screen Saver on Windows now runs on dual monitors.
  • Job failure detection is now only base on number of errors from uncompleted tasks.
  • Slaves now update the timeout settings for their current job during rendering.
  • Deadline is now IPv6 compatible.
  • When not in super user mode, you can still control the slave running on your machine from the Monitor.
  • Slave text is now bolded red in the Monitor when the slave is using 95% RAM or more.
  • Archived jobs are now stored in a separate folder. Now users can archive their old jobs without worrying about affecting Deadline's overall performance. Archived jobs can be filtered out of the Monitor for faster refresh rates.
  • The pools are now backed up, which works around a rare problem where the pools would get completely wiped out.
  • If a slave is rendering, it will show how long it's been rendering for in the Status column in the Monitor.
  • Added a minimum task render time job property, which fails a task if it's render time is shorter than the specified time. This can be set from the Job Properties dialog in the Monitor.
  • You can now configure Deadline to use SNTP (Simple Time Network Protocol) to synchronize the repository date/time. This can be configured from the Repository Options in the Monitor. If not using SNTP, Deadline will still use file I/O to synch the time like it did before.
  • Added a Graph tab to the Task panel that shows a visual of the task render times.
  • Added an option to make a job interruptible. Interruptible jobs will automatically be canceled and requeued when a job with a higher priority is found.
  • Samples of CPU and Memory usage over time for each task are now stored. A task statistics panel can be shown in the Monitor and when you click on an individual task, you can see the CPU and Memory usage during the render. This panel is hidden by default, but can be shown using the a toggle button next to the Slave panel and Limit group panel toggle buttons.
  • A slave scheduling feature has been added to Power Management.
  • Added the ability to disable changing user, repository, and license server through the launcher for normal users. This option can be found under the Launcher settings in the repository options.
  • Added a super user option to the Tools Menu in the Monitor that allows you to suspend all active jobs in the queue. There is a corresponding Resume option to resume these jobs at a later time.
  • Added an UpdatePathVariable command to DeadlineCommand for Windows to add the Deadline bin folder to the PATH environment variable if it's not already in it.
  • Monitor no longer resets render time back to 0 after it hits 24 hours.
  • Added Elapsed Running Time column to job list in Monitor.

New Plugin Support / Improvements

  • 3ds Max:
    • Support has been added for 3ds Max 2008 and 2009 (including the Design versions).
    • Final render, Brazil r/s 2, and Maxwell renderer options can now be modified from the Monitor after the job has been submitted.
    • Render To Texture feature has been added.
    • Region, crop, and blowup rendering are now supported.
    • Safe frames are now enforced in 3dsmax when using the tile or region selection gizmos.
    • Update Render Elements Path in 3dsmax submission dialog no longer replaces spaces in the path with underscores.
  • 3ds Command:
    • Video Post feature has been added.
  • After Effects:
    • After Effects 8 (CS3) is now supported out of the box.
  • Cinema 4D
    • Support has been added for Cinema 4D 11.
  • Combustion:
    • Support has been added for Combustion 2008.
    • Command Script:
    • Executables with spaces in the path are now supported. Just add quotes around the executable path.
  • Fusion:
    • Added option to Fusion submission to target 32bit or 64bit versions of Fusion (when rendering with Fusion 5.3 or later).
  • Houdini:
    • Support has been added for Houdini 9 via Python scripting.
  • Lightwave:
    • Added concurrent task option to the integrated submission script.
  • LuxRender:
    • Support has been added for LuxRender.
  • Maxwell:
    • Maxwell co-op jobs can now automatically merge the final results. Requires Maxwell 1.7 or later.
    • Maxwell jobs should no longer hang on an error.
  • Maya:
    • Support has been added for Maya 2008 and 2009.
    • Added the option to use the new MayaBatch plugin, which keeps the scene loaded in memory between tasks for the same job. This saves on the overhead of loading the scene file for every task.
    • 3delight and Gelato are now supported renderers.
    • Render name variables/shortcuts are now supported.
  • Modo:
    • Support has been added for Modo (302 and later).
  • Nuke:
    • Support has been added for Nuke 5.
    • The Nuke plugin now ensures that any input/output paths are compatible with the OS they are running on. So Nuke jobs submitted from Linux will render fine on Windows.
  • Quicktime:
    • Split up the Apple and Fusion Quicktime submission dialogs.
    • Added the option to Apple Quicktime to specify different codecs.
    • Apple Quicktime jobs no longer fail to submit and render on machines with non-English operating systems.
  • Realflow:
    • You can now use realflow.exe or realflownode.exe. If using realflow.exe, Deadline will append the -nogui argument automatically.
    • The Explore Output option is now available for Realflow jobs.
    • The Realflow icon has been switched to version 4.
  • Rhino:
    • Rhino SR4 is now supported, and the Rhino renderer has been separated into its own application so if Rhino crashes, the slave doesn't crash with it.
  • Sequence Publisher:
    • Support has been added for Sequence Publisher.
  • VNS/WCS:
    • Support has been added for VNS (Visual Nature Studio) and WCS (World Construction Set).
    • Concurrent Tasks and Explore Output features are supported.
  • Vue:
    • Integrated submission from Vue is now supported. The RenderBull command will now look like this (should all be on one line):
"C:\Program Files\Frantic Films\Deadline\bin\DeadlineCommand.exe" -executescript
\\your\repository\scripts\submission\VueSubmission\VueSubmission.py "[FILE_PATH]" "[SCENE_NAME]" "[NUM_FRAMES]"
  • XSI:
    • Support has been added for XSI 7.
    • Added the option to use the new XSIBatch plugin, which keeps the scene loaded in memory between tasks for the same job. This saves on the overhead of loading the scene file for every task.