New Features In Deadline 3.1.35390 (Released March 31, 2009)

New Features In Deadline 3.1.35390 (Released March 31, 2009)

 

Overview

This Deadline release is the first to support the Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX operating systems. This marks the completion of multi-platform support, and includes some popular feature requests and bug fixes. In addition, new plugin support has been added for Vue 7, MetaRender, REDAlert, and fryrender. Note that a new 3.1 license is required to run this version.

Mac OSX Support

All the Deadline applications (except for Deadline Configuration) now run on Mac OSX machines that have Mono 2.x installed. Both Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (10.5) are supported, and both PPC and Intel architectures are supported.

Improved Linux Support

All the Deadline applications (except for Deadline Configuration) now run on Linux machines that have Mono 2.x installed. Prior to this release, there was no Monitor application for Linux.

Performance Improvements

When the Slaves or Pulse are searching for a job to render, the number of filesystem "hits" to the repository has been reduced by about 80%. In addition, jobs with a single task refresh faster in the Monitor, and the speed when loading a job in the Monitor by clicking on it has been improved by about 35%.

Statistics Gathering Has Been Reimplemented

Statistics gathering was removed in Deadline 3.0 because the external libraries it depended on could not be ported. It has now been reimplemented in Deadline 3.1.

General Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • A path mapping feature has been added to the Repository Options, which can be used to change paths being passed to rendering applications based on the operating system that the job is rendering on. It also changes paths when using the Explore Output features in the Monitor. This is a very useful feature for mixed-OS render farms.
  • Deadline now schedules jobs properly when using a *nix-based Repository.
  • Tile rendering now supports the option to submit all tiles as a single job.
  • Unicode characters are now supported.
  • Added a menu item under the Help menu for all Deadline applications to view the Deadline log folder.
  • Added an Invert option to the filter toolbar drop-down lists.
  • For plug-ins that support local rendering (ie: rendering to the local machine first, then copying the output to the network location), this is now a per-job option.
  • Running the slave or pulse for a few minutes on Linux no longer crashes X11 or bogs down the system. We're not sure if this problem affected flavors of Linux other than openSuse, but the problem is fixed regardless.
  • Floating point and non-cropped EXR tiles are now assembled properly.
  • Dependent jobs will now resume if the job they are dependent on completes and becomes archived.
  • Corrupted jobs should now be cleaned up properly.
  • IronPython engine is now cleaned up between uses.
  • Added a repository setting for additional python search paths so that IronPython can use 'os' and other python libraries.

Monitor Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • A new slave list filter toolbar has been added.
  • Added Limit Group list option to reset the usage count.
  • Disabling VNC, Radmin, etc in the Repository Options is now reflected in the right-click menus.
  • The option to explore the job output folder(s) has now been added to the Task right-click menu.
  • RDC support has been refactored.
  • Corrupted jobs are now shown in the Job list.
  • Copying and pasting the contents of a list no longer messes up the column order.
  • Fixed some bugs that were causing deleted or archived jobs to show up as corrupted.
  • Re-added shortcuts for Radmin and RDC in the right-click menus.
  • The 6 file name limitation has been removed. For example, now if you submit a 3ds Max job with 10 render elements, you will be able to browse all 10 paths from the Monitor.
  • Bad plugin properties no longer prevent the tab for that plugin from being displayed in the job properties dialog. Instead, that bad property is just skipped over.
  • In the slave list, the Groups are now displayed in alphabetical order.
  • The Scan For Missing Output has been improved. Now, the paths for the missing files are shown, and you can choose specific tasks to requeue. Also, you can now specify a minimum size to check for.
  • Sticky job and slave filter settings are now saved and loaded properly.
  • The user is now warned if they are modifying pools or groups for multiple slaves that don't have matching lists.
  • The speed at which the job properties dialog is displayed has been improved.
  • The 64 bit Windows FlexLM applications are no longer shipped due to ongoing problems. The 32 bit applications work fine on 64 bit operating systems.
  • More information from completed tasks is maintained when modifying the frame range.
  • The Job Scheduling dialog is now initialized properly.
  • DOS commands like "cmd /C dir" now work when using the Remote Control -> Execute Command right-click option in the slave list. In addition, quoted executable paths are now extracted properly.
  • When options like Change Repository are disabled for normal users, the Super User can now use these options.
  • Added option to Ping slave machines during refreshes. This is disabled by default, and can be toggled in the View menu.
  • The user is now warned when they go to suspend a job with tasks that are currently rendering.
  • The size of the Reports windows is now sticky.
  • In the Slave list, the Job ID and Job Name have been split into separate columns.
  • Retrieve File no longer crashes monitor if job name has invalid file name characters in it.
  • Job name in job properties dialog no longer has a limit of 80 characters.
  • Super User can now mark idle and rendering slaves as offline.
  • When pressing keys to select items based on matching text, the selected item is based on the sorted column.
  • The Invert Selection right-click option now works again.
  • Drag & dropping from Task list into Nuke now works like it does in Fusion (creates a loader/reader).
  • Super user can now access locked job properties even if current user doesn't have permissions.

Slave Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • When checking the bitness of an executable file, Deadline no longer locks the file. This means that multiple slaves can check the bitness of a file at the same time without getting Access Denied errors. This is primarily for render farms that keep their render executables on network drives.
  • If the slave detects a pop-up and ignores it, it only prints out the "Ignoring popup..." message once, instead of printing it out every second.
  • The "could not assign process because access denied" error on Vista has now been resolved.
  • When connecting to Pulse, the slave no longer loses track of the task during the first few seconds of rendering.
  • Improvements have been made to how the Slave sets a job's started and completed times.
  • Fixed some threading related bugs.
  • Added some code to cleanup the WMI and IronPython objects immediately instead of relying on the Garbage Collector.

Launcher Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • On Windows, added an option to prevent the Launcher from launching at start up.
  • When the Launcher starts up, it will try to connect to the repository using a more rapid interval, which eventually slows down to a 10 minute interval. This helps the situation where the Launcher starts up before the network connection does.
  • On Linux and Mac OSX, the Launcher runs like a normal application. There is an option to run the Launcher in the background.

Pulse Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Disk space notification email address now supports multiple entries.

DeadlineCommand Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • The ChangeRepository command can now accept the path to a repository as an argument, which allows the repository to be changed without user interaction.
  • The RemoteControl options are now listed in the usage instructions.

Job Monitor Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • The progress bars for individual jobs now use the original coloring scheme that was used in Deadline 2.7.
  • Jobs in list are now updated properly.

New Plugin Support / Improvements

  • 3ds Command:
    • Added an option to specify a Path Configuration (*.mxp) file when submitting a job.
    • Gamma correction settings are no longer applied when stitching the final image of a strip rendering job.
    • Submitter no longer throws the error mentioning c:\deadline\deadline.ini.
  • 3ds Max:
    • Added an option to specify a Path Configuration (*.mxp) file when submitting a job.
    • Added some additional pop up handlers.
    • Tile jobs now respect gamma correction.
    • Resolution for render elements is now set properly during tile rendering.
    • A new Blowup mode has been added to tile rendering. If enabled, tile rendering will work by zooming in on the region and rendering it at a smaller resolution. Then that region is blown up to bring it to the correct resolution. This has been known to help save memory when rendering large high resolution images.
    • When 3ds Max exits unexpectedly during rendering, we now pull additional information from the Max.log file.
    • In 3ds Max 2009 and later, the locked viewport setting in the 3ds Max Render Settings is now respected.
    • Saving separate JPEGs of the final images now works properly.
    • Padded tile renders are now saved out properly.
    • Tile rendering now respect the "Remove Filename Padding" option when performing the assembly.
    • Blowup rendering when a camera is selected now works properly.
    • Fixed some issues when rendering with VRay.
    • Fixed the error "name 'blockingMessage' not defined"
    • SMTD (Submit Max To Deadline) Script Improvements:
      • Added options to specify Python job scripts during submission.
      • Added options to ignore missing XREF errors and to disable multipass effects.
      • Comment field now displays versions as 2008, 2009, etc instead of 10, 11, etc.
      • Added a custom order option to render the first and last frames first.
      • Missing Tile Manip error has been fixed (this problem occurred when saving the scene with the Tile Manipulator gizmo displayed).
      • Added option to check render elements for black frames as well.
      • Added option to disable the progress update timeout. This is useful when rendering Fume FX sims.
      • Added some additional sanity checks
      • Added some job name formatting options that can be used to customize the job name.
      • Submission timeouts and export renderer user options have been moved to their own rollouts.
      • Added option to update the job name field when scene is reset, saved, or loaded.
      • Added interrupt job option.
      • Remote Resource Utility no longer dumps code to maxscript listener.
      • Fixed some default/sticky ini setting issues.
  • After Effects:
    • Added some additional pop up handlers.
    • The integrated submission scripts now submits all comps in the render queue at once. There is an option to use the frame ranges from each comp, instead of overriding it in the submission dialog.
    • Movie renders now set the chunk size to 100,000 instead of 10,000.
    • Sticky settings in the submission script now work.
    • MPEG renders are now submitted as a single task.
    • The "Ignore Missing Layer Dependencies Error" option is now a per-job options.
    • Added option to make comps dependent on each other when multiple comps are in the render queue.
  • Command Script:
    • Quoted executable paths are now extracted properly.
  • fryrender:
    • Added fryrender support.
  • Fusion:
    • When submitting from the Monitor, there is a new option to use the frame range from the comp instead of specifying it manually (Fusion 5 only).
  • Houdini:
    • Added an option to submit an IFD export job, and then submit a dependent Mantra standalone job automatically.
    • Fixed a bug in progress reporting.
  • Lightwave:
    • An array dimension error no longer occurs when selecting certain output formats.
  • Maya:
    • Integrated submission script now works on Japanese operating systems.
    • Fixed a bunch of path separator problems when rendering on a mixed OS farm.
    • When submitting a Mental Ray export job from Maya, you now have the option to submit a dependent Mental Ray Standalone job.
    • When not using the MayaBatch plugin, additional command line arguments can now be specified in the submission script.
    • Output from each render layer can now be viewed from the Monitor when submitting all render layers as a single job.
    • Fixed some issues when rendering with VRay.
    • The user is now warned if they are tile rendering with a format that our tile assembler doesn't support.
    • The Half Frames option is now enabled when it's supposed to be (before, it was always disabled).
    • When submitting each layer as a separate job, the user is warned if there are referenced layers and that they will be skipped over.
  • Mental Ray Standalone:
    • Added option to control verbosity level.
  • Modo:
    • Added support for tile rendering, although due to the way Modo saves region renders, the automatically assembled frame is incorrect. However, you can still use software like Photoshop to manually assemble the image.
    • Fixed the "Unknown command: ???QUERY" bug.
  • Quicktime:
    • When submitting a Quicktime job from the Job right-click menu (in the Scripts sub-menu), you are now asked which of the job's output you want to create the movie from (if the job has more than one output file).
    • Quicktime jobs can now render on Mac OSX
  • REDAlert:
    • Added REDAlert support.
  • Toxik:
    • Toxik 2008 and 2009 now work properly with Deadline.
  • Vue:
    • Added Vue 7 support.
  • XSI:
    • Render channels are better supported. Now you can view all render channel output from the Monitor, and Tile Rendering works with render channels as well.
    • The submission script now supports up to 62 render passes. Before, the limit was 31.
    • The XSIBatch plugin now has a progress update timeout setting, which will fail the render if Deadline doesn't get any progress from XSI for X seconds, where X is configurable. This is an attempt to workaround the XSI hanging issue. Note that this option is disabled by default in the XSIBatch plugin configuration.