New Features In Deadline 4.1.42706 (Released August 3rd, 2010)

 

Overview

This Deadline release features many performance and stability improvements which allow Deadline to handle thousands of render jobs with ease. Pool/Group Management and Power Management have been overhauled to improve usability and flexibility, and new software support has been added for After Effects CS5, Arnold Standalone, Lightwave 10, RVIO, RealFlow 5, and Softimage 2011. Also, Deadline is now UAC compliant on Windows, and will run without without requiring elevation even when UAC is set to the highest setting. Finally, this version of Deadline is compatible with Deadline Mobile, the new iPhone application for Deadline.

Note that a new 4.1 license is required to run this version.

Highlighted Features

Pulse Performance Improvements

Pulse now uses multiple threads to load data from the Repository, which makes the managing of jobs and slaves orders of magnitude faster than it used to be. With these changes, Deadline can now handle thousands of active render jobs with ease when Pulse is running.

New Pools and Groups Management Tool

Pools and Groups can now also be assigned to slaves in the Manage Pools or Groups option in the Monitor. This interface is much more flexible then the Slave List right-click option. It allows you to do things like add/remove pools/groups from many slaves without affecting other assigned pools/groups, or increase/decrease priority of a specific pool across many slaves without affecting the priority of other pools.

Power Management Improvements

Power Management groups are now defined at the top level, and all features (Idle Shutdown, Thermal Shutdown, etc) apply to all slaves within their respective group. Previously, each feature had its own separate list of groups. This will make it easier to maintain Power Management settings for specific groups of machines. Additional improvements include:

  • Thermal Shutdown can now re-enable the waking up of slave machines if the temperature falls back below a specified threshold.
  • Idle Shutdown can now have a machine hibernate instead of power off, and you can configure machines to not shutdown if specific processes are running.
  • Machine Startup (formerly Wake On Lan) can now use IPMI commands to wake up machines.
  • You can now set the order in which slaves are shut down and woken up.
  • Deadline will also try to start up stalled slaves (in addition to offline slaves).

Deadline Is UAC Compliant

On Windows, all Deadline applications can now run without requiring elevation, even when UAC is set to the highest setting. Some features of Deadline (like changing the license server from the Launcher) still require elevation, but you will only be prompted when you use these specific features.

Deadline Mobile is Released

Deadline Mobile is available as a free download from the App Store on iPhone or at http://www.itunes.com/appstore. It lets users remotely monitor Deadline jobs from anywhere. With the simple touch of the screen, users can keep tabs on the render farm in real time and check the status of their renders within seconds.

New Software Support

Support has been added for After Effects CS5, Arnold Standalone, Lightwave 10, RVIO, RealFlow 5, and Softimage 2011.

General Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Upgraded IronPython to version 2.6.1.
  • You can now create "bookmarks" in Deadline's file and folder browsers for commonly used paths.
  • Job Transfers now uses a new JobTransfer Deadline plugin, and a separate job is now responsible for transferring the original job.
  • Transferred jobs will now have a new Job ID in the remote repository.
  • Added an Application Setup Wizard on Mac OSX so that you can change some install settings without having to re-run the installer.
  • It is now more obvious when a temporary license is about to expire. The Slaves will be highlighted in the Monitor, and there will also be a highlighted section in the Slave UI.
  • All passwords stored in Deadline (Super User, VNC, etc) are now encrypted.
  • The machine that a job was submitted from is now included in the job statistics.
  • In a plugin's .param and .options file, you can now specify the order of categories using the new CategoryOrder property.
  • When using VNC through Deadline, Deadline now uses the machine's name to connect, instead of mapping it to its IP address via DNS first. You can also now configure the command line arguments passed to VNC. Finally, VNC is supported on Mac OSX.
  • Fixed a bunch of UI issues on Windows 7.
  • Included themes now properly define the User Alternative Color. Previously, they all use the Default theme's color.
  • Error Reporting Setup should now work properly with SSL.
  • Removed the possibility of two jobs having the same Job ID if they have the same name and are submitted at the same time.
  • SetCurrentJobValue function in Script API now properly sets array values.

Installation Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • There are now separate 32 and 64 bit installers for Linux. The previous installer had problems on some 64 bit distributions of Linux, and the new 64 bit installer avoids these problems.
  • Fixed the "chown: `nobody:nogroup': invalid group" error that occurred on some distributions of Linux.
  • The Windows client installer now sets proper permissions on the shared logs and themes folders.
  • The common deadline.ini file is now installed to the correct location on Windows 7.
  • The "prefix" option now works in the Windows installers when they are run in silent mode.
  • All installers now expose the option for launching the Slave at startup.

Monitor Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Filtering has been improved. Now, if you have an item checked (such as yourself in the user filter), and the item is removed because it has no corresponding jobs in the queue, it will come back in the same state that it left once it has corresponding jobs again.
  • When you close the Monitor while it is in the minimized state, it will now start in the same location and with the same size that it was originally minimized from. When you close the Monitor while it is in the maximized state, it will still start maximized, but it will restore to the same location and to the same size that it was originally maximized from.
  • Task load speeds should be quicker now. For example, a 5000 task job should only take 2-3 seconds to load, instead of 8-10 seconds.
  • When populating the Job Dependency dialog, the Monitor now gets the job list from Pulse, which is much faster.
  • The plugin-specific option tab in the Job Properties dialog now uses rollouts for each group of controls.
  • All time spans should now have the "day" placeholder, to make it easier to parse.
  • The Mapped Drive and Mapped Path Setup now require that all entries be unique.
  • Jobs that are manually marked as complete now log their statistics.
  • Add an option to the "Bad Slave List" dialog to auto-blacklist the current list of bad slaves.
  • The Bad Slave List dialog no longer shows multiple prompts to the user when multiple jobs are selected.
  • Tab pages no longer flicker when moving the mouse over tabs, and some UI glitches related to drawing the tabs have been fixed.
  • The Monitor no longer crashes on Linux if the .flexlmrc file is locked.
  • The Monitor no longer crashes when connected to Pulse, and you select a job in the middle of a refresh.
  • Fixed an auto-refresh issue on Mac OSX.
  • The "Select All" shortcut in the job list now properly updates the selected job count.
  • Copying multiple job output paths now works properly again.
  • The CPU column in the Slave list now sorts properly.
  • Exploring a job output path that has a badly formatted path (due to path mapping) no longer crashes the Monitor.

Slave Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • You can now configure the slave to send an email if it has problems obtaining a license on startup, or if it loses its connection to the license server and has to shut down. You can configure this in the Repository Options.
  • Tweaked the layout of some of the data fields so that fields that generally contain larger string data resize with the UI.
  • The slave will now try to exit all threads when the machine runs out of memory, which should hopefully prevent orphaned threads from sticking around. Eventually, Deadline will recognize that the slave has crashed and mark it as stalled, which in turn requeues the task that the slave was currently working on.
  • The "Free Mode" text has been removed from the slave log when running in Free Mode.
  • Fixed a few memory/handle leaks.
  • Fixed a problem when calculating a chunked task's output file size, and that task has only produced 1 output file.
  • Up to 1000 sub-processes can now be managed, instead of just 10. This will fix the "More data is available" error that would pop up on jobs that launched more than 10 sub-processes.
  • The operating system is now reported correctly on Windows 7.
  • Task logs no longer get truncated if they are in the middle of rendering at midnight.
  • Fixed a bad URL in the UnauthorizedAccessException error message.

Launcher Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Double clicking on the system tray icon will now launch the Monitor.
  • On Mac OSX, the auto-upgrade process no longer fails after upgrading to Mono 2.6.4.

Pulse Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Pulse now uses multiple threads to load Repository data. This makes Pulse much more efficient at handling thousands of jobs at a time.
  • The Repository Cleanup and Repository Scan processes are now split into separate threads so that they don't interfere with each other.
  • Pulse now checks all slaves to see if any are stalled during each Cleanup interval. Before, it would only check one random slave per interval.
  • Repository disk space notification is now only sent once every 30 minutes.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the slave update times to not be parsed correctly, resulting in slaves being marked as stalled when they weren't.

Deadline Command Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Job submission will no longer fail if an error occurs while trying to determine the data/scene file's size.
  • ResumeJob command now properly places jobs that have scheduling/dependencies in the Pending state.
  • GetTaskProgress command now sets the ElapsedJobRendertime value properly.

Job Monitor Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • The job list in the Add Jobs window is now grabbed from Pulse, so it's much faster.

Plugin Improvements and Bug Fixes

3dsmax

  • Added a few new popup handlers.
  • Padded and multi-job tile renders now work properly again.
  • The option to ignore render elements has now been exposed in the 3dsmax submission script.
  • Deadline no longer renders elements that have been individually disabled. In the past, Deadline only checked the global setting if render elements were enabled/disabled.
  • Multi-frame tasks now factor in to the task progress.
  • Jobs will no longer fail during the installation check if there are illegal characters in the PATH environment variable.

After Effects

  • Added support for After Effects CS5.
  • Fixed some display issues with the AE submission script on Mac OSX.
  • Added a submission option to fail a render when a Warning message is detected.
  • Added support for local rendering.
  • Added the option to configure the AE plugin to sync Font folders before rendering an AE job.
  • You can now create a CustomSanityChecks.jsx file in the \\your\repository\submission\AfterEffects folder which can be used to set defaults in the submission script before it is displayed.
  • Handles the Color Finesse 2 popup.

Arnold Standalone

  • Added support for Arnold Standalone.

Cinema 4D

  • The -threads argument is now only passed to Cinema 4D when the thread count specified during submission is larger than 0. Now, if you specify 0 for the thread count, Cinema 4D will use the maximum number of threads instead of 1.
  • Added multipass output option to Monitor submitter.

Combustion

  • The submission script will now warn the user if the input or output project path for the Combustion workspace doesn't exist.
  • Concurrent tasks no longer fail because all threads try to create the same temp file.

Command Script

  • There is now an option to insert file or folder paths into commands.

Fusion

  • Fusion jobs now have their CPU and RAM usage monitored properly.

Lightwave

  • Added support for Lightwave 10.
  • Path mapping checks are now a lot faster.
  • Concurrent tasks no longer fail because all threads try to create the same temp file.
  • When mapping paths, the correct path separators are now enforced based on the OS.

Mental Ray Standalone

  • Fixed a bug in the frame number parsing that could result in other numbers in the input .mi file being changed (like IP addresses).

Maxwell

  • Added override options for time and sampling level.

Maya

  • mayabatch.exe processes are no longer left behind an error occurs during rendering.
  • With Mental Ray, when you specify 0 for the number of render threads, Deadline will now properly tell Mental Ray to auto-detect the number of threads to use. You can also configure Mental Ray's memory settings when submitting the job, and from the Monitor after the job has been submitted.
  • With VRay, Deadline should now work with the latest batch of nightly builds. Also added an option to automatically detect a value that should be used for the dynamic memory limit setting.
  • You can now submit custom melscript or python scripts for Maya from the Maya Submission dialog in the Monitor.
  • You can now create a CustomSanityChecks.mel file in the \\your\repository\submission\Maya folder which can be used to set defaults in the submission script before it is displayed.
  • There are some options that can now be configured per layer (job name, frame range, and chunk size) when using the option to submit each layer as a separate job.
  • There is now an option to submit each renderable camera as a separate job.
  • Added an option to ignore default cameras (persp, top, etc) when submitting each camera as a separate job
  • Added the Minimum Render Time option to the integrated submitter.
  • The integrated submitter now pulls the default Threads value from the scene options (if possible).
  • Deadline will no longer fail jobs that print out this error: "No object matches name:", since these appear to not be fatal.
  • Priority setting is no longer ignored when submitting jobs from Maya 2011.

Nuke

  • Reverted back to command line mode for rendering, which we found to be far more robust then the method we were using previously.
  • Nuke jobs are now rendered using the command line, which seems to be much more robust then the batch mode we were using in the past.
  • The user is now warned if proxy mode is enabled during submission.
  • Path mapping checks are now a lot faster.
  • You can now create a CustomSanityChecks.tcl file in the \\your\repository\submission\Nuke folder which can be used to set defaults in the submission script before it is displayed.
  • Popup handling is now enabled.
  • Concurrent tasks no longer fail because all threads try to create the same temp file.

Quicktime

  • The Fusion Quicktime plugin now supports Fusion 6.
  • The Apple Quicktime submitter now allows you to save a settings XML file over an existing one.
  • The Apple Quicktime submitter now warns the user if they are submitting a file format that isn't supported.

RealFlow

  • Added support for RealFlow 5.
  • Progress is now reported during rendering.
  • Improved the integrated RF submission script.
  • License Errors and Critical Errors now cause Deadline to fail the RF job.
  • When submitting an RF job, you now have the option for Deadline to set the start frame of each task to be the frame before the actual start frame. For example, if Deadline is rendering task with frames 5-9, it will tell RF to render frames 4-9. This was required by the Sim team to split up RF jobs into multiple tasks. Note though that if the start frame for a task is 0, Deadline will tell RF to start at frame 0 because RF doesn't work with negative frames.

Renderman (RIB)

  • RIB files are now rendered directly from the network. This required us to remove the ability to override the output, but now Deadline should render RIB files that contain relative paths properly.
  • Renderer-specific options are now properly appended to the user-defined command line optins.

Rhino

  • There is now an integrated submission script.

RIB

  • Fixed a bug in the frame number parsing that could result in other numbers in the input .rib file being changed (like IP addresses).

RVIO

  • Added support for RVIO.

Softimage

  • Added support for Softimage 2011.
  • Deadline now respects the Frame Set setting if it is being used.
  • Arnold progress is now reported properly.
  • Pass selection in the integrated submitter is now handled by a list box, which makes it much easier to select multiple passes at once. Also, the Pass List is now shown even if only one pass is in the scene.
  • The frame step is now grabbed properly when a pass is using the scene's frame range options.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing submission to crash for some passes.
  • The XSIBatch plugin now supports a comma separated list of passes.

Terragen

  • You can now select a render node from the scene to be the master node when submitting a Terragen job.
  • The default frame range is now set automatically during submission based on the scene file selected.
  • Added support for local rendering.