Deadline 8.0.0.69 (April 29, 2016)

For ultimate scalability, Deadline 8 introduces on-demand metered licensing, which can be purchased and managed round-the-clock via Thinkbox’s e-commerce portal. Additionally, the store hosts on-demand per-minute licenses for select third party content creation applications and plugins.

Deadline 8 also adds a Proxy Server application, an improved Monitor experience, and a new sandboxed Python environment for jobs and events.

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New Features in Deadline 7.1.1.4 (Released June 3, 2015)

Overview

This is a patch release for Deadline 7.1 that fixes a few important bugs that were discovered shortly after Deadline 7.1 was released, and makes some minor improvements.

See the Deadline 7.1 User Manual for the full release notes.

Note that a 7.1 license is still required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 7.0 or earlier, you will need an updated license. In addition, the version of Draft that ships with Deadline 7.1 needs a new 1.3 license. If you have a license for Draft 1.2 or earlier, you will need an updated license.

New Features in Deadline 7.1.0.35 (Released May 5, 2015)

Overview

Deadline 7.1 is the latest version of Thinkbox Software's scalable high-volume compute management solution. In addition to built-in cloud support and integration with the latest 3D animation tools, Deadline 7.1 now also supports leading architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD, VRED, and VREDCluster; CSI’s CSiBridge, ETABS, SAFE, and SAP2000; EnergyPlus; and Bentley MicroStation.

Deadline 7.1 builds on recently introduced built-in VMX (Virtual Machine Extension) support to allow both VFX and AEC users to leverage public and private cloud resources for on-demand compute. It also includes updated Slave metrics and statistics, enhancements to balanced/weighted job scheduling, expanded font synchronization, and more. Also new in Deadline 7.1 is an updated version of Draft, a lightweight compositing and video processing plugin designed to automate typical post-render tasks such as creating and processing QuickTimes, thumbnails, and other deliverables. 

Note that a new 7.1 license is required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 7.0 or earlier, you will need an updated license. In addition, the version of Draft that ships with Deadline 7.1 needs a new 1.3 license. If you have a license for Draft 1.2 or earlier, you will need an updated license.

Highlighted Features

These are the highlighted features in Deadline 7.1. See the complete Deadline 7.1 User Manual for the complete release notes.

Enhanced Logic for Balanced/Weighted Job Scheduling

An experimental Enhanced Balancing Logic option has been added for balanced/weighted scheduling options in the Job Scheduling settings. When this option is enabled, the Slaves will use the new SlaveJobState collection in the database to get a more accurate snapshot of all the rendering jobs in the farm, and use this information to make better decisions about which job they should be rendering.

Testing has shown that when this option is enabled, a proper distribution of Slaves among jobs is much more consistent, and Slaves no longer jump between jobs of the same priority. The result is more predictable behavior, and less wasted time due to the overhead of switching between jobs that are expensive to start up.

New Slave Metrics

Slaves now report their Network I/O, Disk I/O, and Swap usage, which can be viewed from the Monitor. This information is also stored in the statistics that are gathered for the Slaves.

In addition, Swap usage for the rendering process is stored with a job’s task when it completes, and is also stored in the statistics for the job when it completes.

Improved Slaves Statistics Reports

The Slave Resource Usage farm report is now called the Slaves Overview farm report, and shows additional statistics. For example, the new Slaves Overview chart shows how many slaves were in each state (starting job, rendering, idle, offline, stalled, and disabled). In addition, the new Available/Active Slaves charts show the number of slaves that are available, and the number of available slaves that are active. Finally, the new Plugin Usage chart shows the overall usage of the render plugins.

Both the Slaves Over and Active Slaves Stats reports can also be shown for a given region. This allows you see statistics for slaves in a specific Cloud region, or in specific areas in the office (ie: render nodes versus workstations). Note that this requires you to set which regions your slaves belong to in their Slave Settings.

Improved Graphs in the Monitor

Line and Bar graphs in the Monitor now support panning and zooming, and a right-click option has been added to reset the zoom level. In addition, individual series in some Line graphs can be shown/hidden from the right-click menu. Finally, the axis labels in these graphs have been updated to properly represent integer and date/time values, which makes them easier to read.

Expanded Font Synchronization

The new FontSync event plugin that ships with Deadline can be used to synchronize fonts on Mac OS X and Windows before the Slave application starts rendering any job, or when the Slave first starts up. This general FontSync event plugin replaces the font synchronization options in the After Effects plugin and now works for ALL plugin types in Deadline.

Improved Job Batch Display

Deadline 7 introduced the ability to group jobs together in the Monitor by setting their Batch Name property. Now, all Deadline submitters automatically set the Batch Name if multiple related jobs are being submitted at the same time. For example, when submitting each render layer as a separate job in Maya, they will all be part of the same batch. Another example is submitting a Jigsaw render with a dependent assembly job.

In addition, the Batch Row in the job list in the Monitor now shows information for all columns, depending on the settings for the jobs in the batch. For numeric settings like priority or machine limit, the largest value for the jobs is shown. For settings like pool and group, the value will be shown if all jobs have the same value, and if they don’t, <batch> is shown instead. For all other columns, <batch> is simply shown.

Finally, the counts above the job list in the job panel now show the number of batches in the list, and the selected count now ignores selected batches so that it properly represents the number of selected jobs.

Protected Jobs

Jobs now have a “Protected” property. When enabled, the job can only be deleted by the job’s user, a super user, or a user that belongs to a user group that has permissions to handle protected jobs. Other users will not be able to delete the job, and the job will also not be cleaned up by Deadline’s automatic house cleaning. This is useful if you have jobs you need to keep around for testing or benchmark purposes.

Flexible Image Viewer Configuration

The Monitor has always had the option to specify up to three viewers to use when viewing images from the Task list. Now, optional command line arguments can be set, which are then passed to the viewer when viewing images. There are also special tags, which are replaced automatically with information about the image being viewed.

The following tags are supported in the command line options:
- {FRAME}: This represents the task’s frame file. For example: /path/to/image0002.png
- {SEQ#}: This represents the task’s frame sequence files, using ‘#’ as the padding. For example: /path/to/image####.png
- {SEQ?}: This represents the task’s frame sequence files, using ‘?’ as the padding. For example: /path/to/image????.png
- {SEQ@}: This represents the task’s frame sequence files, using ‘@’ as the padding. For example: /path/to/image@@@@.png
- {SEQ%}: This represents the task’s frame sequence files, using ‘%d’ as the padding. For example: /path/to/image%04d.png

The arguments default to “{FRAME}”, which keeps the default behavior from previous versions of Deadline intact.

In addition, proper names can be given to the viewers, which are shown in their corresponding menu items. Finally, viewers can be configured to support chunked tasks (tasks which consist of more than one frame).

Standalone Web Service Application

A standalone Web Service application is now shipped with Deadline, and is called deadlineWebService.exe. It works exactly the same as the Web Service feature that is built into Deadline Pulse, and both can be configured using the new Web Service page in the Repository Options.

Install Launcher as Daemon on Mac OS X

The Deadline Client installer now has an option to install the Launcher as a Daemon on Mac OS X. This feature lets you run the Launcher daemon as root, or as another user account.

Improved Submission Script Installers

The submission script installers now show what DEADLINE_PATH is set to (which is used by the submission scripts to determine where the Deadline Client’s bin folder is located). You then have the option to change it if it’s incorrect, or set it if it doesn’t exist. This is useful if you have multiple versions of Deadline installed on your system.

A side-effect of this improvement is that it allows you to update DEADLINE_PATH without having to reinstall the Deadline Client or manually changing your system’s environment. To do this, simply run any submission script installer, change the DEADLINE_PATH value, and uncheck all options listed in the Components list. The installer will then update the DEADLINE_PATH without installing the submission script files.

Draft Updated to Version 1.3.2.58232

This version of Draft requires a new Draft 1.3 licenses, and includes the following updates:

EXR Images:
- Added support for EXR data and display windows (previously data windows were set to the same size as the display windows).
- Updated to OpenEXR 2.2.0.

LUT support:
- Added ACES 1.0 LUTs to the included ocio-configs folder.
- Improved the robustness of the Draft ASCCDL Reader. The reader can now handle different syntax in its input file.

VideoEncoder:
- Fixed a bug when encoding an image with VideoEncoder. The VideoEncoder was applying a bit of scaling to the image.
- Fixed bug on Mac OS X where encoding with certain dimensions (ie: 640 x 480) was causing a memory error crash.

Draft Tile Assembler:
- Added support for assembling big images by exposing a new class in Python called TileAssembler. Most of the logic of an assembly job can now be handled internally

New Application Support

Support has been added for many AEC (Architecture Engineering Construction) and Product Visualization products, including AutoCAD, CSiBridge, CSiETABS, CSiSAFE, CSiSAP2000, EnergyPlus, MicroStation, VRED and VREDCluster.

Support has also been added for 3ds Max 2016, Anime Studio 11, Composite 2016, Corona distributed rendering, Maya 2016, Media Encoder, Houdini 14, LuxSlave distributed rendering, Natron, Nuke Studio Frame Server distributed rendering, Renderman RIS for Maya, VRay for modo, and Vue 2015.

New Features in Deadline 7.0.3.0 (Released March 5, 2015)

Overview

This is the third patch release for Deadline 7.0. It fixes a critical side-effect in the feature that allows you to pick an alternate folder for job auxiliary files in the Job Settings in the Repository Options. Without this update, Deadline can delete any existing subfolders in the chosen folder if their name doesn’t match an ID of a job that is still in the queue. This isn’t a problem if you choose an empty folder (which is recommended), but if you choose a folder with existing subfolders, those subfolders will get deleted.

This update ensures that only subfolders with names that represent a valid job ID can be deleted by Deadline.

See the Deadline 7.0.3.0 User Manual for the full release notes.

Note that a 7.0 license is still required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 6.2 or earlier, you will need an updated license. In addition, the version of Draft that ships with Deadline 7 needs a new 1.2 license. If you have a license for Draft 1.1 or earlier, you will need an updated license.

If you are still using Deadline 6, this update has also been backported to Deadline 6.2.2.1.

New Features in Deadline 7.0.2.3 (Released January 14, 2015)

Overview

This is the second patch release for Deadline 7.0, which fixes a few bugs, and adds support for Lightwave 2015.

See the Deadline 7.0.2.3 User Manual for the full release notes.

Note that a 7.0 license is still required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 6.2 or earlier, you will need an updated license. In addition, the version of Draft that ships with Deadline 7 needs a new 1.2 license. If you have a license for Draft 1.1 or earlier, you will need an updated license.

New Features in Deadline 7.0.1.3 (Released December 30, 2014)

Overview

This is a patch release for Deadline 7.0. It fixes a few important bugs that were discovered shortly after Deadline 7.0 was released.

A bug with how the Slaves updated their state in the database had a significant impact on database performance. In order to fix this bug, we had to change how the Slaves update their state, and as a result the Slave list in the Monitor will show that your Slaves are in an “Unknown” state until all your machines (Slaves, Monitors, Pulse, etc) are running Deadline 7.0.1. Once all machines are running the same version, the Slaves will appear properly in the Monitor again.

See the Deadline 7.0.1.3 User Manual for the full release notes.

Note that a 7.0 license is still required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 6.2 or earlier, you will need an updated license. In addition, the version of Draft that ships with Deadline 7 needs a new 1.2 license. If you have a license for Draft 1.1 or earlier, you will need an updated license.

New Features in Deadline 7.0.0.54 (Released December 17, 2014)

Overview

Deadline 7 is the latest version of Thinkbox Software's scalable high-volume compute management solution. It features built-in VMX (Virtual Machine Extension) capabilities, which allow artists, architects and engineers to harness resources in both public and private clouds.

In addition to enhanced cloud support, Deadline 7 expands support for the Jigsaw multi-region rendering feature, which can now be accessed in 3ds Max, Maya, modo, and Rhino. Deadline 7 also introduces Draft 1.2, an update to Thinkbox's lightweight compositing and video processing plug-in designed to automate typical post-render tasks such as image format conversion as well as the creation of animated videos and QuickTimes, contact sheets, and watermark elements on exported images. Finally, Deadline 7 introduces a wealth of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes, which are detailed below.

Note that a new 7.0 license is required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 6.2 or earlier, you will need an updated license. In addition, the version of Draft that ships with Deadline 7 needs a new 1.2 license. If you have a license for Draft 1.1 or earlier, you will need an updated license.

Highlighted Features

These are the highlighted features in Deadline 7.0. See the complete Deadline 7.0 User Manual for the complete release notes.

VMX (Virtual Machine eXtension)

With VMX (Virtual Machine eXtension) built in and pluggable cloud support, Deadline 7 can interact with private and public cloud solutions out-of-the-box, including Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure and OpenStack, among others. The new Deadline Balancer application can start and shut down virtual instances on demand based on the jobs in the queue, the current budget settings, or other custom algorithms. Multiple cloud solutions can be used simultaneously, along with classic non-cloud rendernode and workstation rendering.

Updated to MongoDB 2.6.3

Deadline now ships with MongoDB 2.6.3, with version 2.6.1 being the new minimum requirement for Deadline 7. Deadline utilizes MongoDB’s new timestamp feature to significantly reduce the number of write queries performed during normal operation. Not only does this improve performance under heavier loads, but it also allows Deadline to support MongoDB’s Sharding feature. Sharding can be used to create a cluster of MongoDB instances, allowing the database server to scale horizontally by adding more nodes to the cluster.

Deadline’s Replica Set support has been improved as well. Previously, you had to specify each node in your Replica Set when specifying the MongoDB server name. Now, you can also include the Replica Set name.

Updated User Interface

Deadline’s User Interface libraries have been updated to Qt 5, and the Deadline applications now use Qt’s new Fusion theme for a more modern look and feel. The Fusion theme provides better scaling at larger resolutions, and it also provides more color contrast.

The Monitor also uses new progress bars to show the progress for jobs. The progress bars show the state of every task for the job, not just the complete versus incomplete tasks. This allows you to see the overall state of all the tasks at a glance.

Finally, updating to Qt 5 also addresses issues that Qt 4 had with Wacom tablets.

Python Upgraded to 2.7.8

Deadline now ships with Python 2.7.8. Note that this shouldn’t affect any existing scripts that you use with Deadline.

In addition, the Deadline applications no longer set the PYTHONHOME and PYTHONPATH environment variables for their current session. This means that any applications launched from a Deadline application will no longer inherit these modified variables, which should avoid compatibility issues if those other applications use a different version of Python.

Draft Upgraded to 1.2.3.57201

Deadline now ships with Draft 1.2.3.57201. Note that this shouldn’t affect any existing Draft template scripts that you use with Deadline. Also note that if you are using Draft 1.1 or earlier, you will need an updated Draft license. Below is a list of what’s new in Draft 1.2.3.57201:

Python Version
- The Python version that Draft requires is now Python 2.7.

FFmpeg Version
- FFmpeg libraries have been updated to version 2.3.

OpenColorIO Improvements
- Use config.ocio and ColorSpaces / Roles to create OCIO color processors for color correcting images.
- Create OCIO color processors directly from your favourite LUT files... see http://opencolorio.org/FAQ.html for the full list of LUT formats supported.

ASC CDL Improvements
- A fully standard-compliant implementation of ASC CDL LUTs. (The clamping steps in OCIO’s ASC CDL implementation is not currently standard-compliant.)
- Added ASC CDL and OCIO lut example templates.

WebM Improvements
- Added support for WebM files (vp8 video codec, vorbis audio).

EXR Improvements
- Improved error message when trying to open an exr file that doesn’t exist.

Unicode Improvements
- Draft now supports unicode filenames and text annotations!
- Note: We need to modify the DraftParamParser.py library so that unicode strings aren’t mangled in the Deadline/Draft boundary, but once they’re in, Draft handles them properly.

Licensing Improvements
- Draft Licences are now more flexible! Most Draft features require only that a license be present. Actual checkout of licenses now happens only while videos are being encoded or decoded.
- "Lost connection to license server" no longer pops up dialog boxes on Windows.

Mono Upgraded to 3.8

Deadline now runs against Mono 3.8 on Linux and Mac OSX, which helps improve stability. In addition, the Mac OSX version of Mono is now 64-bit. This new version is bundled with the Linux and Mac OSX Client and Repository installers.

Mono Included in Linux Installers

Mono is now installed automatically as part of the installation procedure on Linux. It is installed to the Deadline installation folder, and won’t impact any existing Mono installations. Now Mono no longer needs to be installed manually on Linux prior to installing Deadline.

Updated Slave Licensing Model

When running multiple slaves on a single machine, they will now share a single license instead of needing one license per slave instance. In addition, the slaves will only hold onto their license while they are rendering. When they become idle, they will return their license.

Customizable Styles for Deadline Applications

The new Styles configuration panel in the Monitor options allows you to customize the color of the Deadline applications. Simply specify a palette color and the User Interface will automatically use lighter and darker variants of that color where necessary. In addition, the font style and size can be configured as well. Finally, you can export styles and share them with other users.

New Batch Property for Grouping Jobs

A new Batch property has been added to jobs that allows jobs to be grouped together in the Job List. All jobs with the same Batch name will be grouped under that Batch name, and the Batch name can be expanded or collapsed to show and hide all the jobs, respectively. Jobs in the same Batch will also be grouped together in the Job Dependency View. Finally, the properties for the jobs in the same Batch can be modified by simply right-clicking on the Batch item in the Job List or the Job Dependency View.

New Graphs in the Monitor

New graphs have been added to the Monitor. The Jobs panel can show pie charts based on the job pool, secondary pool, group, user, and plugin. The Tasks panel can show graphs representing the task render times, image sizes, cpu usage, and memory usage. The Slaves panel can now show bar charts that show how many slaves are in certain pools and groups. The Job Reports panel can now show a pie chart that shows the percentage of errors generated by each slave.

Customizable Default Layout for Panels in Monitor

A default layout for panels in the Monitor can now be saved, and when a new panel is opened, it will use the saved default layout. So now you can set up your favourite default layouts for the Job list, Task list, etc and not have to worry about setting them up again when you open new panels.

In addition, you can now save the layout from a panel to disk and load it in again. This allows you to share a layout from your Monitor with someone else.

Job Dependency Improvements

Job dependencies are now more flexible than ever. Individual dependencies can have notes attached to them, and they can also have their own overrides for the Frame Offset and Resume On... settings.

The Job Dependency view in the Monitor has also been updated to show these per-dependency settings. In addition, there is now a new feature in the Dependency View that allows you to test the dependencies and see which ones pass and which ones do not. Finally, the look of the nodes in the Dependency View have been updated.

Limit Improvements

Limits are now much more flexible than they were before. Previously, one Limit Stub per Slave was used up when a Slave rendered a job that required that Limit. This is still supported, but now, a Limit can be configured so that one Limit Stub per Task is used up, or one Limit Stub per Machine is used up.

The per Task option is useful if you are rendering with an application that requires one license per instance, and you are rendering more than one concurrent task at a time. The per Machine option is useful if you are rendering with an application that only requires a single license per machine, regardless of how many instances are running on that machine.

Improvements to Pool and Group Management

The Slave list in the Pool and Group Management dialogs can now be filtered, and all columns in the list are now available. In addition, you can now right-click on specific slaves in the Slave list in the Monitor to modify Pools and Groups for the selected slaves only.

Suspend Tasks

Deadline now supports the ability to suspend and resume individual tasks. This can be useful if you want to postpone or skip the rendering of specific tasks.

Slave Scheduling Improvements and Idle Detection

Deadline’s Slave Scheduling feature has undergone a major overhaul. Previously it was part of Power Management and controlled by Pulse, but now it is a standalone feature that is controlled by the Launcher application that runs on every Client machine. This means that Pulse is no longer required to use the Slave Scheduling feature.

There are also new features that have been added to Slave Scheduling. If a slave is scheduled to start on a machine, a notification message will now pop up for 30 seconds indicating that the slave is scheduled to start. If someone is still using the machine, they can choose to delay the start of the slave for a certain amount of time. Another addition is the new option to enforce the slave schedule. If enabled, the Launcher will keep restarting the slave if it is shut down during a period of time that it is supposed to be running.

Finally, Slave Scheduling can now be configured to launch the slave if the machine has been idle for a certain amount of time (“idle” means no keyboard or mouse input). There is also additional criteria that can be checked before launching the slave, including the machine’s current memory and CPU usage, the current logged in user, and the processes currently running on the machine. Finally, this system can stop the slave automatically when the machine is no longer idle.

Note that Idle Detection can be set in the Slave Scheduling settings, or on a per-slave basis in the Slave Settings dialog in the Monitor. It can also be set in the new Local Slave Control dialog so that users can configure if their local slave should launch when the machine becomes idle.

Job Dequeueing Mode

Slaves now have a new Job Dequeuing mode that controls which jobs a slave dequeues based on how the job was submitted. By default, a slave will dequeue any job, but it can be configured to only dequeue jobs submitted from the same machine that the slave is running on, or submitted by specific users.

The Job Dequeuing Mode can be configured in the Slave Settings dialog in the Monitor. It can also be set in the new Local Slave Control dialog so that users can configure if their local slave should only render their own jobs, or if they want to help another user render their jobs.

Local Slave Controls

The Monitor and Launcher applications now have a new dialog that can be used to control the slave running on the local machine. It can be used to start and stop the slave, or connect to the slave’s log. This is useful if the slave is running as a service on the machine.

In addition, you can set up the slave to launch if the machine has been idle for a certain amount of time (“idle” means no keyboard or mouse input). It can also stop the slave automatically when the machine is no longer idle.

Finally, the slave’s Job Dequeuing Mode can be configured here. By default, a slave will dequeue any job, but it can be configured to only dequeue jobs submitted from the same machine, or submitted by specific users. This is useful if a user wants their slave to only render their jobs, or they want to help another user render their jobs.

Note that the Idle Detection and Job Dequeuing Mode settings can also be changed by administrators for all slaves. In addition, the Local Slave Controls feature can be disabled by administrators if they don’t want users to be able to control their local slaves.

Render As User

A new option has been added to Deadline to render jobs with the account that is associated with the job’s user. The account information can be configured in the Deadline user settings. On Windows, the user’s login name, domain, and password are required. On Linux and Mac OSX, just the user’s login name is required, but the Slave must run as root so that the Slave has permission to launch the rendering process as another user.

Improved Slave Statistics

Additional statistical information is now gathered for individual slaves, including the slave’s running time, rendering time, and idle time. It also includes information about the number of tasks the slave has completed, the number of errors it has reported, and its average Memory and CPU usage. Like job statistics, Pulse does not need to be running to gather this information.

Pulse Redundancy

You can run now multiple instances of Pulse on separate machines as backups in case your Primary Pulse instance goes down. If the Primary Pulse goes offline or becomes stalled, Deadline’s Repository Repair operation can elect another running instance of Pulse as the Primary, and the Slaves will automatically connect to the new Primary instance.

Note that when multiple Pulse instances are running, only the Primary Pulse is used by the Slaves for Throttling. In addition, only Primary Pulse is used to perform Housecleaning, Power Management, and Statistics Gathering. However, you can connect to any Pulse instance to use the Web Service.

New Events and Asynchronous Job Events

New events have been added to the Event Plugin system. The first is the OnHouseCleaning event, which triggers whenever Deadline performs Housecleaning. This allows you to set up event plugins to do custom cron-job style operations within Deadline.

In addition, there are four new events that trigger when a slave changes state: OnSlaveStarted, OnSlaveStopped, OnSlaveRendering, and OnSlaveStartingJob. As an example, an event plugin could be written to have slaves automatically add themselves to Groups when they start up based on some custom criteria, or an event plugin could be written to have slaves perform maintenance checks when they become idle.

Finally, there is now an option to process many types of job events asynchronously. The benefit is that job events will no longer slow down batch operations in the Monitor (for example, deleting 1000 jobs will be much faster if you are using event plugins because those events will be processed later). These job events are queued up in the Database and Deadline’s Pending Job Scan will process them at regular intervals. Because they are placed in a queue, they will still be processed in the same order that they were triggered. Note that if this option is enabled, some events are still processed synchronously, like the OnJobSubmitted and OnJobStarted events.

Auto Configuration Overhaul

The Auto Configuration feature has undergone a couple of significant changes. The first is that all Deadline applications can now pull the Auto Configuration settings, instead of just the Slave. This means that Auto Configuration can now be used to automatically configure workstations, not just render nodes.

The second change is with how Auto Configuration works. Previously, all Auto Configuration settings were pulled from Pulse. Now, only the Repository Path is pulled from Pulse, and the other settings are pulled when the Deadline application connects to the Repository. The benefit to this is that most of the Auto Configuration settings will work without Pulse running.

Finally, Auto Configuration rule sets can now be enabled or disabled, so you no longer have to delete a rule set if you want to remove it temporarily.

Region Awareness

Regions can now be configured in Deadline, and users and slaves can be assigned to a specific region. Currently, this is useful for Path Mapping, and allows you to map paths differently based on the region that the users or slaves are in. Note that when VMX launches a slave, it will automatically be added to the region associated with the cloud provider settings.

Grid-Based Script Dialogs

New grid-based functions have been added to the DeadlineScriptDialog class which makes it easier to create custom dialogs. Instead of setting the width and height when adding new controls to a row, you can instead add them to a grid and indicate which row and column the control should go in. Optionally, you can also indicate how many rows and columns the control should occupy. By being part of a grid, the controls will now grow and shrink dynamically based on the size of the dialog and the size of the font.

FTrack Integration

The Deadline/FTrack integration enables a seamless render and review data flow. When Deadline starts a render, an Asset Version is automatically created within FTrack using key metadata. When the render is complete, Deadline automatically updates the created Version appropriately – a thumbnail image is uploaded, components are created from the Job’s output paths (taking advantage of FTrack’s location plugins), and the Version is flagged for Review. In doing so, Deadline provides a seamless transition from Job Submission to Review process, without artists needing to monitor their renders.

Jigsaw for Maya, modo, and Rhino

Jigsaw, which was previously only available for 3ds Max, is now available for Maya, modo, and Rhino. It gives you more control over the tiles and/or regions that you are submitting to Deadline. This feature uses Thinkbox Software’s Draft library to assemble the final image instead of the old TileAssembler.exe application. Note that Draft requires a license, so contact Thinkbox Sales if you don’t already have a Draft license.

Submission Script Installers

Submission script installers can now be found in each application folder in the Submission folder in the Repository. These allow for most of the submission scripts to be installed automatically, instead of having to manually copy over files.

Support for Salt and Puppet

Application and Event plugins have been added to support the Salt and Puppet automation applications. Jobs can be submitted to the application plugin to update software and machine configurations on specific machines, while the event plugins can be used to update all of your machines when the slave running on them becomes idle.

Updated Application Support

Support has been added for After Effects CC 2014, Arnold for Houdini, Cinema 4D 16, Corona, Fusion 7, Nuke 9, Realflow 2014, and SketchUp 2015.

New Features In Deadline 6.2.1.50 (Released November 3, 2014)

Overview

Deadline 6 introduced an incredibly flexible and efficient User Interface across all platforms, combined with a new highly-scalable database backend. The new User Group Management system allows users to be split into groups, with different permissions assigned to each group. Farm administration is made easier with the ability to stream the render log from remote machines.

Deadline 6.1 built upon this foundation by adding a wealth of new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Use the new node-based Job Dependency View in the Deadline Monitor to view and modify a job’s dependencies. Set up dependencies on assets (textures, cache files, etc.) or Python scripts so that a job only starts when all assets are available and the Python scripts return success. Customize Deadline's job scheduling to use a First-in-First-out, Balanced or Weighted system. Connect to the new RESTful API in Pulse directly or via the new Standalone Python API wrapper scripts to collect job and slave data from Deadline or make changes to that data.

Deadline 6.2 added support for Autodesk 2015 products (3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, Composite), Anime Studio 10, Clarisse iFX, DJV Imaging, modo 8xx and modo Distributed Rendering, SketchUp 3D, and VRay's ply2mesh tool. Additional features include support for the GPU-accelerated Redshift renderer in Maya and Softimage and all Maya Extensions, as well as a new integrated submitter for Houdini.

Deadline 6.2.1 is the latest version of the render queue management system, and includes several enhancements, bug fixes, and new application support. Support has been added for After Effects CC 2014, Cinema 4D 16, Fusion 7, Nuke 9 and Realflow 2014.

Note that 6.2 license is still required to run this version. If you have a license for Deadline 6.1 or earlier, you will need an updated Deadline license. Also note that Deadline 6.2 ships with Draft 1.1, so if you're upgrading from Deadline 6.0 or earlier, you will need an updated Draft license.

Highlighted Features

New Application Support

Support has been added for After Effects CC 2014, Cinema 4D 16, Fusion 7, Nuke 9 and Realflow 2014.

General Improvements

  • Sequential jobs are no longer dropped for higher priority jobs. Once a slave picks up a sequential job, it will keep rendering it until the job is complete or the render is canceled.
  • Added a job task buffer value that can be applied to balanced or weighted algorithms to help prevent slaves from jumping between jobs to keep things balanced.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause interruptible jobs to be interrupted for another job of equal priority.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed regular tasks to be dequeued before a job's pre-job script was complete.
  • Improved the performance of how job tasks are updated in some cases.
  • Added new OnTaskTimeout option to mark a task as complete.
  • Added optional timeout option for the Starting phase of a job.
  • All housecleaning operations are now performed during each housecleaning interval.
  • Added housecleaning options to have the housecleaning and pending job scan operations write to a separate log file when they are run as a separate process.
  • Unexpected mongodb exceptions now include the stacktrace and exception type.

Launcher Improvements

  • The launcher now waits 5 minutes after starting before it starts checking if it should restart a stalled slave. This ensures that if the launcher is set to launch the slave at startup, and that slave previously stalled, the slave will have a chance to cleanup after itself. Otherwise, the launcher might try to launch the slave multiple times.
  • On Linux, Deadline's init.d script now shuts down the slaves and the launcher during a reboot/shutdown, which ensures the slaves check their licenses back in.
  • On Linux, fixed some other issues in Deadline's init.d script.
  • When running as a service on Windows, the Launcher now properly shuts down the Slave when the machine is shut down.

Monitor Improvements

  • Added Monitor option to enable slave pinging (it's now disabled by default).
  • Added 4 decimal places to the weighted job settings in the Repository Options.
  • Deleting jobs from the monitor now logs to the repository history.

Slave Improvements

  • Fixed a startup bug on Linux and Mac OSX that could result in multiple slaves with the same name starting up on the same machine.
  • When searching for a job, we no longer prune jobs that have a QueuedChunk count less than or equal to 0. This helps ensure that if a job's state gets messed up, queued tasks will still be dequeued for that job.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the slave to reload its limit objects from the database every second. Now it's only done when the slave reloads its job object (which is about every 2 minutes).
  • Improved speed and reduced database load when a slave is processing limit groups while searching for a job to render.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the Job failure detection settings from being applied when a plugin failed to sync its files.

Command Improvements

  • Added command line option to DoHouseCleaning to choose which mode to run.

Scripting Improvements

  • Fix a bug that prevented module import errors from showing the actual Python error.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented JobUtils.CalculateJobStatistics() from working in non-Monitor scripts.

Application Plugin Improvements

3ds Max Improvements

  • Added workaround to prevent 3ds Max 2015 from crashing when it's rendering as a service.
  • Backported some RTT and other miscellaneous fixes from Deadline 7.
  • SMTD - Add [PREVIEW] job ability to enable/disable its parent dependency to the [REMAINING] frames job.
  • Added some new sanity checks to SMTD.

After Effects Improvements

  • Added support for After Effects CC 2014.

Arnold Standalone Improvements

  • Added the -dp flag to the render arguments to speed up the rendering.

Cinema 4D Improvements

  • Added support for Cinema 4D 16.
  • All multi-pass paths are now included when submitting from the integrated submitter, allowing you to open these output files from the Monitor.
  • Fixed a bug in how the integrated submitter gets the output file name in cases where the output name scheme doesn't start with a period.

Draft Improvements

  • Added Path Mapping support to the Draft tile assembler.
  • Fixed some issues and added more logging to Draft Tile Assembly jobs.

Fusion Improvements

  • Added support for Fusion 7.
  • Updated the Fusion plugin icon.

Houdini Improvements

  • Fixed some bad logic when checking the output file in the houdini submitter.
  • Fixed an error when loading the sticky SubmitSuspended property in the integrated houdini submitter.
  • The integrated submitter now includes the current ROP name with the job name.
  • Improved Arnold for Houdini support.

Mantra Standalone Improvements

  • The "mantra: Bad Alembic Archive" error message is now caught during rendering.

Maya Improvements

  • Fixed an Arnold for Maya verbosity flag bug.
  • Fixed some issues when using tile rendering with VRay.
  • The Draft Tile Assembler now works when submitting each camera as a separate job.
  • VRay render elements are now supported when using the Draft Tile Assembler.
  • Arnold AOVs are now supported by tile rendering.
  • Fixed the default Maya executable paths on OSX.
  • Updated the integrated Maya submitter to properly work with Arnold deepexr files.
  • Fixed some Vray related bugs in the integrated Maya submitter due to differences between Vray 2 and Vray 3.

Mental Ray Standalone Improvements

  • Added plugin configuration option to treat exit code 1 as error or success.

modo Improvements

  • Fixed a bug in the integrated modo submitter that prevented it from working in modo 801.

Nuke Improvements

  • Added support for Nuke 9.
  • Added new Render in Proxy Mode option to the Nuke submitters.
  • Fixed an error that could occur if PrepForOFX is not defined in the Nuke.dlinit file.
  • The integrated Nuke submitter now includes output paths for all Views so that they can be viewed from the Monitor.
  • The integrated Nuke submitter now displays a warning if you are trying to submit a job that has no Views.
  • Updated the names given to the Knobs created by the integrated submitter, which seems to address some instability issues that could come up.
  • The secondary pool setting is now sticky in the integrated submitter.
  • Fixed a bug that could crop up when setting the environment in the nuke submitter prior to launching deadlinecommand.
  • Updated Nuke plugin to properly handle frame counts in batch node when given write node names.

Python Improvements

  • Path separators for the script path are now set per OS after Path Mapping has taken place.

Realflow Improvements

  • Added support for Realflow 2014.
  • Improved Hybrido simulation progress reporting.

Vray DBR Improvements

  • The default Vray spawner paths for 3ds Max Design are now included.
  • Fixed a typo in the Vray spawner path for Maya 2015.