Monitor Options - Deadline with a View

Version: Deadline 8.0

Introduction

It’s a common workflow to view your frames as your render jobs progress. You want to ensure they match your expectations, and if there are issues, you want to correct them and resubmit the job. While Deadline itself doesn’t have a built-in image viewer, it allows you to integrate with up to 3 image viewers of your choice!

For this blog entry, I’m going to walk through an example of how to configure Deadline to use DJV as its default image viewer. You can then use this example as a reference to add your favorite image viewer.

Note that this is a continuation of this previous blog entry on Monitor Options.

Setting up the Image Viewer

First things first, you need to have the image viewer (DJV in this case) installed on your machine, or in a central location that it can run from. Next, open the Deadline Monitor and open up the Monitor Options from the main toolbar.

The Monitor Options can also be opened on Windows and Linux by clicking on the Tools menu and selecting Options. On Mac OS X, select DeadlineMonitor and then Preferences.

This will bring up the Monitor Options window, and you can select the Image Viewers page.

Here, you have the ability to specify 3 custom image viewers. Since I’m only adding DJV, I’ll just focus on the Custom Image Viewer 1 settings. There are four settings available:

Executable

This is the path to the image viewer executable. DJV is installed to C:\Program Files\djv-1.1.0-Windows-64 on my machine, so I’ll set this path to C:\Program Files\djv-1.1.0-Windows-64\bin\djv_view.exe.

Arguments

These are the command line arguments that are passed to the image viewer when Deadline launches it. Typically, you just want to pass the path to the frame you’re viewing, but this allows you to pass any arguments that you want.

Since I don’t know the path to the images at this time, I’ll make use of one the special tokens that this setting supports. These tokens will be swapped out with the path to the image when I go to view them. The following tokens are available:

  • {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
  • {SEQ$}: This represents the task’s frame sequence files, replacing the frame number with ‘$F#’, where # is the length of the padding. For example: /path/to/image0002.png becomes /path/to/image$F4.png.

For now, I’ll leave it as the default “{FRAME}”. Note that these tokens should be wrapped in double quotes in case the paths have spaces in them.

Name

This is simply a friendly name for the viewer. In this case, I’ll just specify DJV.

Viewer Supports Chunked Tasks

Normally when viewing a “chunked” task (a task that consists of more than 1 frame), a special chunked image viewer is displayed, allowing you to view each frame individually.

If the image viewer supports the ability to view multiple frames at once, you can enable the Viewer Supports Chunked Tasks and set the Arguments above accordingly. For now, I’ll leave it disabled.

Preferred Image Viewer

Finally, I want DJV to be the default viewer that Deadline uses, so I set the Preferred Image Viewer at the top to be CustomViewer1. If you’re wondering what the DefaultViewer option does, it simply uses your Operating System’s default application for the frame’s file type to open the image. I want to use DJV for all file types, which is why I’ll change it to CustomViewer1.

My image viewer settings now look like this, and I can then press OK to save them.

Viewing the Image

Now that I have DJV configured as my default image viewer, let’s take it for a test spin! In the Monitor, I find a job in the Job Panel with image output that I can view. I then click on the job to populate the Task Panel with the job’s tasks. Finally, I right-clicked on a task and select View Output -> [IMAGE FILE] -> DJV.

A couple notes:

  • A task can have multiple image files associated with it (ie: if you’re saving out separate layers per frame). The [IMAGE FILE] tag above will be replaced with every image file associated with the task.
  • A faster way to view the image for a task is to double-click on it. You simply need to configure the Monitor’s Task List Options, which were covered in this previous blog entry. When double-clicking, Deadline will use the default image viewer that you’ve set in your Image Viewer settings (DJV in this case).

After clicking on the DJV menu item, DJV was launched, and I saw this...

Hmm, I was just expecting to only view the image I had clicked on, but DJV is playing back the entire image sequence. Now if you’re following along and you’re fine with this behavior, then all is good! However, I would like to see if I can simply show the frame that I clicked on.

Additional Customization

After reviewing DJV’s command line options, I see that it has an -auto_seq option that determines if DJV automatically detects sequences when opening files. By setting this to “False”, it will just show the image I’ve clicked on. So I open my Image Viewer settings again and update the Arguments value to include this option.

After saving the settings, I went to view the image again from the Task Panel and this time it showed the still image!

What About Chunked Tasks?

As mentioned above, you typically see this chunked image viewer when attempting to view the images for a task with multiple frames. You can then view each image file individually.

If I decided that I wanted DJV to load the entire image sequence (by removing the -auto_seq option), then it would make sense to skip past this chunked image viewer. I can do this by going back to my Image Viewer settings, removing -auto_seq from the Arguments, and enabling the Viewer Supports Chunked Tasks option.

After saving the settings, I find a job with multiple frames per task, and choose to view the images for that job.

This time, it skips right past that chunked image viewer and just launches DJV with the full sequence loaded.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully this information will help you when you want to set up the image viewer of your choice in Deadline. Remember, you can configure up to 3 custom image viewers, so you can add support for DJV, RV, Quicktime, or any other image/movie viewing application you wish!