Deadline is a hassle-free administration and rendering toolkit for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX based render farms. It offers a world of flexibility and a wide-range of management options for render farms of all sizes, and supports over 60 different rendering packages out of the box. 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 includes an updated version of Draft, 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.
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.
Deadline's unique architecture removes the need for a centralized manager application by using a highly-scalable database and basic file sharing to manage the farm. As long as your Database and File Server are running, Deadline is running.
Intuitive User Interface
Built with your creativity in mind, Deadline's User Interface has evolved in response to extensive feedback from artists. The flexible and intuitive interface provides a unified experience to artists and administrators across all platforms.
For job submission, Deadline offers integrated submission scripts for 3ds Max, After Effects, AutoCAD, Blender, Cinema 4D, Clarisse iFX, Composite, Fusion, Generation, Hiero, Houdini, Lightwave, Maya, Messiah, Microstation, modo, Nuke, RealFlow, Rhino, SketchUp 3D, Softimage, and Vue, providing a comfortable native environment for cross-application tasks.
Deadline supports over 60 different rendering packages out of the box. See the Supported Software page in the Deadline documentation for more information.
Customizable and Scriptable
With its Python based plug-in API, studios can customize the out of the box plug-ins and scripts to suit their individual pipelines, or create custom plug-ins to support in-house applications. Event plug-ins can be created to trigger events like updating pipeline tools when jobs are submitted or finish rendering, and Cloud plug-ins can be created to control VMs in public and private Cloud providers. Finally, job scripts can be created to setup custom dependencies, as well as perform operations when a job starts, when a job finishes, and before and after each task is rendered.
Flexible Job Scheduling
Use numeric job priorities, machine groups and pools, and job-specific machine lists to explicitly control distribution of rendering resources among multiple departments. Limits allow you to handle both limited license plug-ins and render packages, while job, asset, and script based dependencies allow you to control when your jobs will begin rendering. Stick with the default First-in, First-out scheduling logic, or switch to a Balanced or Weighted system.
Launch and configure an arbitrary number of Slaves on a single machine. Each Slave instance can be given a unique name, and can be assigned its own list of pools and groups, which allows Slaves to work on separate jobs. A single high performance machine can process multiple 3D, compositing, and simulation jobs simultaneously. Slave instances running on the same machine will share a single Deadline license.
Deadline can be configured to notify users of job completion or failure through an automatic e-mail notification or a popup message on the users' machine.
Administrators can also configure Deadline to notify them with information about Power Management, stalled Slaves, licensing issues, and other issues that may arise on the farm.
Deadline automatically stores job and render farm statistics in the Database. Statistics can be viewed from the Monitor, or retrieved from the Database by custom pipeline tools.
Shotgun and ftrack Integration
Deadline integrates with Shotgun to enable a seamless render and review data flow. When a render job is submitted, a version is automatically created in Shotgun with key metadata. When the render is complete, Shotgun is updated with a thumbnail image, paths to frames, render stats, and playback links. Deadline can also automatically upload a movie and/or a filmstrip when the render is complete. Shotgun then dispatches targeted notifications with links back to the work. Studios can view versions in various contexts, create reports, and organize work into playlists for review sessions where they can quickly take notes with the Shotgun Note App.
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.
Draft is a tool that provides simple compositing functionality. It is implemented as a Python library, which exposes functionality for use in python scripts. Draft is designed to be tightly integrated with Deadline, but it can also be used as a standalone tool.
Using the Draft plugin for Deadline, artists can automatically perform simple compositing operations on rendered frames after a render job finishes. They can also convert them to a different image format, or generate Quicktimes for dailies.
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