Using Aqsis with Deadline

Introduction

Deadlinetm is a commercial rendering farm management solution for a Microsoft Windows-based rendering farm from Frantic Films. It supports a number of compositing and 3d applications including Aqsis via it's RIB plugin.

Configuring Deadline

As mentioned Deadline supports Aqsis through it's RIB plugins. Depending on what version of Deadline you're using you will see one of two RIB plugins. Deadline versions 1.1.13232 and earlier have the Basic RIB plugin which has been replaced with the newer RIB plugin in versions 1.2.15710 and newer. Currently neither of these plugins support Aqsis without modification. Aqsis support will be added to the RIB plugin with the next release of Deadline. Until then you'll need to make the following modifications to the RIB plugins in order to use Aqsis with Deadline. A plugin for Deadline consists of two configuration files that we are interested in. The .param file which registers the list of rendering engines that the plugin can control. And the .dlinit file which holds global settings for the plugin as well as any settings for each rendering engine. Since both Rib plugin's need to be configured in the same way we will the changes mentioned here are the same for both. The only difference is the location of the file. With the BasicRIB plugin being found [DeadlineRepository]\plugins\BasicRib\ and the RIB plugin being found [DeadlineRepository]\plugins\Rib\

First we need to register Aqsis with the plugin by adding the following lines to the plugin's .param file.

[Aqsis_Executable]
Type=filename
Default=c:\program files\aqsis\bin\aqsis.exe
Description=The path to the Aqsis executable used for rendering. Leave blank to ignore.

Now we need to add the following lines to the plugin's .dlinit file.

OutputRegEx2=.* ([0-9]+\.[0-9]+)%.*
OutputRule2=SetProgress( GetRegExMatch( 1 ) ); SuppressThisLine();

Aqsis_Executable=C:\Program Files\Aqsis\bin\aqsis.exe
Aqsis_ConstArgs=-Progress

Note that the path to Aqsis may differ in your setup.

Usage

The Deadline Manual sufficiently covers the usage of Deadline and the Rib plugin.

Tips

Using more than one CPU per node

If your rendering farm computers have more than one cpu you will want to right click on the Aqsis jobs in the manager and select “Job Properties”. Increase the number of tasks at once to the number of cpu's your slaves have.


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