Blender is the latest in the line of applications on which we perform farm-side analysis passes. The purpose of these passes is to gather information from the scene file, correct common mistakes, redirect output to the proper locations…stuff like that. It only takes an extra several seconds, but it’s well worth it when it comes to getting you what you want. Now that the framework is in place for Blender analysis passes, we can add functionality to it over time. As it stands now, compositing using Blender on our farm just got a lot easier.
This is the 4th application we support in this way, with the other 3 render apps being 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, and Vue. These passes all involve in-app scripts that run against the scene file to give us what we need. Analysis passes are required when the scene files are in binary format, as all 4 of those applications have. Scene files that are ASCII or otherwise machine-readable can be dealt with directly by our farm-side applications without having to launch the render app and instruct it to run a script. Examples of such scene files are those created by Maya, Terragen, Lightwave, LuxRender, and more.
We do this as part of our continuing efforts to automate as much as possible. This keeps our customers happy, our processes streamlined, and our overhead low. If you detect something that we could correct or better handle by automation, let us know.