3D Studio Max job submission overview

Scene files and external files must be prepared prior to submission for rendering.  Specifically, all external files must be in the scene file folder or a subfolder of that folder.  Then, all pointers inside the scene file must use relative pathing to locate those external files.  Use of absolute pathing is not supported.  As well, the agent can not read 3D Studio Max scene files to gather all your external files for you.  You must do this manually or with the help of one of the many scripts there are for managing files and pathing.

When your job is uploaded to our farm, we run an analysis pass on the scene file by opening it in a GUI instance of 3D Studio Max and running a custom script against it to read and output many details from the scene file our system needs to know in order to render the scene file correctly.  This analysis pass may fail for a variety of reasons.  If it does fail, we encourage you to leave your job in the queue so we may review the analysis pass manually and, if possible, work around it.  Most of the time, this analysis pass will complete entirely automatically in a matter of a minute or so.

Our system attempts to detect when any form of GI is used if V-Ray or Mental Ray is the render engine selected in your scene file.  If GI is detected, we will pre-render and store the GI pass first.  During the GI pass, no budget can be applied, as no final pass results have been calculated.

Render elements should be detected and delivered appropriately, regardless of the render engine used.  The final output image format and name must be defined in the scene file itself, otherwise we will default to a PNG output matching the scene file name.  Single frame jobs with common output formats defined will be strip rendered.

Gamma correction is applied by default, and we honor the gamma setting defined in the scene file you submit.  Currently, there is no method to disable or bypass gamma correction, so please keep this in mind.

If your scene uses the iRay render engine, do not select “Unlimited” as the Rendering Duration per Frame.  Specify either a time limit or an iteration limit, or you really will be rendering endlessly.

Scene files using the plug-in Phoenix FD need to have their simulations pre-computed and store prior to job submission.  We do not currently do any simulation pre-passes in advance of the render related passes.  We advise the use of “$(dir)\Phoenix_cache\ND$(handle)_$(nodename)” cache paths for *both* the output and input fields.  Define that prior to computing the fluid simulation on your computer.  This will enable the plug-in on our end to find the cache files you pre-computed at render time.

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