Released today is a new agent for both Windows and Mac that gives some nice features for both testing and large pipeline integration. Project Cache is the name, and storing common job data pervasively is the game. This feature should help you re-run the same scene file for multiple passes when the common external data doesn’t change. Our agent now detects which files in the cached folder have changed and only uploads the changed files with the scene file when a job is submitted. This saves you bandwidth and time. We’ll soon be charging $0.01/GB/day for cached data, so it’s a very affordable way to have us retain assets for days, weeks, or months as you need for use with a project.
Also greatly improved is our handling of 3D Studio Max scene files. We’ve been running this on the farm side for a few weeks, but now have an agent that pesters you with fewer questions when you submit a Max scene file. When your scene arrives on our farm, we analyze it to fill in the blanks for what we need to render it successfully. This gives us the ability to correct render element output paths, detect whether or not we should pre-render a GI pass, honor output gamma settings, and more. Most importantly, this new framework for Max scene file handling gives us the ability to improve and add functions later on. If there’s a feature you need that we don’t yet support in Max land, let us know.
One more item of note, since we now support multiple scene files in the same folder, our agent asks you to specify the specific scene file that you are submitting as the job. No more moving scene files temporarily out of the way to get this to work.
Our User Guide has been updated with a description of how the new Project Cache feature works, so head over there to read up a bit.