Maxwell Renderer job submission overview

Both still image renders and frame ranges using Maxwell standalone 3.X are available on Pixel Plow.  As with the other applications we deploy, it is always important to use relative pathing for any resources needed for the render that exist outside of the scene file.  These external resources should always be located in the same directory as your scene file or within a subdirectory of that directory.  We do not parse the scene file to try to locate those external resources for you, so if one does not exist at time of render on our farm, the render results will be adversely affected.

Maxwell Studio has a simple function to assist with this.  Just choose “Pack and Go” from the File menu to save your scene file and referenced assets into a new, empty folder:

Maxwell scene prep screenshot

Submit your job by picking the scene file that is created by this step.

Our farm keys all quality-related functions off of the sample level as defined in your scene file.  The time limit is not parsed or used for anything, but please set it to a very high value as Maxwell itself will still stop if the time limit is hit.  We follow Next Limit’s recommendation for splitting the sample level across multiple CPU’s, and we schedule those splits based on the Power Level you choose.  When rendering of a still image job completes, Maxwell’s native mximerge.exe is used to combine the rendered .mxi’s together and generate the output image.  The process of merging can take anywhere from a few minutes, to several days.  Mximerge.exe does not display any progress while it is running, so we can’t relay progress to you during this phase.

Maxwell scene files must have the saving of .mxi files defined in them.  Maxwell contains command-line overrides that we use to force the creation of .mxi files even when the scene file denies that, but the overrides don’t work.  As a result, all Maxwell scene files must have .mxi output saving enabled.

Due to the way Maxwell works, still image jobs submitted with a budget will render up to their budget limit.  If the budget limit is exceeded, we will merge the .mxi’s that have been rendered to that point and deliver the resultant image.  The job will then be cancelled automatically.  Jobs cancelled manually will not have any results delivered.

All still image jobs have the option of having our agent deliver a merged .mxi or not.  Check this option if you would potentially like to later resume rendering on your own machine to increase the sample level.

Maxwell frame range jobs can be submitted by bulk-selecting all of the scene files in your scene file folder.  The frame number field of our agent will automatically populate with the results.

Use of the Denoiser in Maxwell 4 will require you to uncheck the “Use GPU” option in your scene file prior to submission.  At present, all Maxwell jobs run on our CPU farm, and as such, do not have access to GPU’s.  Denoising still works, however, and it is computed during the merging process.


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