Scene file prep when using Redshift
Redshift is cool, Redshift is fun, but using it on a farm requires some attention to detail.
First, and most important, is paying attention to the version of Redshift you’re using to create your scene file. We advise you to run the exact same version as we have deployed on the farm. You can find that version number by simply searching for “redshift version” in the search bar above, and selecting the page for the render app version that you use. If you follow any of our social media channels, we always announce version updates there, with pointers to our blog posts. We strongly encourage Redshift users to follow us on social media because of this.
Why do we recommend running the same version we have deployed? Due to the rapid development cycle adopted by the Redshift team, there is not enough time and testing done on any given public release to offer any assurance of compatibility with other versions, whether older or newer. We’ve seen all sorts of incompatibilities between even adjacent minor point releases, so you should not assume that there is a version that is “close enough” unless you are merely testing for compatibility yourself. Build and test render your scene file with the same version we have deployed, and that will eliminate an entire set of variables that can negatively impact output.
We are often asked about the use of Redshift proxies. We don’t enable or disable any sub feature of Redshift, so they will work as expected for the version being executed here. What is important to note, however, is that the proxy files must be pointed to using relative pathing from the scene file. None of the render app file path management tools will do this for you, so you must do this manually. Provided you implement relative pathing to point to those files from the beginning of your project, you won’t have to change them after that.
For performance reasons, we strongly encourage you to use the Redshift Texture Manager to pre-convert textures to .rstexbin format. After converting all textures, please make sure that “Use Cached Textures” is enabled in your scene file. Doing this prior to job submission will prevent the sometimes lengthy and always redundant conversion of textures for every single slice of your job.
Lastly, please make sure you enable licensing checks as well as aborting when license checking fails. The Redshift license servers aren’t flawless, similar to the Internet between us and them, so it’s far better to have some frames from your job abort rendering instead of complete rendering with a watermark. If this happens on only a few frames of your job, they will be automatically re-queued by our system without you even noticing.