Still Image Renders, a.k.a. Tile Render Jobs
Our system handles single frame jobs differently than frame ranges in many cases. Where possible, we attempt to split the computing load for a single frame job across multiple CPU’s. This serves to shorten the total render time for your job, sometimes significantly. The exact method used for splitting the load varies based on the application, the final output resolution of your job, and other variables. Single frame jobs are handled in the following manner, detailed per-application:
- 3D Studio Max – Max’s native strip rendering function is used based on the vertical resolution of your final output. GI passes are rendered by one CPU, and final passes are strip rendered. Only common image output formats are strip rendered, like “bmp”, “exr”, “jpg”, “jpeg”, “png”, “tiff”, and “tif”. The less common output formats are not strip rendered, so single frame jobs with that output definition will render on only one system.
- Maya – Tile rendering is used for single frame jobs when either resolution is greater than 1,900 pixels and with (currently) no special handling or detection of GI or render elements. If your scene uses GI, we advise pre-rendering those passes, storing them with your job, and configuring your scene file to read in the GI pass from the cache files using relative pathing. Some of the less common output formats can not be assembled by our tile stitcher, so they are not tile split. Stitchable output formats are marked in the drop-down with an asterisk. Single frame jobs that use RenderMan as the render engine will not be tile rendered due to lack of support for tile rendering in that engine.
- Terragen – Tile rendering is used when your scene file defines an output format that our stitcher recognizes. Presently, that list includes .tif, .exr, and .bmp. GI passes are detected and handled appropriately, with only one CPU rendering the GI pass for a single frame job. Use of Ambient Occlusion in any of the environment lighting objects will prevent tile rendering, as tiles will be lit differently. If your scene file specifies 2D Motion Blur in any of the render settings, we will not use tile rendering as it can’t work as expected in all scenarios. Next, all post effects (atmo bloom, bloom, and starburst) can not be tile rendered correctly. If any of those are found, single frame jobs will not be tile split. Finally, as of this writing, Terragen 4 “Easy Clouds” have GI data that can not be cached. Please use one of the previously mentioned settings to insure our system does not tile split a single frame job that uses Easy Clouds.
- Blender – Tile rendering is used when the output format of your scene file is recognized by our stitcher and either resolution is greater than 1,900 pixels. We currently have no automatic handling of any GI pre-pass requirements, so scene files using any kind of GI function of their render engine must have those passes pre-rendered, stored, and included with the scene file using relative pathing. Stitchable output formats are marked in the drop-down with an asterisk.
- Modo – Tile rendering is used when the output format of your scene file is recognized by our stitcher and either resolution is greater than 1,900 pixels. We currently have no automatic handling of any GI pre-pass requirements, so scene files using any kind of GI function must have those passes pre-rendered, stored, and included with the scene file using relative pathing. Stitchable output formats are marked in the drop-down with an asterisk. Additional output passes will also be tile rendered and stitched together upon job completion.
- Lightwave – Tile rendering is used on single frame jobs when the output file type is one that our stitching application recognizes and supports.
- Cinema 4D – Tile rendering is not used in any form. Maxon does not have a function that allows C4D to region render from the command line, and their Team Render software is not permitted to be used on a public render farm according to their EULA. Only one CPU will be used to render a single frame job as a result of these limitations. No further improvement can be made. You don’t like it? Complain to Maxon.
- Vue – Tile rendering is not used in any form. All single frame jobs currently run on only one CPU.
- LuxRender – Single frame jobs will be split according to the stop value defined in the scene file. Multiple CPU’s will render .flm files, and the resultant .flm’s will be merged to produce the final image.
- Maxwell – Single frame jobs will be split according to Next Limit’s documentation regarding sample level split renders. Multiple CPU’s will render .mxi’s and they will be merged to produce the final output using Maxwell’s mximerge application.
- Softimage – Tile rendering is not used in any form. XSI does not have this ability. No further improvement can be made.
We are constantly looking to improve our automated handling and optimization of single frame render jobs. As you can hopefully see from the above, it can be tricky to make intelligent decisions in an automated fashion. Check back here in the future as we improve handling for applications that don’t currently have automated splitting of single frame jobs.