Network Job Assignment Dialog
 
 
 
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Rendering menu Render Setup Render Setup dialog Turn on Net Render (Render Output group) Render

Rendering menu Render To Texture Render To Texture dialog Turn on Net Render (Render Settings group) Render

Rendering menu Video Post Set up a sequence with an Image Output Event Turn on Net Render (Output group) Render

Use the Network Job Assignment dialog to name rendering jobs, specify the computers that will participate in the rendering, and submit jobs to the rendering servers.

You can submit as many jobs as you like in a single session. Open each file you want to render and submit it following the standard procedure. Each job is placed behind the last one submitted. If you submit a job in which the frame output name is the same as another job in the queue, a warning dialog asks you if you want to overwrite the output frames from the other job.

You can divide the work of rendering a single image among any number of rendering servers. This is particularly useful when rendering a single, extremely high-resolution image intended for print. To use this feature, turn on the Split Scan Lines option.

Procedures

To use the Network Job Assignment dialog:

The Network Job Assignment dialog is accessible when you turn on the Net Render toggle. The Net Render toggle can be accessed from three different dialogs used for rendering.

  1. Rendering menu Render Setup Render Setup dialog Render Output group
  2. Rendering menu Render To Texture Render Setup dialog Render Settings group
  3. Video Post dialog Execute Sequence Execute Video Post dialog Output group
  4. In the Render Setup dialog Render Output group, click the ellipsis button and then specify an output file name and path using Universal Naming Convention (UNC). The easiest way to specify a UNC path is to start with Save In My Network Places.
  5. Turn on Net Render.
  6. Click the Render button.

    The Network Job Assignment dialog appears.

  7. On the Network Job Assignment dialog, specify a job name.

    By default, this is the file name of the current scene. Click the plus (+) button next to the Job Name field to increment the job name. Unlike the plus button in the file dialogs, this button does not automatically launch the job.

    Note3ds Max does not let you submit multiple jobs with the same name.
  8. Determine whether to find the Manager automatically or manually. By default, 3ds Max searches automatically for the Manager using a network mask that you specify in the dialog. Alternatively, turn on Manual Search and enter the name or IP address of the computer running the Manager program.
  9. Click Connect to continue.

    You see a listing of all servers available for network rendering. Each server is marked with a colored icon to denote its current status:

    Green

    Running and not rendering any jobs.

    Yellow

    Rendering another job. You can assign jobs to busy servers, and the jobs will be rendered in the order received.

    Red

    Failed. Try rebooting the server or see Troubleshooting for more information on failed servers.

    Gray

    Absent. Verify that the Server is currently running and that it has not been "Disallowed" in the Week Schedule. See “Scheduling the Availability of a Render Node Using the Backburner Monitor” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s Reference.

    If a rendering Server is running on a workstation that also has an interactive session of 3ds Max, you can still select that machine for rendering. A second copy of 3ds Max is launched to execute the network render.

    You can view statistics of a particular Server by right-clicking its name and choosing Properties.

  10. Determine whether you will use the selected server, all servers, or a group of servers.
  11. Click Submit to send the job to the rendering queue.

Interface

Job Name

Provides a field for you to name the job (mandatory). The + button beside the field adds incremental numbering (Job01, Job02, and so on).

Note3ds Max does not let you submit multiple jobs with the same name.
Description

Enter an optional description of the job.

Enter Subnet Mask/Enter Manager Name or IP Address group

Enter Manager Name or IP Address

When Automatic Search is turned off, enter the name of the Network Manager machine or its IP address.

Enter Subnet Mask

When Automatic Search is on, enter a subnet mask for automatic search. For information on using subnet masks, see Configuring TCP/IP.

Connect/Disconnect

Connects to the network Manager. 3ds Max preserves the connection as a global setting so that you need to change it only when you want to specify an alternative Manager. If connected to the network manager, click Disconnect to disconnect from the current manager so you can choose a different manager.

Automatic Search

Determines whether 3ds Max connects to a specific manager or searches for one using a subnet mask when you click Connect. When off, 3ds Max attempts to connect to the manager you specify in this group. When on, it searches the network for a manager using the specified subnet mask.

Refresh

Updates the Server and Job lists.

By default, all servers are used for the job. When the Options group Use All Servers check box is turned off, you can choose one or more servers to render the job. If rendering to a multiple-frame file format, such as an AVI or MOV file, you can choose only one server.

Priority group

Priority

Specifies a priority ranking for the job. The lower this setting, the higher the job priority. Default=50.

For example, consider a job with priority 1 (Job B) that is submitted to a network manager that's already rendering a job with priority 2 (Job A). Because Job B has a higher priority, Job A will be suspended and Job B rendered. When Job B is finished, 3ds Max will resume rendering Job A.

If two or more jobs have the same priority, they're executed in order of submission.

Critical

Sends the job to the head of the queue, preempting the existing jobs. If a server is currently rendering and a critical job is sent to the queue, the server will stop rendering its current job and begin rendering the new, critical job. When finished with the critical job, the server returns to the next job it has been assigned in the queue.

Dependencies

Opens the Job Dependencies dialog, which you can use to specify existing jobs that must finish before the current job can start.

Options group

Enabled Notifications

Lets 3ds Max send rendering-related messages via email. When this is on, its Define button becomes available. For information, see the Notifications dialog topic.

Define

Opens the Notifications dialog, which lets you set notifications parameters.

Split Scan Lines

Lets you subdivide the rendering of each frame among the rendering servers. This is useful when rendering a single, extremely high-resolution image intended for printing. For information, see the Strips Setup dialog topic.

When Split Scan Lines is on, its Define button becomes available.

NoteThis feature does not support Render Elements. Also, it's unavailable when rendering to textures with projection mapping enabled and Sub-Object Levels on.
Define

Opens the Strips Setup dialog, which lets you set parameters for the Split Scan Lines option.

Ignore Scene Path

When off, the server attempts to copy the scene file from the manager to the server. If the manager is running on Windows 2000 Professional, only 10 servers will copy the file from the manager; any machines over the limit 10 will use TCP/IP to retrieve the file. When turned on, the servers get the file via TCP/IP only. Default=off.

Rendered Frame Window

During rendering, displays the Rendered Frame Window on all servers running serverapp.exe (not serversvc.exe). Default=on.

Include Maps

Archives the scene, with all of its maps, any inserted Xrefs and their maps, into a proprietary-format compressed file. The compressed file is sent to each Server, where it is uncompressed into a temporary directory named serverjob in the \network subdirectory of 3ds Max and rendered. Default=off.

Use this feature if you have access only to Servers that exist over the Internet or if you have a slow network setup. It is not meant for heavy production use. However, if you don't use it, you must first ensure that all network servers have access to all map and Xref paths referred to in the scene.

Initially Suspended

Adds the named job to the queue in an inactive state. The job is not started until you activate it manually from the Backburner Monitor. See “Monitoring and Managing Jobs” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s Guide.

Server Usage Group

You choose between using all available servers, all servers in a group, or selected servers. See “Configuring Server Groups” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s Guide for an explanation of how to set up server groups. In a 3ds Max setup it can be useful to set up servers in groups. For example, during busy times you can assign high priority jobs to a group of high performance servers.

Use Selected

Uses only the servers that you have highlighted in the Server list.

Use Group

Uses all of the servers in a group.

TipNote that the servers are assigned to a group in the Autodesk Backburner monitor.
Group drop-down list

Choose the group of servers that you want to use for your render.

Use All Servers

Uses all Servers in the active Server group for rendering the job. Available only after you submit a multi-frame rendering job.

Path File Group

Use Alternate Path File

Allows you to specify an alternate path file in the MXP format that rendering servers can use to find bitmaps that are not found on the primary map paths. When on, you can manually enter the path and file name in the field below the check box, or click the ellipsis button and browse to the MXP file.

NoteCreate MXP files with Configure User Paths.

Status group

Displays text messages describing the current status of the job assignment.

Server list

The Server list, located on the upper-right side of the Network Job Assignment dialog, displays all network rendering servers registered with the network manager after you connect to the manager. There are two types of tabs in the Server list:

  • All ServersLists all of the available servers that can be used for your render. When this tab and Use All Servers are enabled, all servers will be used to render the job.
  • [group name]Lists all of the servers assigned to a group. When this tab and Use Group are enabled, all servers listed on the tab will be used to render the job.
NoteIf a server is unavailable it will be skipped and the next available server will be used.

If more groups are available than can fit in the space above the list, arrow buttons for scrolling the group list horizontally appear above the list's top-right corner. Click these arrow buttons to scroll the list left or right to view additional group tabs.

By default, each Server is marked with a colored status icon:

  • GreenRunning and not rendering any jobs.
  • YellowRendering another job. You can assign jobs to busy Servers, and the jobs will be rendered in the order received.
  • RedFailed. Try rebooting the Server or see Troubleshooting for more information on failed Servers.
  • GrayAbsent. Verify that the network Server is currently running and that it has not been "Disallowed" in the Backburner Monitor. See “Launching the Backburner Monitor” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s Guide for information on viewing activities in the monitor.
NoteYou can change the height of the server list window relative to the job list window below it by dragging the partition vertically.

Server list right-click menu

By default, servers are listed by name only. To see more information about a server, right-click its name in the list. A menu appears with these options:

Properties

Displays the Server Properties dialog, which shows aspects of the server hardware and operating system, including memory and disk space.

All Server Details

This toggle, when on, displays all details about each server to the right of its name. When off, restores the last saved set of partial server details unless the last saved set was All Server Details, in which case it restores the default set: name only. See the following item for the list of available details.

NoteYou can see more details by scrolling the list with the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom, or by widening the dialog by dragging its right side with the mouse.
Partial Server Details

Opens the Set Server Property Tabs dialog, which lets you specify which details are shown in the Server list. The dialog provides check boxes for turning on and off the display of these details:

  • Status: See Server list for status details.
  • Number of CPUs
  • Total Physical Memory - in bytes
  • Operating System
  • Work Disk Space - in megabytes
  • Historical Performance Index - see note below
  • Handle - a hexadecimal identification number for the machine
  • User - current user name
NoteThe Historical Performance Index value, listed under the Perf. Index heading in the Server list window, offers information on the relative speed of the listed servers. The fastest machine is rated at 1.0, while the other servers are rated as fractions of the fastest. A machine whose average is twice as long would receive a 0.5 index. Each machine is rated by measuring the time it takes to complete each frame, and the accumulated time is divided by the number of frames, resulting in the average time per frame, in seconds.

Several factors can affect a machine's performance. CPU power isn't necessarily a concern when large file transfers are involved. For example, if a certain job uses several map files from a centralized server, the performance of the network throughput plays a much larger part than CPU performance, as most machines will spend the majority of the time reading maps. On the other hand, if the machine has all maps locally it will have a huge advantage (local access versus network access) regardless of which CPU it is using. The performance index provides you with information regarding your servers' rendering performance to help analyze your network rendering setup and better distribute the workload.

Job list

The job list, located on the lower-right side of the Network Job Assignment dialog, displays all jobs submitted to the network manager. Also shown are each job's priority, status, and output file path.

To change job settings and manage jobs, use the Backburner Monitor. See “Modifying Job Settings” and “Monitoring and Managing Jobs” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s Guide.

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Advanced

Opens the Advanced Settings dialog, where you can make settings for Per-Job Timeouts, TCP port number, Pre-Render MAXScripts and Job Handling.

Submit

Click Submit to exit this dialog and send the current job to the Network Manager, which places it in the queue for rendering.

When you submit a rendering job, if the output file name to be used by the job is the same as that used by an existing job, you're asked if you want to overwrite the existing file(s). Also, if the name of the submitted job replicates one already in the rendering queue, an alert notifies you; click OK, change the job name, and submit it again.

NoteSubmitting a job creates a folder for the job on the manager machine in the \Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\Network\jobs\ folder. In that folder is a compressed file with a .maz extension containing the scene file. You can extract the scene from the command prompt using the maxunzip.exe program, found in the 3ds Max program directory. For example, to extract a file named testfile.maz, assuming 3ds Max is installed in a folder named \Autodesk 3ds Max 2011\, open the command prompt, navigate to the \Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\Network\jobs folder, and enter this: “\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk 3ds Max 2011\maxunzip” testfile.maz. You must specify the .maz file-name extension; otherwise you'll get an error message.
Cancel

Discards changes and exits the dialog.