Dead­line 6.1

Animation Magazine - - Visual Effects -

I’ve been work­ing with — and lov­ing — Dead­line for years now. And ever since ver­sion 5, when they re­vamped the whole work­flows and ex­tended it to mul­ti­ple plat­forms, I’ve loved it even more. Now, with ver­sion 6.1, the new fea­tures make it even more at­trac­tive.

The largest step in the lat­est, at least for me, is the job de­pen­dency view. Well, let’s back up for a sec­ond to talk about de­pen­den­cies. Dead­line will now wait to start jobs if some­thing it needs is miss­ing. So, it will hold off un­til a cache is fin­ished writ­ing, or a tex­ture is cre­ated or ren­dered, or if a Python script re­turns true. Now, the job de­pen­dency view shows all of these con­nec­tions in a node-based win­dow – just like Nuke, Hou­dini, Think­ing Par­ti­cles, Magma or any other pow­er­ful piece of soft­ware. It only makes sense to view your ren­der sub­mis­sions in this way. And, it’s not just view­ing. You are able to con­nect, dis­con­nect and ma­nip­u­late the de­pen­den­cies within the graph, mak­ing man­age­ment much eas­ier to fol­low … es­pe­cially if you have mul­ti­ple jobs wait­ing for sim­i­lar as­sets.

Ad­di­tion­ally, if you are work­ing with 3ds Max, you can take ad­van­tage of ad­vanced mul­ti­re­gion ren­der­ing and auto-as­sem­bly of sin­gle im­ages ren­dered across the farm. Not `only do you have ar­bi­trary, sav­able ar­eas, which can be man­u­ally set, or shrink wrapped to a ob­ject, but if you want to ren­der across an an­i­ma­tion, that re­gion can be set to track the ob­ject you wish to iso­late. Pretty darn handy — and I hear Maya will be com­ing soon for this. But in the mean­time, Dead­line still sup­ports dis­trib­uted bucket ren­der­ing for Maya V-Ray as will as Arnold re­gion ren­der­ing.

For those of you who like to get un­der the hood, you can use the Na­tive Python API to talk to Dead­line di­rectly with­out hav­ing to call the Dead­line com­mand app — se­ri­ously ben­e­fi­cial for those who need to tai­lor Dead­line to their own pipe­line.

As al­ways, it’s a pretty UI with an in­tu­itive ap­proach, sup­ported by a ro­bust foun­da­tion. Some hard­core Linux and OSX guys may take um­brage with the bits of Win­dows NET legacy method­ol­ogy but for the ma­jor­ity of us out there it just works.

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