Thursday, January 30th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Thinkbox Software ships Deadline 6.1


Thinkbox Software has released Deadline 6.1, the latest update to its renderfarm-management software, originally announced at Siggraph last year.

There’s quite a lot in there for a point update, including scheduling improvements, a standalone Python API, and support for distributed rendering in V-Ray for Max and Maya. You can find full details in the press release below.

Deadline 6.1 is out now for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It costs $185 per render node.

Thinkbox Software today launched a new version of the company’s production-proven high-volume data management solution, Deadline 6.1. Compatible across all platforms, the release leverages the efficient UI and flexible database backend introduced in Deadline 6 and features improved stability, enhanced housecleaning operations and faster job submission. With highly optimized functions that can perform more than 10x faster, the significant update can also be easily scaled up to support thousands of machines. Additionally, Deadline 6.1 incorporates Draft 1.1, the latest iteration of Thinkbox’’s lightweight compositing and video processing plug-in designed to automate typical post-render tasks, which now includes improved OpenEXR support.

Key new features of Deadline 6.1 include:

  • Increased Scheduling Control
    Users can customize their workflows by controlling how jobs should be scheduled using first-in first-out, balanced or weighted scheduling algorithms.
  • Simplified Secondary Resource Allocation –
    To help ensure that machines are always active, a secondary pool system makes it easier for users to automatically spread jobs to the farm when the primary pool of available jobs is empty.
  • Node-Based Job Dependency View
    A new panel added to the Deadline monitor provides a node-based view of a job’s dependency tree, which can be easily modified via drag-and-drop.
  • Asset and Script Dependencies
    Jobs only begin when all required assets (textures, cache files, etc.) are available and the Python scripts return successfully.
  • Updated API
    Using the new RESTful API, users can easily request information from the database, store new data, alter existing data or remove entries from the database.
  • Standalone Python API
    Communicate with Deadline using native Python scripts without having to run within the context of Deadline or without requiring Deadline to be installed on the machine.
  • Additional Cloud Provider Support
    Deadline now supports Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2.
  • Maintenance Job Mode
    Useful for performing benchmark tests, installing new software and synchronizing files, submitted maintenance jobs will only render once on each slave on the farm.
  • Popup Message Notification System
    Akin to NetSend Notification in Deadline 5, the system sends popup messages to workstations indicating if a job has completed or failed.
  • Jigsaw” Multi-Region Rendering for 3ds Max
    In Autodesk 3ds Max, a more advanced Deadline workflow enables users to define any number of arbitrarily-sized regions to render, animate their positions and size to track changing objects – updating an existing frame or sequence in a fraction of the time.
  • V-Ray Distributed Rending (DBR) Support for Maya and 3ds Max
    For Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max users, a new Deadline interface automatically updates to show which nodes are running the Chaos Group V-Ray Spawner and instructs V-Ray to use the available nodes.
  • Expanded Product Support
    Support has been added for Adobe After Effects CC, Smith Micro Software Anime Studio 9/9.5, MAXON CINEMA 4D 15, Side Effects Software Houdini 13, Side Effects Mantra Standalone 13, Next Limit Technologies Maxwell Renderer V3, The Foundry’s NUKE 8, Next Limit Technologies RealFlow 2013, Planetside Software Terragen 3, Chaos Group V-Ray 3 for 3ds Max, E-on Software Vue 2014 and Santiago Ogaz & co xNormal.

A scalable process management tool, Deadline ensures that jobs run efficiently across workstations regardless of their geographical locations to save time, energy and money. As the leading render management software in the visual effects industry, it is also used to manage compute resources in engineering and business markets.

Read more about Deadline at Thinkbox Software’s website