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grabjacket
12-05-2008, 11:33 AM
Hi,

i'd like to submit some files with the commandline. There's an option in the backburner-menu called "include maps". I don't see this option for the commandline. Is there a way to use 3dsmaxcmd.exe and implement the "include maps" function?

Klaas

ZeBoxx2
12-05-2008, 12:27 PM
not seeing any hidden 'include maps' command in the cmdlineLibrary.dll binary.. I think you'd have to 'include maps' manually - i.e. either place the maps in a net-accessible location that is in the map paths for all the client machines, or copy them to all the client machines.. yuck :\

I did see that the command line renderer also has an option to write out, and read, job files.. I'm not sure what happens when you tell it to write out a job file (i.e. does it then exit, or does it continue with the render?) but perhaps you could parse the job file (XML) to enable the 'include maps' option therein, then let the command line renderer read that in..

grabjacket
12-05-2008, 02:30 PM
That is a good suggestion. I hadn't noticed the "include maps" entry in the XML file. I'll check this out soon.
Thanks
Klaas

PiXeL_MoNKeY
12-05-2008, 03:09 PM
I don't think modifying the XML will help here. I think include maps happens in the archive process of submitting the job. So once it gets to the manager the files are already in the zip.

You may want to try submitting 2 jobs to the manager from the UI. One with include maps and one without from the same scene. Then figure out what the difference are between the .zip conents, the max file, and the xml file. Then submit your jobs as suspended, create an archive that should match the .zip conents and maxfile, and a new XML file. Then replace the files on the manager and Restart the job. :cry:

Good luck,
-Eric

grabjacket
12-08-2008, 10:32 AM
yeah, well thank you!

i thought about the xml and figured it would be too late if i'd edited it. I guess it's exactly as you described it, pixelmonkey. But juggling with the jobs and archives as you described isn't my favorite game.
For the moment i'm going to look into mxp-files to deal with the assets. I'm going to see if the mxp catches all assets, from bitmap to xref.

How do professional renderfarms deal with this stuff? They should have these issues as well right?

Klaas

PiXeL_MoNKeY
12-08-2008, 03:31 PM
They do it the way Zeboxx2 said, and store all files on a network location available to all machines. Then they use mapped drives or UNC paths to get to the files, however for this you will probably need the files on a machine running more than a standard windows install since not server versions of windows are limited to 10 concurrent connections (also, loading/referencing and saving a file use seperate connections). Large companies have huge database systems for file management, etc. I store all my maps, xrefs, etc on a network file share (old OSX server machine we had lying around) that is available to my renderfarm and workstation. This also saves a lot of time in submitting the files since you are only submitting the actual scene and not every external file as well.

-Eric

grabjacket
12-09-2008, 07:44 AM
Yes, that's also the way we've got it set up. But how do professional renderfarm-companies have it set up? They cannot create the shares their clients have all the time, but they also cannot go into the files and relink the assets to some other location. That would just be silly.

The "include maps" function would come in very handy here because you could submit your job to whatever manager (either on your own network, or to some virtual manager connecting to an external renderfarm) and the file would be submitted including all the assets.

I mean, these rendercompanies need to have a very good cure for the "missing bitmap" problem, otherwise they'd go out of buisness.

Klaas

ZeBoxx2
12-09-2008, 08:32 AM
there's no need to set up the same shares - when 3ds Max can't find a bitmap (or other asset, as long as it is set up as such by the plugin/script) in the location directly specified, it will check various other locations:
- the same folder that contains the 3ds Max file
- the map paths configured in 3ds Max itself
- sub-folders of the folder that contains the 3ds Max file

Most typically, you'd just copy all the bitmaps straight to one of various map path folders you have configured, and call it a day from there. The only time you'd have to tinker with anything is if/when you get a duplicate filename.. several ways you can deal with that one.

PiXeL_MoNKeY
12-09-2008, 04:19 PM
Oh you mean the Renderfarm services. I believe most of them have tools for collecting the assets and submitting them over the internet. If there are errors I am sure they work with the client to get it straightened out.

-Eric

grabjacket
12-10-2008, 07:57 AM
Exactly, renderfarm services.
I'm assuming they'd use the capability of max to find assets if they're in the same folder as the max-file, just like zeboxx said. It's no option to go into the file itself and edit the paths. That's too much work for the client or the farm.
Now i'm coming back to my first issue: if you submit a file to backburner you separate the max-file from it's assets. To avoid this you can use the "include maps" function from the menu, but this option isn't available in command-line. So i guess these renderfarms do some sort of local rendering with the max-file and the assets in the same folder. They also could use some sort of script which combines collecting assets, bundling it with the max-file and sending the whole lot to a sender-slave and render locally there. that sounds like a custom manager to me. If you go through backburner you never know where the manager sends your file and where you've got to put your assets to make max find them.

Sorry to keep whining about this, but i just like to get this sorted out once and for all (in my head). I feel i'm getting very close now.

Klaas

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