We've got a job coming up here that will involve rendering out a couple minutes of very high geometry scenes. There will be animation w/ in them, dynamic lighting, skin shaders... bunch o' stuff.
Anyway, we're starting to look at options for doing this effectively and I thought I'd throw it out here to see if anyone has tackled this kind of stuff before and if they have any tips they could toss outregarding what you've used or appoaches to this kind of thing.
We can build out our farm for this, so we can go pretty much any way. Our main app is maya of course. Mental ray is an option - but how much can you feed it before it begins to choke? Also we know of someone using Vue 5 as their render engine for large scenes (not just landscape - anything). Have you tried this? What are your results like?
I read from time to time about how big studios have custom apps to feed the rendering engine only what it needs at the time of each frame - how does this stuff exactly work?