Remote control the rendering process from Windows Phone (WP7/8)

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  05 May 2013
Remote control the rendering process from Windows Phone (WP7/8)

We had a crazy idea a few months ago to create a mobile app that controls the rendering process of Maya by remote.
Focusing on the following workflow Modeling -> Texturing -> Rigging -> Animation -> Lighting ->Rendering, we came up with this simple question: “What is the gap, that make us anxious all the time in the whole process?”

The animator is present on all steps. So not a big deal, except if we have deadlines and working on an industry. But the last step the “Rendering” process is something that we can’t control. It is a machine job to produce those beautiful render results.

Asking our selves the following questions:
  • How the job is going during the rendering process?
  • Are the produced frames correct?
  • Do we need to stop the rendering process?
  • If each frame takes more than 30 minutes to produce…well, I don’t want to sit down all day in front of the monitor and watch the progress in case of something goes wrong.

...we came with this simple idea: How about watching the rendering process from mobile in real time, anywhere and most important act on it. We took those questions and implement something that give us a chance to fill the gap. After 6 month of working we have created the “Maya Renderer” mobile app.

The main functions are:
  • You can control most of the common rendering settings from mobile before you submit the job
  • You can be notified when each frame is completed
  • You can view all the produces frames as thumbnails as they produced
  • You can view each frame in full resolution (1K, 2K, 4K No problem as it uses deep zoom technology)
  • You can stop the rendering process by remote
  • You can turn off the computer by remote

We presented this idea on Microsoft – Nokia Hackathon event and won the 4th place.
If anyone is interesting you can download from all the assets.

Write your suggestions as your feedback is valuable. I have plans to add more functionality.
  06 June 2013
Happy to announce that the version is updated with V-Ray support.
You can also allowed to override the "frame/animation extension". (e.g. name.#, name#.ext, name.#.ext, name.ext.#...)

Working on next release which will support split frame rendering in order to allow the user to render high resolution still images. (e.g. 5000x5000)
  06 June 2013
Looks very interesting, unfortunately I'm running an android here so can't test, I guess maybe an annoying question for you but are there plans to port this to iPhone + Android at some stage?
  06 June 2013
I am a software engineer working with Microsoft platform. I don't have any experience on Objective-C or Java development. So no plans at this time.
  06 June 2013
The new release is ready and will be published at the end of this week. Three new features are added.

A) You can start the batch renderer from Maya as usual and setup the mobile to monitor the project. Until now, you had the option to start the rendering process from the mobile device. The opposite scenario is also supported. Within this direction you are not limited to any boundaries, as you can use an unsupported rendering engine or support a render farm.

B) You can construct the image frame thumbnails and view them in time frame at any time. Even if you didn't set to monitor the project you have the ability to retrieve the rendered images at any time on your mobile device.

C) You can render high resolution images (5K) to produce posters by splitting the image into 4 regions. For each frame you will get 4 images that you can combine with "screen" blend mode in Photoshop. Use “After Effects” in case you have created an animation. This functionality is supported in all render engines.

Last edited by nmiliotis : 06 June 2013 at 05:42 PM.
  06 June 2013
It has already been prepared a free lite version of MayaRenderer that will be published soon.

Features that will have both versions (Lite and Pro):
  • Connection via IP address
  • Connection via DNS name
  • Email notification when IP address is changed
  • Maya Software renderer support
  • Mental Ray renderer support
  • Stop rendering process by remote
  • Get notifications when frames/project completed
  • Trigger rendering from mobile device
  • Deep Zoom technology support
  • Logging support
  • Load unlimited projects
  • Unlimited frames

Features that you will get in Pro version:
  • Remote shutdown
  • Change port number
  • Authentication
  • Run as Windows Service
  • V-Ray renderer support
  • Trigger rendering from Maya with monitoring support (Supports Render Farm)
  • Split frame rendering for high resolution images (e.g. posters)
  • Reconstruct Image thumbnails

The Pro version will still be in a trial/buy mode.
The Lite version will be free.

A research is also has begun to support 3DS Max with the same concept.

Last edited by nmiliotis : 06 June 2013 at 12:33 PM.
  06 June 2013
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