Dynamic scene and output file names

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This example will show you the render sets of two net jobs, where the first one will export a sequence of V-Ray scenes from a Maya scene, while the second one will render those exported .vrscene files with the V-Ray Standalone renderer.

RenderSet

This render set holds nothing special. The only thing to take a closer look at is the "Export file name" entry (note that this field is specific to this particular renderer): W:\RenderPal\Maya\scenes\export\exportfile.vrscene. This is the path and filename for all exported V-Ray scenes; the exported scenes will look like W:\RenderPal\Maya\scenes\export\exportfile_0001.vrscene, exportfile_0002.vrscene and so on (from frames 1-20).

Our goal is now to render these files with another net job using the V-Ray Standalone renderer. We could wait for the job to finish first, so that all exported scenes are available and we can manually add all of them to a new job – but that would waste quite a lot of time! Instead, we will create a new job right away using a dynamic variable for the scene name. Take a look at the following render set:

RenderSet 2

The frame list contains, just like our previous render set, the frames 1-20; note the scene file entry: W:\RenderPal\Maya\scenes\export\exportfile_$(frames:%04d).vrscene. In place of the frame number (like 0001 and so on), we have used a dynamic variable for the frame list (and applied a padding of 4 zeros: %04d). If we now create a net job based on this set, the $(frames) variable will be parsed, and for each frame there is (1-20 in this case), a new scene will be automatically added to the job (depending on the applied frame splitting, the resulting 20 scenes will be distributed across various chunks). To make things a bit clearer, take a look at this screenshot:

Net Job List

We applied a frame splitting of 4 chunks in total to this job; as you can see, each chunk now ”carries” 5 frames, and for each frame, a new scene has been automatically added – just as we wanted! Each chunk will then result in 5 renderings, every time rendering a different scene. For such scenarios, it is necessary that the second net job will wait on the first one (otherwise, the scenes wouldn’t have been exported and thus wouldn’t even exist yet). Since it might be a waste of time to wait for the entire job, it is advisable to use the frame-based chunk dependency instead, as shown in the following screenshot:

Net Job

This way, whenever a few scenes have been exported, they can be rendered right away without waiting for the entire job to be done.

This is just one example where dynamic scene and output file names can be useful; this advanced feature opens many new ways of creating complex rendering pipelines. Another useful application for this feature are converters.

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RenderPal V2 is a powerful, feature-rich, yet easy to use Render Farm Manager for  Maya, 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, V-Ray, VRED, Modo, SketchUp, After Effects, Arnold and many more.

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