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Nothing works....

Hello Richard,

We are having a lot of trouble getting Pandora to work. We are deep into production, and actually have many scenes piling up by the second to render, hence the need for distributed rendering, and a good renderfarm manager. We have tested other renderfarm managers, but for ease of use, and straight-to-the-pointedness of Pandora, it easily was chosen by the 3D dept to use, going forward.

After Pandora kept giving lots of errors on our farm, a technical artist did a fresh install on a single computer not attached to the farm's network, created a basic scene in Maya with a single sphere geo, added lights,, saved and sent the scene to the Pandora queue.

The slave starts working, visible in the Handler, but after a few seconds, errors out. We thought perhaps it's a rendered issue, so  we tested with both Arnold, Redshift and even Maya software rendered. Nothing seems to work.

We would really appreciate help on this. Each single node has a 1080ti card, 16 cores,64gb ram and atleast 30GB of free space.

Attached is a Pandora  slave log we pulled off the single computer we did a fresh install on.

A major deadline is very close, with serious consequences. Please help. We will provide whatever information you require for debugging.

Thank you.

 

Uploaded files:

For some reason your Render.exe fails to start. That could be caused by a plugin or something similar. To get more information you can try to start it in the windows command prompt. In the Pandora log you see the command, which Pandora used to call the Render.exe. If you remove the commas and change the slashes you can execute it in the windows command prompt.

That would be this command:

"C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2018\bin\Render.exe" -r "file" -rd "C:\Users\TEE\Desktop\BALL DEFAULT-TEST-PRISM-PANDORA\IMAGES" -im "reinstalled" -s 7 -e 7 -cam "persp" "C:\Users\TEE\Documents\PandoraRepository\Slave\Jobs\bshzpagivy\JobFiles\reinstalled_2018_rs.ma"

In the windows command prompt you will see some more information why this command fails on your computer.

Hello Richard,

           Thank you for your response. We were able to solve the issue. It turns out that it was mostly a Renderer licensing issue. Arnold and redshift,  which depend on licenses for Mayabatch rendering, kept giving off errors. By ticking the box in Maya's render globals to skip license check,  the renders (watermarked) started coming through,  and getting successfully saved in the images directory folder. I dont know why Pandora, or Maya didn't give off a license error message or something to note.

 So in essence, a licensing problem was the reason why Pandora kept giving the problems mentioned originally.

We would additionally  like to bring our extra findings to your attention hopefully to improve Pandora in future updates.

With Pandora working, we  were able to make comparison tests between Deadline and Pandora.

Most notably, for some reason, Pandora only seems to render using the Render.exe in Maya's bin directory. It is unable to hold scenes in memory and render in true batch mode. The result of this is Pandora having to constantly reload the scenes for each task or frames cluster. ...Hence longer render times.

Deadline on the other hand, is able to truly hold scenes in memory and batch render the scenes, hence showing speed gains from task to task. As an example, Task 1 takes 45 seconds to render, and the scene, textutres etc are held in memory. The next task 2 takes only 19 seconds to render, and Task 3 takes same 19 seconds to render with Batch mode enabled in Deadline as everything required for rendering are held in the computer's  memory.   Pandora, however takes exactly thesame 45 ssconds for Tasks 1 through 3,  because it has to load the scenes, and flush memory? Inbetween tasks, and load the scenes, textures, plugins etc all over again to render the next tasks.

This causes a large idle time (visible in the graphs attached) between tasks being rendered.

So our question is does Pandora have a batch mode similar to what is described for Deadline? We did an overide in the Pandora setting under the DCC tab, and set Mayabatch.exe to handle renders, but this gave errors " tasks could not be rendered"

  • Also, please take a look at the attached Pandora image. In the slave log, you will clearly see that the 5 images get rendered in 23 seconds, however, the window pane at top right gives the Task time as 48 seconds. What's the cause of this disparity? Deadline completed rendering images in 28 seconds,  and moved on to next, but Pandora takes a whole 25 seconds of idle time (scene loading time included) more.

Looking forward to your notes and any pointers you have for us.

 

Thank you Richard.

Toochukwu.

 

Uploaded files:
  • PANDORA.png
  • DEADLINE.png