3ds max network rendering issues Part 2 – Batch Rendering

Did you just come back to your computers after a night (or god forbid) weekend of network batch rendering only to find a single frame on your hard drive rather then the 1000’s you were expecting? Welcome to backburner bug #103,947.

Backburner is such a common headache inducer that I get to the acceptance stage of grief much faster these days. The latest quandary had to do with setting up a batch render across the network for several different clips. As my typical projects rarely have animated objects but several animated cameras, I’ll usually set up a batch to queue each camera clip into backburner so I don’t have to babysit the entire sequence. The benefit should be that you can define the camera, the file save path, and even scene states (hacky…use at your own risk) and render presets. Of course, most camera clips will have different lengths (i.e. frame ranges), so I need to use the “Override Preset” checkbox to define those ranges. HOWEVER, be warned that this check box does not have an effect on the submitted job if the main render dialog still has “Single” chosen for the Time Output. If you don’t change this, all of your network render slaves will render the frames from each sequence as they are supposed to, but backburner/max will have them simply override the previously saved file with the latest one…so you end up with a folder per clip each containing a single file (the last frame of the sequence). Be sure to click the big render button in the main render dialog after changing this setting (to Active Time Segment, Range, etc…just not Single)…you can cancel this rendering immediately, but you have to submit it for the change to take effect and for the signal to be passed to the Batch Render/backburner system.

I know you might be thinking this kind of bug would be absolutely unacceptable from a program of this caliber and so dependent on delivering on tight deadlines. Well, does it make you feel any better to know this bug has been around since at least max 2009? No? Ok…all shame on Autodesk then.

You can read a little more about this issue HERE.