Softimage/XSI Plug-in Guide
- 1 Softimage/XSI Plug-in Guide
You can submit jobs from within Softimage/XSI by installing the integrated submission script, or you can submit them from the Monitor. The instructions for installing the integrated submission script can be found further down this page.
To submit from within Softimage/XSI, select the Render toolbar on the left and click Render -> Submit To Deadline.
The general Deadline options are explained in the Job Submission documentation, and the Draft/Shotgun options are explained in the Draft and Shotgun documentation. The Softimage/XSI specific options are:
- Workgroup: Specify the workgroup that Softimage/XSI should use during rendering. Leave blank to ignore.
- Force Build: Force 32 bit or 64 bit rendering.
- Submit XSI Scene File: The Softimage/XSI scene file will be submitted with the job. If your Softimage/XSI scene is stored in a project folder on the network, it is recommended that you leave this box unchecked.
- Threads: The number of render threads to use during rendering.
- Use XSI Batch Plugin: This will force deadline to use a modified version of the XSI plug-in which keeps Softimage/XSI and the scene loaded in memory between tasks.
- Enable Local Rendering: If enabled, Deadline will render the frames locally before copying them over to the final network location. Note that this feature doesn't support the "Skip Existing Frame" option.
Selecting passes to render:
- Select which passes you would like to render. A separate job is submitted for each pass. If no passes are selected, then the current pass is submitted. Note that if you are using FxTree Rendering, the passes are ignored.
Setting up a tile rendering job:
- Enable tile rendering to split up a frame into multiple tiles that are rendered individually. By default, a separate job is submitted for each tile (this allows for tile rendering of a sequence of frames). For easier management of single frame tile rendering, you can choose to submit all the tiles as a single job. You can also submit a dependent assembly job to assemble the image when the main tile job completes.
- Note that if you are using FxTree Rendering, the tile rendering settings are ignored.
Setting up an FxTree rendering job:
- Enable FxTree rendering to render a specific FxTree output node, which can be selected from the FxTree Output dropdown box. You can also set the frame offset for the output files. Some things to note are:
- The frame range to be rendered is pulled from the Frame List setting under the Submission Options tab.
- If you are rendering to a movie file, be sure to set the Group Size to the number of frames in your animation.
- Softimage/XSI gives the option to specify file paths as being relative to the current directory or absolute. Deadline requires that all file paths be absolute.
- When specifying the image output, make sure to include the extension (.pic, .tga, etc) at the end so that you can view the individual rendered images from the task list in the Deadline Monitor.
Cross-Platform Rendering Considerations
In order to perform cross-platform rendering with Softimage/XSI, you must setup Mapped Paths so that Deadline can swap out file paths where appropriate. You can access the Mapped Paths Setup in the Monitor while in super user mode by selecting Tools -> Configure Repository. You'll find the Mapped Paths Setup in the list on the left.
You can configure the XSI and XSIBatch plug-in settings from the Deadline Monitor. While in super user mode, select Tools -> Plugins Configuration and select the XSI plug-in from the list on the left. To get a description of each setting, simply hover the mouse cursor over a setting and a tool tip will be displayed.
Integrated Submission Script Setup
The following procedure describes how to install the integrated Softimage/XSI submission script. This script allows for submitting Softimage/XSI render jobs to Deadline directly from within the Softimage/XSI editing GUI. This script has been tested with Softimage/XSI versions 6.01 and later.
- Install the Python engine for Softimage/XSI. For more information, see the Softimage/XSI Python installation documentation.
- Check that the Python engine has been installed correctly. This can be done by opening up Softimage/XSI and selecting File -> Preferences. Under the Scripting preferences, you should have the option to select Python ActiveX Scripting Engine as the Script Language. If you don't see this option, then Python has not been installed correctly, and you should contact the Softimage/XSI support team.
- Once the Python engine has been installed correctly, copy the file [Repository]/ClientSetup/XSI/SubmitXSIToDeadline.py to the folder [XSI Install Directory]/Application/Plugins
- Launch Softimage/XSI Program. The submission script is automatically installed when Softimage/XSI starts up. To make sure the script was installed correctly, select the Render toolbar on the left and click the Render button. A Submit To Deadline menu item should be available.
- Which versions of Softimage/XSI are supported by Deadline?
- Softimage/XSI versions 6.01 and later are supported by Deadline.
- What is the difference between the XSI and XSIBatch plug-ins?
- The XSIBatch plug-in keeps the scene loaded in memory between subsequent tasks for the same job. This saves on the overhead of having to load Softimage/XSI and the scene file for each task. The XSI plug-in uses standard command line rendering, and should only be used if you experience problems with the XSIBatch plug-in.
- Does Deadline support FxTree rendering?
- Yes. Simply enable FxTree rendering in the submission dialog and specify the FxTree and Output Node you want to render.
- Does Deadline support the Arnold renderer for Softimage?
- Yes. Deadline supports the Arnold plug-in for Softimage, as well as Arnold's standalone renderer (kick.exe). For more information on rendering Arnold Standalone jobs with Deadline, see the Arnold Standalone Plug-in Guide.
- Can Softimage/XSI script jobs be submitted to Deadline?
- Yes. Deadline provides very basic support for script jobs, though there is currently no interface to submit them. The option for submitting a script job can be specified in the XSI plug-in info file.
- After installing the Softimage/XSI integrated submission script, Softimage/XSI failes to load (it goes to a white screen and hangs).
- We have heard of this problem before, but we have not been able to reproduce it. The workaround for this problem is to remove the script from the plugins folder, and manually path to the submission script plugin after starting Softimage/XSI.
- When Deadline renders the job, Softimage/XSI isn't able to find anything in the scene's project folder.
- If you're Softimage/XSI scene file is saved in a project folder on the network, leave the Submit Softimage/XSI Scene File check box unchecked in the submission dialog. This allows Deadline to load the Softimage/XSI scene in the context of its project folder.
- I have Softimage/XSI configured to save output to a network share, but when Deadline renders the scene, the render slaves save their output to their local C
- drive rather than to the network share.
- There are two possible solutions:
- If you're Softimage/XSI scene file is saved in a project folder on the network, leave the Submit Softimage/XSI Scene File check box unchecked in the submission dialog. This is the recommend solution.
- Specify the full resolved path for the scene output directory, instead of something like [Project Path]\Render_Pictures.
- Rendering with Deadline seems a lot slower than rendering through Softimage/XSI itself.
- If you're submitting your jobs with the Use XSI Batch option disabled, then Softimage/XSI needs to be restarted and the scene needs to be reloaded for every task in the Deadline job, which can add a lot of overhead to the render time, especially if cached data needs to be loaded.
- To speed up your Deadline renders, you can increase the task group size (aka: chunk size) from 1 to 5 or 10. This way, the scene is loaded once for every 5 or 10 frames. Increasing the chunksize like this is recommended if you know ahead of time your frames will only take seconds to render, or if a large amount of cached data needs to be loaded.
Error Messages And Meanings
This is a collection of known Softimage/XSI error messages and their meanings, as well as possible solutions. We want to keep this list as up to date as possible, so if you run into an error message that isn't listed here, please email Deadline Support and let us know.
- Exception during render: Renderer returned non-zero error code, -1073741819
- The error code -1073741819 is equivalent to 0xC0000005, which represents a Memory Access Violation error. So Softimage/XSI is either running out of memory, or memory is becoming corrupt. If you find that your frames are still being rendered, you can configure the XSI plugin configuration to ignore this error.
- Exception during render: ' ERROR : 2000 - Library not found: ...
- This can occur if the Deadline slave application's environment variables haven't been updated. Try rebooting the machine and see if that fixes the problem.
- ERROR : 2004 - Invalid pointer - [line 2]
- You can workaround this by renaming the ICEFlow plugin (Application\Plugins\ICEFlow.dll). This plugin manages the transfer of data between Softimage and Maya (the one-click ICE workflow).