Deadline®’s unique architecture removes the need for a centralized manager application by using a highly-scalable database and basic file sharing to manage the farm. As long as your Database and File Server is running, Deadline® is running.
Intuitive User Interface:
Built with your creativity in mind, Deadline®’s User Interface has evolved in response to extensive feedback from artists. The flexible and intuitive interface provides a unified experience to artists and administrators across all platforms.
For job submission, Deadline® offers integrated submission scripts for 3ds Max, After Effects, Blender, Cinema 4D, Composite, Fusion, Generation, Hiero, Houdini, Lightwave, Maya, Messiah, modo, Nuke, RealFlow, Rhino, Softimage, and Vue, providing a comfortable native environment for cross-application tasks.
Deadline supports over 40 different rendering packages out of the box. See the Supported Software page in the Deadline documentation for more information.
Customizable and Scriptable:
With its Python based plug-in API, studios can customize the out of the box plug-ins and scripts to suit their individual pipelines, or create custom plug-ins to support in-house applications. Event plug-ins can be created to trigger events like updating pipeline tools when jobs are submitted or finish rendering. Finally, job scripts can be created to perform operations when a job starts, when a job finishes, and before and after each task is rendered.
Flexible Job Scheduling:
Use numeric job priorities, machine groups and pools, and job-specific machine lists to explicitly control distribution of rendering resources among multiple departments. Limits allow you to handle both limited license plug-ins and render packages, while job dependencies and scheduling allow you to control when your jobs will begin rendering.
Launch and configure an arbitrary number of Slaves on a single machine. Each Slave instance can be given a unique name, and can be assigned its own list of pools and groups, which allows Slaves to work on separate jobs. A single high performance machine can process multiple 3D, compositing, and simulation jobs simultaneously.
Deadline® can be configured to notify users of job completion or failure through an automatic e-mail notification to any number of watching users.
Administrators can also configure Deadline® to notify them with information about Power Management, stalled Slaves, licensing issues, and other issues that may arise on the farm.
Deadline® automatically stores job and render farm statistics in the Database. Statistics can be viewed from the Monitor, or retrieved from the Database by custom pipeline tools.
Deadline® integrates with Shotgun to enable a seamless render and review data flow. When a render job is submitted, a version is automatically created in Shotgun with key metadata. When the render is complete, Shotgun is updated with a thumbnail image, paths to frames, render stats, and playback links. Shotgun then dispatches targeted notifications with links back to the work. Studios can view versions in various contexts, create reports, and organize work into playlists for review sessions where they can quickly take notes with the Shotgun Note App.
Draft is a tool that provides simple compositing functionality. It is implemented as a Python library, which exposes functionality for use in python scripts. Draft is designed to be tightly integrated with Deadline®, but it can also be used as a standalone tool.
Using the Draft plugin for Deadline®, artists can automatically perform simple compositing operations on rendered frames after a render job finishes. They can also convert them to a different image format, or generate Quicktimes for dailies.
Active Deadline subscribers are entitled to Draft licenses at no additional cost. Note that Draft is currently still in beta, so active Deadline subscribers can request a Draft beta license by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Install QuickTime on your slaves to create QuickTime movies from your own rendered frames.
Split up large frames into smaller pieces and distribute them over your render farm. Deadline® allows for single frames and frame sequences to be tile rendered. Available for 3ds Max, Maya, modo, Rendition, and Softimage.
Easy Installation and Upgrade Deployment:
Deadline® has gone through rigorous analysis to make the installation and configuration process smooth and efficient. A detailed document provides easy, step-by-step instructions explaining the various components that will be installed. In addition, Deadline® has the ability to auto-upgrade the whole render farm from a centralized deployment–an incredible time-saver for large render farms.
Auto Configuration allows studios to efficiently increase the size of their farm by removing the need to configure each new Slave individually. The Repository Path, License Server, and additional settings can be configured in a single location, and broadcasted to the slaves when they start up.
Remote Control and Farm Administration:
Stream the log from a Slave in real time, or start, stop, and restart Slave instances (as well as the remote machine on which it is running) remotely from within the Monitor. In addition, execute arbitrary command lines (applications, command line operations or batch files) on a single or group of remote machines to rollout software or install updates.
In addition, Deadline® integrates seamlessly with VNC and Remote Desktop Connection using custom scripts. These scripts can be modified or new scripts can be created to support other remote access software.
Access Control and Auditing
While full access is granted for all users to modify their own jobs, the User Group Management System prevents users from inadvertently disrupting other jobs, and allows Administrators to configure the types of actions available to each user group. An optional password protected Super User mode allows for global network administration.
Any command that affects a job or Slave is logged along with the originating user name and machine. This allows everyone, including project managers and supervisors, to track changes and troubleshoot issues with confidence. It also encourages responsibility and cooperation on the part of all users.
Reduced Energy Footprint:
Save on energy consumption, power and cooling costs with Power Management, a feature that shuts down idle machines and starts them back up when needed. This feature is available for render farms with machines that support WakeOnLan.