Deadline’s unique architecture removes the need for a centralized manager application by using File Sharing to manage the farm. As long as your server machine is running, Deadline® is running.
Intuitive User Interface:
Built with your creativity in mind, Deadline’s UI has evolved in response to extensive feedback from artists. Instead of web pages, mysterious elite terminology or strange multi-platform UI widgets, there is a single, integrated Monitor UI.
For job submission, Deadline® offers integrated submission dialogs for 3ds Max, After Effects, Blender, Cinema 4D, Composite, Fusion, Generation, Houdini, Lightwave, Maya, 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-in 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 either an automatic instant message notification or an 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 can be configured to store job and render farm statistics in the Repository, or in an existing Postgres database. Using a Postgres database allows studios to write their own queries to gather the information they need. Any existing Deadline statistics currently stored in the repository can be easily imported into the database. In addition, if the database goes offline, Deadline will write the statistics to the repository so that they can be imported into the database when it is available again.
Deadline integrates with Shotgun to enable a seamless render and review data flow. When Deadline starts a render, a version is automatically created in Shotgun with key metadata. When the render is complete, Deadline updates Shotgun 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 Deadline's Draft plugin, 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 email@example.com.
Install QuickTime on your slaves to create QuickTime movies from your own rendered frames. As an alternative, Deadline® also allows users to create QuickTime movies with Fusion.
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, XSI, Modo, and Rendition.
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:
Start, stop and restart Deadline® slave remote instances (as well as the remote machine on which it is running) from within Deadline® Monitor, or 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, Remote Administrator, Remote Desktop Connection and Apple Remote Desktop to provide effortless remote access to desktops across the render farm. Finally, Remote Mode can be used to improve performance when connecting the Deadline® Monitor to the Repository over a VPN connection
Access Control and Auditing
While full access is granted for all users to modify their own jobs, Deadline´s Access Control System prevents users from inadvertently disrupting other jobs. An optional password protected Super User mode allows for global network administration. Super Users can configure the types of actions available to each user on their jobs–including which individual job properties users can modify after a job as been submitted.
Any command that affects a job, slave or task 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 Deadline® users.
Reduced Energy Footprint:
Save on energy consumption, power and cooling costs with Deadline’s 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.