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How can I transfer my files without access to renderBeamer? (FTP)
How can I transfer my files without access to renderBeamer? (FTP)
3ds Max V-Ray
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General workflow
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3ds Max Corona
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Maya Redshift
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Cinema 4D full workflow
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Maya V-Ray
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Blender full workflow
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SketchUp full workflow
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V-Ray standalone full workflow
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FAQ

3ds Max Corona

3ds Max Corona

Log in to Web Manager (web dashboard) at https://app.garagefarm.net and download our renderBeamer app for you operating system. 

Web Manager downloads panel

Install the renderBeamer app and start it. Once renderBeamer is done with the installation process, you need to choose the default download directory. This path will be used as the main output place for all your renders. Next, just log in using the account ID you received or your account email. Please keep in mind that the app should always be running in the background whenever uploading a project or downloading rendered frames.

renderBeamer startup windows - default download directory on the left, and login panel on the right

Once renderBeamer is installed and you’re logged in, you’ll see the Plugins panel. Plugins installation panel should automatically open after the first renderBeamer startup. You can also open it anytime you need to install additional plugins for your 3D apps.

renderBeamer 3D app plugins installation panel

Here in the plugins panel, you can install plugins that allow you to work with our farm. Once you installed the plugin for your 3D app, you can proceed to the next step.

Note

Please keep in mind that each 3D app (DCC) you use needs to have a plugin installed to properly connect to and render on our farm. 

2. Prepare the scene (global setup for all 3ds Max render engines)

Open your scene in 3ds Max and prepare it for rendering on a render farm.

  • Set the right resolution, file format with output path and cameras to render.
  • Set required render range. You can select between all available options (single, active time segment, range or selected frames). If you are using a multi-camera scene you can set different frame ranges for each camera in our plugin.
  • Make sure that your scene does not contain any missing assets and caches.
  • Animated textures - animation files (avi/mp4/etc) are not a valid option, also .mov files cannot be used. Please make it a frame sequence (jpg\png or so) and connect as an image sequence. You can use the ".ifl" sequence in 3ds Max.
  • External plugins - we support quite a lot of 3ds Max plugins, however, if you are using some atypical add-on, we may need some time to run a test with the plugin & our network rendering system. Also, we check for plugins used in the scene and compare them with our system. In the case when we don't support some plugins, you will be informed about it automatically upon sending the project. You may also contact our support team via chat from your web manager.
  • Outputs - they need to be configured the same way as rendering on a local machine. This includes 3ds Max main output, V-Ray frame buffer, V-Ray RAW image, Corona & Mental Ray outputs and any kind of render elements.
  • Render region should be off, however, should you require it, you can turn it on and omit our plugin’s warning.
  • Multiple cameras in one scene - our plugin supports this setup for stills, camera animation and full animation
  • Scene name and output paths should not contain any non-standard system characters like / \ " % # ? or language specific non-ASCII characters like the Cyrillic or Korean alphabet. If your scene contains such characters, it's always best to change them. If our plugin detects any special characters, it will convert them to "_" including output paths.

Note

Each render engine operates on different render options and features. Therefore, our plugin opens an appropriate GUI for you based on the render engine selected as “Production”.

3. Use the plugin - setting the mode (Corona)

Once the project is prepared, please locate the renderBeamer menu and hit Beam it up to open the plugin window. In the plugin UI you can prepare your scene for farm rendering.

Plugin UI for Corona render engine. On the top - mode selection menu. Next sampling settings and GI setup. In the middle - camera and render range setup. At the bottom - output format settings.

First, you’ll need to start with selecting one of the available render modes: Render as is (Default), Camera animation - bake and render, Still image - render / bake and render. Each render mode is specifically designed for a different kind of scene setup, so please make sure that you select a mode suitable for the type of scene you’re going to render.

Plugin render modes for Corona render engine:

  • Render as is (Default)  - In this mode your scene renders "as it is". It's useful for scenes with already pre-cached GI or for shots which do not need GI caching. Also, it can be used for scene testing purposes. We do not provide any GI caching options in this mode. Render as is doesn't have any additional settings either.
  • Camera animation - bake and render - This mode should be used for camera animated scenes. Our plugin creates two jobs in this mode. The first one for the GI caching - called the "bake" scene. The second job is the rendering scene. The rendering scene uses pre-cached GI maps from the first job. With camera animation mode, GI caching is done using the bake step range. The default baking step value is 10, so if your scene is starting at 0 and ending at frame 100, you will receive 11 frames cached (including the first and last frame).
Additional settings for Camera Animation mode
  • Still Image - render / bake and render - This is our custom distributed rendering system. It’s designed especially for high-resolution still shots. Depending on which settings you choose, submitting your scene with this mode creates two or three jobs - GI cache, render and merge. If you already have pre-cached GI, you can turn off the “Cache GI on farm” switch, and connect your GI maps via the “from file”. They will be uploaded with your scene and used for rendering. Turning off cache switch will force our plugin to forward 2 jobs to the farm render queue - render and merge. When the cache GI switch is on you will receive 3 jobs - GI cache, render and merge. Still Image mode renders your scene with “strips” (horizontal or vertical render regions). After the strip render job is completed, strips are then stitched to one final resolution frame in a merge job. Please keep in mind that the usage of non-cacheable GI setting sometimes can cause issues with GI rendering. For example, with PathTracing+PathTracing setup you can receive visible seams where the strips connect as each of the render nodes will be calculating GI from scratch when rendering the strip.
Strips render settings - on/off “Cache GI on farm” (for GI caching) and number of strips

Note

We strongly suggest to render high-resolution still shots only in “Still image” mode. Also, it's good to cache GI on the farm side (Cache GI on farm switch). With farm-side GI caching you can be 100% sure that the GI map is correctly cached, saved and used for the final rendering.

Note

Every render region (strip) will be rendered on one render node, so with higher resolutions and better quality, we strongly suggest using 20 or more strips. More strips will render the image faster (not always the case for smaller images). Also, your resolution must be divisible by a number of strips you want to use. Otherwise, the number of strips will be limited.

4. Use the plugin - render settings (Corona)

Once the mode is correctly selected, you can proceed to the next part - the render settings.

Progressive render limits - You can set the render quality with Pass limit, Time limit or just with Noise level.

Note

Setting Time limit to 1 second will not allow the plugin to send the scene, as 1 second time setup for rendering is reserved to GI caching procedure

Global Illumination setup - As for progressive rendering limits, GI settings are also read from your scene and mirrored here. If you are using UHD cache or 4k cache and have pre-cached GI maps, please remember to turn off the bake switch in our plugin and connect them to your scene using “from file” mode before sending the project to the farm.

All render settings displayed in the plugin are extracted from your scene, however, if you still want to change something, you can do it here, without going back and using 3ds Max render settings panels.

5. Use the plugin - camera settings (Corona)

Once you set quality controls & GI setup, you can proceed to Camera and render range settings. Here you can see all your renderable cameras. When you have multi camera scenes, you can set multiple frame ranges for each camera all at once. Each camera in the scene will be rendered as a separate render job - including GI caching. If you want to test your scene, you should put some render step value in the camera frame ranges. For example, if a scene timeline is 1 to 100 frames, you can test it by putting s10 at the end of time value - 0to100s10. Once the test is rendered, you can then resume the job to render full range in the web dashboard without the need to upload the scene again.

Also, please keep in mind that when rendering with still image - bake and render mode, you can only use single frame values.

Camera and render range setup

Note

Our 3ds Max plugin automatically checks your scene’s time setting and will not allow you to put in any frame number other than the scene timeline. For example, if your timeline starts at frame 10, you won't be able to input frame 0 in the plugin.

At the bottom of the plugin you can set additional farm render options.

Overwrite ext switch allows you to switch your already set output format to a new one. By default, your format is read from your scene, however, if you still want to change it, you can do it by ticking Overwrite ext switch and then selecting your desired format from the list.

Note

Turning on Overwrite extension switch will force the output format to save with default settings. So, for example, if you are using some internal settings for output (like TIFF48bit with alpha or similar setups for .exr outputs) we strongly suggest leaving the Overwrite ext switch off.

Next are additional output switches, used for output saving options:

  • save render elements separately - which will work only with multi-layer-output files (like EXR/CXR/FXR). This switch will force Corona to save all render elements as separate files instead of one-multi-layer output file. This switch solves 3ds Max & Corona multi-layer saving issues
  • render elements in separate directories - will force our render nodes to save each render layer in separate directory

The last option is New project name. This option should be used only when you’re working on a new scene (with new assets) from the same project directory. Otherwise, please leave this switch OFF. With this switch inactive, our plugin will not reupload any previously uploaded assets linked to the project.

Additional render settings - used only for farm rendering

Once everything is set just hit the “Send to the farm” button.

Note

You should always run a test job first prior to rendering a full range animation or full resolution still image to check for potential issues and to get an estimated job cost. For animations, try to render a shorter range or use step. For still images, you should render a smaller resolution job (i.e. ⅕ res). This is a very important step to follow which will help you fully test the service without potentially overspending your credits. To get a preliminary cost estimation, use our Cost Calculator. While this is only a rough number and it shouldn’t replace the actual testing, it’s a quick way to get a cost and render time estimate for animations (it doesn’t work for stills).

6. Use the plugin - additional settings for 3ds Max plugin

Our plugin has additional settings that allow you to adjust your rendering workflow and experience.

To check and set your preferred settings for our 3ds Max plugin, you need to click the "Settings" button in the top right.

Plugin settings - additional settings for 3ds Max plugin

In the settings window, you will find options such as:

  • Show confirmation prompt after preparing the scene - by default, this option is always turned on. When our plugin completes the process of preparing a project, it displays a prompt that the renderBeamer application has started uploading the project files.

If you want the scene to reload automatically without being prompted everytime, turn off this option in the settings.

  • Upload original Max scene for Vrscene - this option refers to the “send as .vrscene” setting available in the plugin submit window (for projects with the 3ds Max + V-Ray setup). When enabled, our plugin will upload the .max file together with the .vrscene whenever “send as .vrscene” is used. By default, this option is disabled to skip the unnecessary transfer of a .max file.
  • Show scene state warning - this option refers to the scene setup using V-Ray. When you use “scene states” in your scene you always get a warning that the scene states feature is not supported and that it may cause errors when saving outputs (for Render Elements).

If you want to disable this prompt, you can do it here by unchecking the box.

  • Render Stereo V-Ray as a separate job - when you use "V-Ray Stereo Camera" in the scene, by default our plugin splits the main view into two separate jobs - the left view and the right view. This setting allows you to render your project in an optimal way (each view on a separate node). If you need to get one main view from the stereo camera, without splitting it into two separate views, you need to uncheck the box.
  • Select .anipack file manually - by default, our plugin will automatically handle Anima assets and export the necessary files to .anipack, but in exceptional cases when such a workflow does not work automatically, it is recommended to enable this option. When enabled, in the process of collecting all the assets and preparing the scene for upload, our plugin will ask you to select the .anipack file which will be used to render the project.

7. Upload the project

Once our plugin completes the scene export, your project will be redirected to renderBeamer to be uploaded. renderBeamer is a standalone uploader/downloader application that works in conjunction with our plugins. Simply put, it takes care of the file transfers.

After the scene has been fully uploaded, the app will show you a window with a direct link to your scene on Web Manager (web dashboard). To continue just use click here to submit job button. If for some reason you closed the window with the link or it didn’t work, don’t worry, you can locate your project in the web dashboard and submit your scene by clicking on the scene file later (more on that in the next step). You can also copy link to clipboard and manually paste it into your web browser.

renderBeamer window with options to add job to render farm

8. Submit the job

Now that your project is uploaded you will need to follow the final step - creating and submitting a job to render farm. Web Manager is a home to all your projects and render jobs.

If you followed the link generated earlier by renderBeamer, you will now see the job submission window with several fields and settings. If you didn’t follow the link or it didn’t work, you can do it manually by locating your project in the Projects panel, finding the scene file within the project folder (in your folder structure look for the folder called “data”, i.e. Project_name/data/SceneName.max), and clicking on it to open the job window.

Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser

Depending on used software, scene settings and plugin mode, the job submition window may look different. 

3ds Max with Corona has many options that can be changed directly on Web Manager.

Before using the “Submit” button, you can still edit resolution, output paths (including output file name), control quality settings (Pass limit and Noise limit boxes) and turn on/off cameras. Also, you can edit the frame range for each cam. For example, you can set every camera with “s10” value - which will render “every 10th” frame as a test.

If your scene contains scene states, our plugin automatically detects them and forwards all states settings along with job upload. You can render scene states by switching the mode to “States” (instead of cameras).

Mode switched to “Scene states”. You can still edit cameras and render range - directly on Web Manager, without the need to reupload the scene. Also, if you still want to render just a camera - you can switch mode back to “Cameras”.

Note

You can also create animated outputs right after rendering frames. Select “Create video sequence from output frames” switch and set all desired video output options. With the switch on, the farm will run additional job to render frames sequence to a single video output. The video job is usually very fast and costs only a few cents.

Video output settings. Animated output can be created directly when adding a render job in Web Manager


You can choose between three priorities when submitting a job: High, Medium, and Low (more info about priorities on Pricing page and FAQ page). You will also see information about the queue length for each priority, which should help you decide which priority to use.

After giving your render settings a final check and choosing your preferred priority hit Submit to add your job to the render queue. If you’re a first time user, you will have received $25 worth of credit to test out our service. The credits should be enough to run a few test jobs and get you familiar with the service.

TIP

You can right click on the job to get additional options: change priority, pause job, kill job, and archive job.

9. Monitor render progress

jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button

When the job has started rendering, you can check the real-time progress of currently processed frames. To do that, just select the render job from the main project list and then click the arrow on the top right side to open the progress panel.

Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames

The Progress Panel (the panel on the right side of the screen) will show its content only when any of the jobs is selected. The panel is divided into 3 sections.

Active frames - it shows currently rendering frames. When a frame finishes, it is moved to the second section Done frames. If you select any frame in the Done frames list, you can then access the render output process log in the bottom section called Process results.

TIP

When you’re in the Progress Panel and right click on any of the currently rendering frames in the “Active frames” section, you can access the real-time render log from our nodes.

Note

Please keep in mind that if a job has finished rendering, the frames list in the “Active frames” section will be empty because all frames are already rendered and the list is moved to “Done frames”.

real-time render log from our node accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB

10. Download and review frames

Each frame that has completed rendering is downloaded automatically to your local drive to a directory you selected in the renderBeamer application. If you’re not sure where your download folder is located, you can double check it or change it in renderBeamer’s settings (click on the cogwheel). Also, make sure you have auto download turned on to get the frames downloaded as soon as they are available. If this box is unchecked, you will have to click on each job in Beamer's "downloads" tab, and manually download the frames.

renderBeamer default settings with auto download ON

If you prefer more control over what to download and when, you can also download your frames manually. To do that, just turn off auto download switch in renderBeamer settings and go to the “downloads” tab. Next, select the desired render output using a checkbox, and click the download button. 

renderBeamer downloading frames for a selected render job

This kind of workflow will download all rendered frames for the selected job or jobs. However, renderBeamer also gives you an option to download individual frames. To do that, you need to use the list files function under RMB. 

renderBeamer listing files option for selected render job

Once files for the selected job are listed, just roll down the list and select the files you’d like to download using checkboxes. Next, use the same download button.

renderBeamer downloading only selected frames from a render job

Once your frames are downloaded, you can use open directory option under RMB to open the folder where frames are saved. 

Note

Please make sure you keep renderBeamer running whenever you have jobs rendering to get the frames downloaded right away. It may happen, however, that your frames aren’t downloading in the given moment, and most likely that’s because our application syncs the files in 15 minute cycles and it is currently in between the cycles. You can click refresh to force the check without waiting for the next sync cycle.

11. Purchase credits

When you use up all your trial credits, you’ll need to charge your account to continue using the service. Please note that when your balance goes below $0, you won’t be able to download rendered frames or start new render jobs. You can make payments in the Billing panel in Web Manager. We accept debit cards, credit cards, PayPal and DotPay payments.

If your rendering needs are high or you plan to render regularly, please make sure to check out our volume discounts.

billing panel where you can buy credits, view cost & payment history, and view discounts

12. Contact us anytime

You can talk to the GarageFarm.NET’s tech team any time of the day, any day of the week. We’re here to help you get started, answer your questions, and assist you in any way. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout.

You can contact us through our live chat accessible in the web dashboard or our desktop app when you log in to your account or message us here through the guest chat.

We also recommend checking out our FAQ page which answers most of the questions new users have.


3ds Max Corona
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