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Missing LightWave plugin in shelf
3ds Max V-Ray
3ds Max V-Ray
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3ds Max Corona
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FAQ

3ds Max V-Ray

3ds Max V-Ray (CPU & GPU)

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

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 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 ".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 of plugins we don’t support, you will be informed about automatically upon sending a 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 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 such as from 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.
  • We support both V-Ray on CPU and GPU. Our system will use the same devices on our cloud farm to render your project according to your preferences. If you choose V-Ray RT (GPU), please note that we will use your settings for "V-Ray GPU Render Device" - depending on whether you choose CUDA or RTX, the same engine will be used to render the project.

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 (V-Ray)

Once your project is prepared, please locate the renderBeamer menu and hit Beam it up to open the plugin window. In the plugin GUI you’ll need to finalize the scene setup using one of the available render modes: Render as is (Default); Still image /strips (Still shot); Irradiance animation (Animation pre-pass & rendering); Irradiance camera (Camera fly-through & rendering). 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. This is crucial because each mode uses different GI and render settings and so selecting an inadequate mode will result in incorrect rendering.

Plugin UI for V-Ray render engine. On the top - mode selection box, in the middle - camera and render range setup, bottom - output and render settings

Plugin render modes for V-Ray 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 or for atypical GI setups like Brute Force with Brute Force, or Brute Force with Light Cache. We do not provide any GI caching options in this mode. Render as is doesn't have any additional settings either.
  • Still image /strips (Still shot) - This is our custom distributed rendering system. It’s designed especially for high-resolution still shots. It works with all kinds of GI setups. 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 bake switch, and connect your GI maps via the“from file” modes. They will be uploaded with your scene and used for rendering. Turning off bake will force our plugin to forward 2 jobs to the farm render queue - render and merge. When the bake switch is on you will receive 3 jobs - GI cache, render and merge. Still image /strips mode renders your scene with “strips” (horizontal or vertical render regions). After the strip render jobs are completed, strips are then stitched to one final resolution frame in a merge job. With “Still image /strips” mode, GI can be cached with all kinds of Irradiance maps and Light Cache combinations (like IR+LC, IR only, LC+LC, LC only and so on). GI setups like Brute Force + Brute Force cannot be cached. Please keep in mind that the usage of a non-cacheable GI setting sometimes can cause issues with GI rendering. For example, with BR+BR 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.
Additional settings for “Still image /strips (Still shot)” mode
  • Irradiance animation (Animation pre-pass & rendering) - This mode should be used for fully animated scenes which include object animations, materials changes, camera or light movement. Generally, if your scene contains more than an animated camera, you should use Irradiance animation mode. 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 Irradiance animation mode, GI is cached for each frame in the selected render range so if your scene is starting at 0 and ending at frame 100, you will receive 101 GI map files. Each GI map is calculated on a separate node, so the process is very fast and stable. Irradiance animation mode works only with Irradiance map & Light Cache. Before using Irradiance animation mode please make sure that your GI setup is set to Irradiance Map & Light cache! Otherwise please use the “Render as is” mode. 

    Irradiance animation (Animation pre-pass & rendering) mode has some additional settings you can use - turn on/off Store direct light and set Interpolation frames (for GI caching/bake job). By default, Store direct light is always on. This kind of setup is recommended by Chaos Group. Turning it off will force V-Ray to save separate files for the Irradiance map and Light cache. Interpolation frames (by default set to 2) is an option for GI blending between frames. We strongly recommend leaving both settings at default values.
Additional settings for “Irradiance animation (Animation pre-pass & rendering)” mode
  • Irradiance camera (Camera fly-through & rendering) - This mode should be used for scenes where the camera is the only animated object. Irradiance camera mode works only with Irradiance map & Light Cache. Depending on which settings you choose, this mode will create 2 or 3 jobs - a GI cache, a merge and a render job. The first job is for the GI caching - called the "bake" scene. The GI cache is calculated using the selected "bake step" parameter. For the GI cache job, we switch your current Irradiance map mode type to “add to current map” and Light cache mode type to “flythrough”. For render jobs, we use both GI engines in the “from file” mode. GI caching is done using the bake step and bake jobs parameters. 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) into one .vrmap (Irradiance Map cache) file. Before using the Irradiance camera mode please make sure that your GI setup is set to Irradiance Map & Light cache! Otherwise please use the “Render as is” mode.

    GI (IR+LC) cache can be calculated using one of two methods - single node or multi-node. With a single node setup, GI will be calculated on one machine. With a multi-node setup, your frame range will be split over several render nodes. Each of the "split" jobs will be cached with the selected bake step parameter. So, for example, if your scene is starting at frame 0 and ending at frame 100, you can make GI cache with the bake jobs parameter at 5. Our plugin will create 5 GI caching jobs using the 0 to 100 range, and each of them will be cached with the selected bake step parameter. After successful GI caching with a multi-node setup, our software will merge the parts of the Irradiance map into one big file and use it for rendering. Multi-node GI caching setup is recommended for scenes with render ranges of more than 500 frames.

    Irradiance camera (Camera fly-through & rendering) mode has some additional settings. First, you can select between single and multi node GI caching. Next, you can set a baking step value. Please keep in mind that the baking step will be used as the scene timeline calculation step - but only for the GI caching job! Render step can be set directly in the camera settings boxes. You can also turn on and off the Store direct light switch.
Additional settings for “Irradiance camera (Camera fly-through & rendering)” mode

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).

You can read more about the importance of testing and ways to estimate the render cost and time in our FAQ.

4. Use the plugin – camera settings (V-Ray)

Once you selected the plugin mode, you can now continue the workflow to the second part of the setup window – the camera and frame range setup. When you have multi-camera scenes, you can set multiple frame ranges for each camera all at once. The same kind of workflow goes for Still Image mode. Each camera in the scene will be rendered as a separate render job including a GI caching procedure, scene rendering and merging job (applies to strip mode). If you want to test your scene, just put some render step value in the camera frame ranges. For example, if a scene timeline is 0 to 100 frames, you can test it by putting s10 at the end of time value – 0to100s10, thereby making the job render every 10th frame.Once the test is rendered, you can then resume the job to render full range in your web dashboard without the need to upload the scene again.

Camera and range settings

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. Also, please keep in mind that Camera Animation mode with GI caching enabled will not allow you to change (or resume) the full range after the rendering. That’s because the GI is calculated for full range and it cannot be updated when re-rendering the scene with a different render frame range.

5. Use the plugin – render settings (V-Ray)

Once you set all your cameras and frame ranges, you can proceed to the last part of the plugin settings. This settings group is mostly a reflection of what you see in V-Ray settings plus output formats from the 3ds Max render setup.

Render settings - universal for each render mode

Dynamic memory limit – This option allows you to set RAM utilization border for V-Ray geometry and pre-processing. By default, it’s set to 28GB (28000). We strongly suggest leaving this setting at a default value unless your scene is really big with tons of additional xrefs or V-Ray proxies.

Bucket size –It’s set to 32×32 by default. If you are using 4k+ resolution, you can increase the size of render buckets (to something like 64×64), but please keep in mind that if a scene contains a lot of reflection or refraction materials, and the bucket size is too big, some buckets may “hang” on calculating the most reflective (or transparent) objects. That’s why we strongly suggest leaving the 32×32 setting as buckets, with 32×32 size are the most common for 1080p and similar resolutions.

Use Frame Buffer / Use Raw Image / Use Split Channels – these 3 switches are just on/off settings for 3ds Max + V-Ray outputs. By default, Use Frame Buffer should always be turned on. That’s because when using V-Ray the main output,the image and format are saved from the V-Ray frame buffer and not the 3ds Max main output. You can use Use Raw Image to turn on the multi-layer exr (or .vrimg) saving option.The Use split channels switch works in conjunction with Use frame buffer. It forces V-Ray to save main outputs with its default setting – separated from the main RGB channel and Alpha.

Use camera path Irradiance map/Light Cache – This switch is just a reflection of the GI settings. Our plugin reads those switches from your current render setup, so if you don’t want to change them, just leave this setting as it is.

Below that you can select output formats for the V-Ray output and 3ds Max main output. By default, selection lists are off. That’s because plugin reads those settings and just forwards them with the scene. If you want to change your V-Ray or 3ds Max output format, you need to turn on Overwrite extension switch.

Please keep in mind that turning on “Overwrite extension” will force both outputs modules to save them in a default setup. 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 extension” switch off. Otherwise, just turn it on and select something like “PNG” for V-Ray image file format and “JPG” for Max image file format.

V-Ray buffer gamma override – It’s off by default. This switch should be used ONLY if you need different gamma for V-Ray frame buffer and V-Ray RAW image outputs.

Below all the main output formats configurations you can find the V-Ray scene image file output. This selection list works along with the send .vrscene switch. You won’t be able to select output format from this list until send as .vrscene is on. This selection list is for rendering 3ds Max scenes as .vrscenes. You can do that by turning on the send as .vrscene switch. This option forces V-Ray to export the scene to V-Ray standalone. This can be used in various situations. For instance, when a 3ds Max scene is really big, or when most of the scene is compromised of V-Ray objects, or V-Ray proxies and similar solutions.More importantly, in most cases rendering a .vrscene (V-Ray standalone scene) is significantly faster than rendering a .max file.

Some of 3ds Max’s plugins may not be compatible with V-Ray standalone rendering. Especially plugins like scatters, or deformers/generators. Ideally, please change those kinds of objects to geometry before using the “send as .vrscene” switch.

merge XRef – This switch works similarly to the 3ds Max “merge object” function. Once it’s on, it will force 3ds Max to merge all external objects into one scene. This switch can be used when your scene contains many external x-refs scenes in different directories and network paths. Also, using .max scenes with merged x-refs makes the rendering on the farm faster and more stable because there’s no need for loading & reloading those assets.

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.

Our plugin automatically checks assets connected to the scene, so as long as you keep your scenes in one Project directory (e.g. C:\MyProject\Scene_1.max & \Scene_2.max and so on) your assets will be uploaded only once. If you move your .max scene to a parent folder - our plugin will treat it as new project and so will upload all assets as if they were new.

Once you’re done with the mode selection, camera range settings and render setup, just click the Send to farm button. Our plugin will create a temporary directory next to your .max file and will start preparing your project.It will then copy all connected assets and relink them.

Due to some network drive limitations of Windows and copy/move/rename operations on them, we advise against using network drives. Next, our 3ds Max plugin will check the farm .dll list with what you have locally. If there are any incompatible .dlls (3ds Max plugins) you will see a prompt with Continue and Cancel options. If those missing plugins (.dlls) can be skipped, just continue with the process. If those missing plugins are crucial in your project (and are not installed on the farm), please contact us.

After the complete project preparation process (depending on scene and assets size it can take several minutes) our 3ds Max plugin will redirect all data to the renderBeamer application which will take care of the file compression and upload processes.

6. Use the plugin – An overview of output settings (V-Ray)

There’s one rule you should remember – all outputs, settings, and file formats from 3ds Max Common tab, V-Ray Frame Buffer, and Render Elements settings are inherited by our plugin settings as well as the scene which is uploaded to the farm.

If you want to render the scene the same way as it is set up to render on your computer, just skip the ‘Render settings’ part of the plugin setup, select the render mode, frame range and cameras setup and click the Send to Farm button.

However, if you only want to change the output settings for the purpose of rendering on the farm, you don’t have to modify your scene’s settings every time. You can use our plugin output settings which will overwrite the settings of the scene you are uploading.

In the diagram below you can see how the scene’s output settings are inherited by our plugin.

As you can see all output formats and V-Ray frame buffer options are inherited by the plugin settings and can be modified if desired.

Separate render channels is inherited by plugin’s Use Split Channels option
V-Ray raw image file is inherited by plugin’s Use Raw Image option
Enable built-in frame buffer is inherited by plugin’s Use Frame Buffer option

3ds Max main output format (from Common tab) is inherited by plugin’s Max image file format

V-Ray frame buffer output format (from Common tab) is inherited by plugin’s V-Ray image file format

Let’s take a look at several things you should keep in mind.

The behavior of 3ds Max and V-Ray Render Elements (even when you render on your computer):

  • If you haven’t set the output paths and formats for Render Elements in Render Elements tab or in V-Ray Frame Buffer\Split channels, they will be taken from from 3ds Max main output settings.
  • If you are using Render Elements and V-Ray frame buffer is turned on you need to also turn on either Separate render channels or Use raw image file option and set up the paths and formats for them. If you don’t, then the render elements won’t be rendered! (even on your computer).

The behavior of our plugin:

  • Please remember that in all cases the 3ds Max main output (from Common tab) must be turned on with a path and format set (even if you don’t want to use those frames). It is needed for technical reasons and our plugin won’t allow to upload the scene when it’s not turned on and properly configured.
  • Please note that Overwrite extension in plugin options will use default options for the chosen format (like TIFFs or PNGs bit depth setup or internal EXR render layers). If you want to render to such formats with custom options, you need to set the output format in your scene and don’t use Overwrite extension in plugin options.
  • If you are used to saving your RGB outputs and Render Elements manually from V-Ray or 3ds Max Frame Buffers, please note the farm doesn’t save the images this way. They are saved accordingly to the paths and formats set on 3ds Max Main Output \ V-ray Frame Buffer and Render Elements.

Please make sure that the frames render correctly on your computer with given setup before uploading a scene to the farm.

You can read more about various output setup scenarios in a scene and our plugin in the last chapter of this guide: Extra: Scene and plugin output settings (V-Ray)

7. 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.
  • 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

8. Upload the project

Once our plugin completes the scene export, your project will be redirected to renderBeamer to be uploaded. In a nutshell, 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, use the 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 any time (more on that in the next step). You can also copy the link to the clipboard and manually paste it into your web browser.

renderBeamer window with upload confirmation and a link to add the job to render farm

9. Submit the job (add the job to the render queue)

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.

creating a job directly from the Web Manager file browser

Our system automatically detects your settings in the scene and uses them to render the job. Before submitting the job to the render queue, please make sure that everything is correct and make adjustments if necessary.

job settings: frame range, resolution, aspect ratio, bucket size

Frame range -  use this field to put in the frame range you want to render. Frame range example for animations: 1to740s1 - this is a sequence of 740 frames in total and all the frames 1 to 740 will be rendered. The parameter "s1" means that every subsequent frame in the given range will be rendered. If you want to do a test first, set a higher s value, e.g. "s20", which will result in every twentieth frame in the animation range to be rendered. So if you set the range to 1to740s20, then the frames 1,21,41,61,81,101,...,741,761 will be rendered.

If you have multiple cameras in your scene and you’d like to modify the frame range for all of them at once, you need to tick the checkbox to enable the frame range field.

If you only want to render a single frame (still image), you should input a single frame number into the field. For example, 1  will render the frame number 1.

Resolution - here you can set the output resolution in pixels.

Aspect ratio lock - if you need to change the resolution and want to keep a certain aspect ratio, you can use one of the available presets: 4:3; 16:9; 16:10; 21 9; 1:1. Leaving the option as "none" means that you are free to modify the values for the "Resolution" ignoring the aspect ratio.

Note

If you are going to render an animation or a still image, we always recommend that you perform a test before the final rendering:

  • For animations, the best way to get a cost estimate is to run a test of the scene on the farm with around 20 frames spread evenly across the range. For example, a frame range 1to200s20 will render every 20th frame as a test and based on that our system will produce a cost estimate for the full render.
  • For stills, please render the image in 1/5 resolution or any other smaller resolution. In the case of 1/5 resolution test, the cost of full resolution render will be 25 times bigger than the cost of a test. For example, if you want to render an image in resolution 5000x6000, run a test in 1000x1200 res first. If your test costs $1, then the estimated cost for the full res image should be around $25 (5 x 5 = 25). For a 1/4 test it would be $16 (4 x 4 = 16) and so on.

There's more information about running tests and estimating the cost in our documentation.

TIP

If you are going to render a still image in high resolution and your scene does not contain any post-production effects, then it’s recommended to use "Strips" mode in our plugin to speed up rendering by using multiple nodes simultaneously (see more info below).

job settings: output path/name, file extension

Output path - here you can find the default save path for rendered frames in the given job. The default output path is based on the name of your project and scene. You can edit this path if you clone your job and need to render a different range in that project.

Output file (w/o ext) - by default, the frames file name is set based on the name of your scene. If you want to create a unique name and/or you need to customize naming for the output according to your pipeline, you can set your own name for the output file.

Extension - a format for the main output file is the same as in your scene settings. However, if you want to change the extension to a different one, you can choose from the available options, i.e: BMP, CIN, EPS, PS, EXR, FXR, HDR, PIC, JPG, JPE, JPEG, PNG, RGB, RGBA, SGI, INT, INTA, BW, RLA, RPF, RGA, TGA, VDA, ICB, VST, TIF, VRIMG, DDS, CXR.

job settings: priority, version, retries

Priority - before adding a job to the render queue, you can decide how you want to prioritize it. Depending on the queue and farm traffic, a higher priority may allow your job to quickly acquire nodes to render your project faster. Each priority has a different rate and gives you a different number of nodes - a detailed list can be found here: https://garagefarm.net/pricing 

Note

For V-Ray GPU jobs, the low priority setting is not available. If you want to use the low priority option, adjust the scene settings for V-Ray CPU and submit a scene again.

Version - by default, the version of 3ds Max is set to the same version you have uploaded the project with. However, if you need to use a different version of 3ds Max than the one detected, you can choose a specific version available on the list.

Retries - the value for this option is set to 5 by default. This means that if a rendering process fails or the software crashes, our system will perform five additional rendering attempts. We recommend leaving this option set to default (value 5) as this is the optimal setting to retry rendering in the case of some random 3rd party software errors.

job settings: preferred hardware

Preferred hardware (node groups) - depending on whether you are rendering your project using V-Ray on CPU or GPU, our system will show you possible node configurations based on these settings. For CPU, in most cases, the default group is selected by default, but you can switch the node group button to a custom setup and select the particular group of nodes either based on CPU cores or RAM.

  • CPU - based on the CPU device you can select between a group of nodes based on the minimum amount of RAM available or the CPU type:
    • RAM preference: Min. 62GB RAM; Min. 121GB RAM
    • CPU preference: Intel Xeon v4 / 22cores, Intel Xeon v4 / 44 cores, AMD Epyc 3gen / 32 cores
custom hardware setup: node groups available for CPU
  • GPU - based on the GPU device your job will be assigned a node type with group 2xA5000.
default/custom hardware setup: node groups available for GPU

The full technical specification of nodes can be found here: https://garagefarm.net/pricing#specs

TIP

If you know that your scene requires more than 62GB RAM, then when adding a job to the queue select the group with 121 GB RAM or more to render more optimally only on nodes that have more RAM.

job settings: advances settings

Advanced settings

  • Job dependencies - if you want this job to start rendering after finishing another job that is in the queue, you can select it here. As a result, the current job will not start until the selected dependency job has finished.
  • Custom node version - if you need a different software setup (e.g. custom software version), put here the value you received from our support. Note that inputting a wrong number may cause errors during rendering. 
  • Custom script - if your job requires a modified environment or adding a custom script (prepared by our support team), e.g. custom plugin installation, select the available script from the list.

Note

The advanced settings above are empty by default, please do not modify them without consulting support first.

Mode - depending on whether you want to render particular cameras or scene states in your scene, you can select either mode using the dropdown menu.

job settings: cameras (cameras list)

Cameras - in this part of the submit window (cameras list) you can select all the cameras that you want to render, and you can also set an individual frame range for each camera. Each selected camera will be added to the queue and rendered as a separate job.

In case you do not select any of the cameras from the list, then the camera selected in the scene will be used as the default camera for rendering.

job settings: scene states (states list)

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

For each state, you can set an individual camera and range of frames. Each selected state will be added to the queue and rendered as a separate job.

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 the mode back to “Cameras”.

job settings: max subdivs, noise threshold

When you add a scene to the queue, these values for Max subdivs and Noise threshold are read from the render settings in your scene. You can modify them if you want to get a higher quality output. Also, alternatively, you can perform a test with a lower quality to see if given objects are rendered correctly. Both values have a switch that when disabled allows you to always use the scene settings without overwriting the values (set in the web dashboard). This switch is useful when you want to clone a job but are not sure what the original settings were when you uploaded the scene.

Max subdivs - if you need to increase or decrease the number of samples taken for each pixel, you can do it by changing the value in this field.

Noise threshold - The value of sampling a pixel is set to the same you have in your render settings. You can adjust the value to a lower or higher one. According to Chaos Group documentation, the typical values should be in the range from 0.001 to 100. Our system allows to put values from 0 to 10000.

job settings: gamma correction (gamma value in/out)

Gamma correction - our plugin reads your settings for gamma correction and automatically turns it ON when it detects it in your scene, while keeping the values for gamma in/out. In case you want to adjust these settings, you can do so by putting values into the fields, then the modified values will be used during rendering. Also, you can disable the gamma correction option altogether by unchecking the checkbox.

job settings: render frame window, job node limit

Render frame window - This option is equivalent to "frame buffer preview" in 3ds Max. When this option is enabled, you will be able to check the progress of rendering from 3ds Max's frame buffer window during rendering. By default, the "Render frame window" option is enabled for jobs with 3ds Max + V-Ray.

Job node limit - by default, the value for this option is empty and so the nodes are assigned automatically depending on the job priority and nodes availability on the farm. Nevertheless, if you want to limit the number of nodes for the given job, please put here the value of the maximum number of nodes you want to be used during rendering.

job settings: pixel aspect, render elements, continue on error

Pixel aspect - These settings are read from your settings in 3ds Max. You can adjust them here to fit the requirements of your output device, without the need to re-upload the scene.

Render elements - Our system automatically detects whether additional outputs (render elements) are set in your scene, and then it enables this option. In case you do not want to render additional render elements (despite the settings in the scene), you can disable this switch, then none of the additional outputs will be rendered or saved.

Continue on error - By default this switch is turned ON. This means that any error messages related to missing textures and other assets will be skipped. The calculations will continue and rendering will not be aborted. If you disable this option and, let’s say, your scene contains missing asset, rendering will not be possible and the process will fail.

job settings: strips

Strips - If you upload your scene using the "Strips" mode (in our plugin), then in the web dashboard you will have a visible additional option for strips.

The number of strips that is available depends on the scene resolution. By default, we set the number of strips you selected while submitting the scene via our plugin.

If you drop down (in the web dashboard) the list of available strips, you can see the "recommended" value for one of options.

The recommended value is calculated automatically by our system and it is the most optimal value as far as the cost and speed are concerned.

You can select any number of strips based on your preferences and needs. For example, you might want to choose more strips if you prefer speed over cost. Other time, fewer strips may be a viable option if you know that the scene loads a long time and the cost is your primary concern.

job settings: fpe (frames per execution)

Frames per execution - this option is only available for animations. By default, the value for FPE is set to 1 for projects rendered on CPU. This means that each frame will be rendered as a new execution (a separate task), in other words, the scene will be loaded on each node every time a new frame starts. 

The FPE (Frames Per Execution) option allows you to render several frames (the value you put in) in a row without the need to reload the scene on a render node, and potentially may improve rendering efficiency. If your scene has a long loading time but a short rendering time, you can set FPE to a higher value (for example 4). If the loading time is not long but the rendering time is long, leave the default value or set it to 1.

Detailed information on the use and examples of the FPE option in practice can be found in our dedicated guide: https://garagefarm.net/documentation/how-to-use-and-optimize-frame-per-execution-fpe

job settings: paused state, submit & cancel button

Add job as paused - if you tick this option and then submit your job, it will be added with the status “paused”. This means that it will not start rendering automatically. It is useful to use this option if you intend to add the job to the queue, but you do not intend to render it at the moment. After adding a "paused" job, you can resume it at any time by selecting the "resume job" option (right-click on the job).

Submit - when you press this button, the system will immediately add the job to the render queue. Please remember to check all settings before submitting a job!

Cancel - if you do not want to add the current job to the render queue or you want to reset your settings and add the scene again, you can use this option. The submission window with the settings for the given job will be closed and all changes will be cancelled.

switch for enabling the “Create video sequence from output frames” option

Create video sequence from output fram - You can create animated video outputs right after rendering frames. Select “Create video sequence from output frames” switch and set all desired video output settings. With the switch ON, the farm will run an additional job to render the frames sequence to a single video output.

additional job settings: Create video sequence from output frames

More info about the settings available in the "video sequence job" you can find in our dedicated article.

10. Monitor render progress

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 familiarize you with the service.

TIP

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

Note

The estimate is based on the currently finished frames and is approximated at that point. Rendering a test as prompted in the plugin (using a step i.e. 1to100s10) is highly recommended for more accurate estimates and detecting potential errors.

Jobs added to render queue and options available under the 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 click the arrow on the top right side to open the panel that shows jobs progress details.

Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames

The Job Details (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 Job Details 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 remember 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

For all jobs in 3ds Max, you can check the current progress from the frame buffer preview. Just click on the icon next to "show progress" option to open the window with the current progress for one of the first active frames from the active frame list.

You can also select a preview for any particular frame directly by clicking on the "show preview" option in the active frame list.

11. Download and review frames

Each frame completed rendering is downloaded automatically to your local drive to a directory you selected in the renderBeamer application. If you’re unsure where your download folder is located, you can double-check it or change it in renderBeamer’s settings (click on the cogwheel). Also, ensure 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 the 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 workflow will download all rendered frames for the selected job or jobs. However, renderBeamer also gives you an option to download individual frames. You need to use the list files function under RMB to do that.

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 the “open directory” option under RMB to open the folder where frames are saved.

Note

Please ensure you keep renderBeamer running whenever you have jobs rendering to get the frames downloaded immediately. It may happen, however, that your frames aren’t downloading at the given moment. It’s likely 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 application to sync.

12. Purchase credits

You’ll need to charge your account to continue using the service when you use up all your trial credits. 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. Also, you can purchase credits via Revolut or Zen.

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

Note

In case your account balance goes below 0, any current jobs will be paused - all frames/strips that were in the middle of rendering will be completed but any subsequent frames/strips will not start rendering. To download rendered frames, your account balance must be positive or equal to $0.

13. Contact us anytime

You can talk to 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.

EXTRA: Scene and plugin output settings (V-Ray)

Here are some example scenarios that show how our plugin output options work.

CASE 1

Scene setup:

3ds Max main output: turned ON

V-Ray outputs: Enable built-in frame buffer: OFF / Separate render channels: OFF / V-Ray raw image file: OFF

Render Elements: ON – With NO paths and format set

Plugin’s Overwrite extension switch: Not used

That’s the default 3ds Max setup – with no V-Ray Frame Buffer options used.

Note

Leaving output settings empty in Render Elements is not a correct practice, but it sometimes happens that scenes sent to the farm are set like that.

  • V-Ray built-in frame buffer is turned off in the scene and wasn’t turned on in the Use Frame Buffer plugin settings, so all plugin output switches (Use Frame Buffer / Use Raw image / Use Split Channels) are turned off as well.
  • Render Elements are set without output path or extension, so they will take the path and extension from the 3ds Max main output settings.( This is how 3ds Max works )NOTE: If you will turn on Overwrite extension in our plugin and select a different extension from Max image file format drop down menu – it will change output format for both 3ds Max main output, and Render Elements!

In this case, the plugin takes the 3ds Max main output setting from the scene (it’s set to .JPG). Therefore, all files will render to .JPG

After complete rendering, output files will look like this:

As you can see, everything is rendered correctly – the same way as it was set in the scene before running the plugin.

Scene setup:

3ds Max main output: turned ON

V-Ray outputs: Enable built-in frame buffer: OFF / Separate render channels: OFF / V-Ray raw image file: OFF

Render Elements: ON – With paths and output format set

Plugin’s Overwrite extension switch: Not used

  • This setup example is pretty much the same as the previous one except Render Elements have the output path, and extension set in the scene. Because of that, they will be rendered with their path and format, and the settings won’t be taken from 3ds Max main output, as in the previous example.
  • All Render Elements are set to .TIFF format and 3ds Max main output is set to .JPG.
  • This setup will be saved and forwarded to the scene uploaded to the farm (unless you will use the plugin’s Overwrite extension switch, and change the output formats.)

However, if you use the Overwrite extension switch (and change the 3ds Max main output image file format to a different one – (PNG for example),it will also change the extension for Render Elements!

After complete rendering, the output files will look like this:

3ds Max main output renders to JPG, and Render Elements render to TIF as it was set in the scene.

CASE 3

Scene setup:

3ds Max main output: turned ON

V-Ray outputs: Enable built-in frame buffer:OFF / Separate render channels: OFF / V-Ray raw image file: OFF

Render Elements: ON – With paths and output format set.

Plugin’s Overwrite extension switch: Turned ON for 3ds Max main output.

In this scenario, 3ds Max Main Output setup and Render Elements render setup stays the same as in Case 2 example.

In this case, only the plugin output settings will be set in a different way – we will use the Overwrite extension switch in our plugin. With this setting used, the scene outputs formats will be overwritten with a new one (.TGA.)

To select a new format for 3ds Max main output, you need to use the Max image file format drop down menu.

Note

V-Ray built-in frame buffer is turned off, so overwriting 3ds Max main output image format, for example to TGA will also change the Render Elements output format – even if they are set in the scene to .TIF or .EXR.

That’s how Overwrite extension works – it’s overwriting current selection to a new one.

After complete rendering, the output files will look like this:

As you can see, everything was overwritten to our selected format – TGA in this case.

Please keep in mind that CASE 1 – 3 scenarios are “dedicated” to users who are not using V-Ray built-in frame buffer in any form – neither standard VFB with Separate render channels switch, nor Raw image file saving options.

CASE 4

Scene setup:

3ds Max main output: turned ON

V-Ray outputs: Enable built-in frame buffer: ON / Separate render channels: ON / V-Ray raw image file: OFF

Render Elements: ON – With paths and output format set.

Plugin’s Overwrite extension switch:Not used

This is the most common setup for rendering with 3ds Max and V-Ray Frame Buffer. All the standard outputs are turned on.

So, we’ve got 3ds Max main output set to JPG, V-Ray built-in frame buffer turned on and set to PNG with standard, correct setup in Separate render channels ( the output path and the format are set), and some Render Elements added with the format set to JPG

The plugin setup window should look like this:

As you can see, the plugin reads all current scene output settings. Use Frame Buffer option is turned on and the same thing goes for Use Split Channels. For V-Ray frame buffer file format, the output formats are already set to PNG and for 3ds Max main output format to .JPG.

Note

3ds Max main output is set to JPG, so Render Elements get set to JPG as well when you add new ones to the list in Render Elements tab. Eventually, they will render to PNG format which is set in V-Ray built-in frame buffer\Separate render channels.

Since the Overwrite extension option in plugin’s settings isn’t used, the output formats will render as set in the scene.

So, we got the 3ds max main output rendered to JPG and the rest of the outputs (including Render Elements) to PNG.

CASE 5

Scene setup:

3ds Max main output: turned ON

V-Ray outputs: Enable built-in frame buffer: ON / Separate render channels: ON / V-Ray raw image file: ON

Render Elements: ON – With output paths and format set

Plugin’s Overwrite extension switch:Used on 3ds Max main output and on V-Ray built-in frame buffer output

This is yet another type of standard render output settings.

In this example 3ds Max main output is set to JPG, V-Ray built-in frame buffer is turned on with all options set – Separate render channels is set to PNG and Use raw image file to EXR.

Render Elements – which are set like in Case 4 example – are set along with 3ds Max main output to JPG, but in “real world” – the output settings are controlled by V-Ray frame buffer output format.

In this case, we want to get all the outputs in the same format, let’s say we want TIFs everywhere + additional output with RAW (EXR).

As you can see, we are using overwrite extension (to .TIF) in both outputs – 3ds Max main output & V-Ray frame buffer.

That type of setting will give us the certainty that all outputs are rendered to selected TIF in this case. Also, Use Raw Image is used and it will render to the format you have selected in your V-Ray Raw Image settings.

The scene has V-Ray Raw image output configured already, and we won’t overwrite it – even when the overwrite plugin option is turned on. V-Ray RAW buffer is more complicated, so we decided to not add an overwrite option to it.

After complete rendering you should receive files like this:

As you can see, we got all 3ds Max and V-Ray outputs saved as TIF and one additional output from V-Ray raw image file – EXR.

3ds Max V-Ray
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