It’s been a while since we last announced software updates. But that doesn’t mean we had been dormant. In fact, the contrary is true. We were busy with the development and other projects, which we will talk more about later on.
We constantly strive to improve your experience using our render farm and hope to deliver more value to you. Our ears are always tuned to what you say and suggest. We’ve gathered feedback from the past six months and compiled a list of the most sought after feature requests.
Requests (sorted by most popular):
- Uploading projects – ability to render the same scene with different range or camera set without uploading again (IN PROGRESS)
- Downloading frames – ability to set a download folder per job (IN PROGRESS)
- Auto-download – ability to choose between auto/manual download on a per-project basis
- Farm queue – more info about the current farm traffic and queue (DONE)
- Notifications – expanded functionality of when and what notifications should be sent
- Users – ability to add users to an account and control their permissions
- Preview of frames in Web Manager
We understand your need for these features and we agree that they should be implemented. All of the features above have made it onto our TO DO list and as you can see, some of them have already been employed while some are currently being worked on.
Let’s cover the latest major updates.
We’ve added a feature that allows you to check your internet connection with our servers (upload, download, updates, API). In case you’re having issues with connecting to Beamer or getting frequent server disconnects, you can run this tool to see exactly how your connection to us shapes up. You can find this tool in the Beamer’s settings.
Manual upload of the render-ready scene
This feature allows you to prepare a scene to be render-ready on our render farm without the need to upload it via Beamer. When you check the ‘do not upload’ box in the settings, Beamer will only pack the scene and it won’t upload it to our servers. Now, you might wonder why we even bothered to add a feature like this. Well, we work with studios as well as large corporations. The latter tend to have certain network restrictions that won’t allow outgoing traffic, thus rendering our Beamer app unusable – at least in the context of uploading. You can now upload the packed project using any FTP client, unzip it, and submit it to render as normal.
This feature may also prove to be useful when you’re on a slow or unstable internet connection on which Beamer may not work properly. It gives you an alternative way to upload your project so that you’re never stuck. How cool is that?
OSX auto-updates and stability improvements
We have a ready and functional version of our software for Mac. Some features may act upon certain versions of OSX but we are continuously developing it to make it more stable. Recently, we’ve added auto-updater to Beamer that will update the plugins and the Beamer app to the latest version in case you’ve had an older one installed. That way you’ll be getting all the patches and new features as soon as they are available.
There isn’t much to talk about Maya besides the fact that our developers are working their butts off to perfect the plugin. Maya is a beast of its own and to cover all of its features requires a lot of work.
Full range render after a test without uploading
To run a test render and a full render, you had to upload a scene for each and change the frame range in the plugin in your 3D app before submitting it to the render farm. Not anymore. With the new update, every time you run a test render with step you can now render it in full straight from Web Manager without the need to upload it again. In the Jobs panel, when you right click on the job that was rendered with step, you can now select ‘Render full range’ to render that same scene in full range.
It is a very convenient way to test your scene to estimate its cost and render time before going full speed, and then rendering full range when the estimates as well as the output frames are acceptable to you.
Job queue is now displayed live at all time
We’ve heard your suggestions and requests. We listen carefully to what you’re saying and take time to select the requests that make the most sense both from overall user experience point of view and technical feasibility. Many of you have said you would like to know the traffic on the farm to make more cost-efficient decisions with submitting and managing jobs.
You can now see the farm queue live prior to submitting a job. You can see it in two places: in the job Submission Window and in the Jobs panel. Now, you’re in more control by having the ability to select priority appropriate to given farm load and your budget.
I bet you sometimes wonder:
“What it’d be like to have my own render farm…”
“If I could have a few super fast computers to render on whenever I want…”
“Only if rendering didn’t require so much CPU power and was easier to do overall…”
That burden is heavy so let us carry it. We’ll do the thinking and figuring out and we’ll make sure you don’t need to worry about render farms and rendering anymore. Be a creative like you’re supposed to and create more.
We’ve been working (secretly, so please keep it hush-hush) on something exciting that you have never seen before, or heard. We’re building a beast of a machine that will knock your socks off, literally. Are you ready to get those stills done before you even manage to open Photoshop to begin your comp work?
All we can say is it’ll have a lot of CPU threads. More than a hundred actually.
There’s more reasons for you to get excited. We’re always on the lookout for good partners in the industry. The type of partners that will help us up our game and also will help you up yours.
We’re partnering with Evermotion.org and CGTrader.com to bring you even better experience.
- Evermotion is the top resource for 3D models, articles, tutorials, and news
- CGTrader is one of the top 3D model marketplaces in the industry
We’ll be announcing more about our work with them and what you will get out of it in coming weeks.
Tutorials and content
We assembled a team of 3D experts and experienced render wranglers to create compelling content for you guys. We’re starting with a series of tutorials on optimizing and speeding up rendering process both locally and on render farms. The aim is to create extensive written guides that will later also become video tutorials.
The first part we completed recently is – How to speed up your renders in 3ds Max locally and on a render farm. Hope you like it and find it useful.
So this is it for this installment of software updates and news roundup. Till the next one.