7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 29, 2012 9:56 AM by Dave LaRonde

    Automatic Batch Rendering

    A Prods Paul

      Hi

       

      I'm trying to find out if something is actually possible or not.

       

      We're going to be working on a large CG production.  So we will be rendering lots of image sequences from 3DS Max.  One of the CG visual effects we are producing needs to be composited on top of every sequence before it is imported into Avid.  So essentially every shot has two corresponding image sequences.  One is the base render and the other is an overlay effect with alpha channel.  We want to avoid having someone importing all these sequences into After Effects and setting up render queues.

       

      So I was wondering if there was a way to set up a render farm that could automatically detect the image sequences and composite them together.  I imagine that if this was possible it would involve some kind of script.  I have no idea how to write scripts myself, but if I knew it was theoretically possible I would at least be able to find someone to write a script to do the job.

       

      Any advice appreciated.

       

      Paul

        • 1. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Short answer: Buy a render manager like Qube or Deadline. They have options to create projects based on scripts and template projects and can incorporate existing sequences. Scripts by themselves cannot run automatically - they always require someone to fire them up and those render managers do just that by launching an instance of AE that has those parameters in the command line while they are controlling your watch folders.

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
            A Prods Paul Level 1

            Interesting.  I'll take a look.

             

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              .....One of the CG visual effects we are producing needs to be composited on top of every sequence before it is imported into Avid. 

               

              Is there any specific reason why this has to be done BEFORE it's used in Avid?  Could it also be rendered once and once only as an apha-channeled movie, then used as the upper layer in Avid?

               

              Or could it be prerendered in AE with an alpha channel, then treated as just another piece of footage?

              • 4. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
                A Prods Paul Level 1

                We're going to be producing a lot of clips.  So the idea was to avoid having to import two versions of everything into Avid.  Files with alpha channels seems to take especially long to import.

                 

                I just wanted to find out if there was a way that the two layers could be combined without someone doing it manually.  Then we'd only need to import the combined version into Avid.  So my first thought was a render farm and After Effects.  I've now been told that we are getting a scripting guy to do some work on the 3DS Max side of the rendering so perhaps they might have some clever solutions.  We'll see.

                • 5. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                  The standard animation you mention can be prerendered with an alpha channel, imported into an AE project and used in every AE comp as a layer above every other layer. 

                   

                  In an hour's time, I'm pretty sure I could add a new alpha-channeled piece of footage to about 50 comps.  Perhaps more. 

                   

                  I'm not 100% positive, but I'd bet it would take more time than that to devise a script to do what you seek.

                  • 6. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
                    A Prods Paul Level 1

                    My apologies, I should have mentioned that this is for a series.  As far as I know it's 52 episodes with, in the region of, 150 to 200 shots per episode.  That's not including re-renders.  So although the compositing isn't complicated there is quite a lot of it.  This is all done on a very tight budget.  So the idea was to avoid this taking up someone's time.  Although, if in the end it is more efficient for someone to do it by hand, then that's what we will have to do.

                    • 7. Re: Automatic Batch Rendering
                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                      That's all the more reason to create the single animation as an alpha-channeled video and add it in the editing application.  You will avoid a LOT more rendering in AE.