How To Maya

Rendering Maya Projects with HTCondor

This was known to work in 2004.

Using condor_render to produce a submit file

condor_render will examine a Maya scene file (binary or ascii format) and produce all of the files necessary to run the rendering using the HTCondor batch system.

How it works

In order to render a Maya scene file on a remote machine, HTCondor must be able to provide the remote machine with all the files necessary to perform the rendering. This includes the following:

  • External texture files
  • External file references
  • Texture files specified by the external file references
  • File references specified by other file references

Once all of these dependencies are gathered, new temporary copies of the Maya files are created with all of their file and texture references pointing to the current working directory. Finally an HTCondor submit file is created that carves the animation up into small blocks so that each block can be rendered in parallel.

Installing condor_render on Windows NT/2000

First, download the latest copy of condor_render . Next, unzip the file, placing the new files in the C:\condor_render directory and add this directory to your PATH environment variable. If you wish to install the condor_render files someplace else, make sure that the directory is in your search PATH and that you set the environment variable CONDOR_RENDER_PATH=[install directory] with no trailing slashes.

Installing condor_render on Linux

First download the source , unzip and type make . Copy condor_render to ~/condor_render and add this directory to your PATH environment variable. If you wish to install the condor_render files someplace else, make sure that the directory is in your search PATH and that you set the environment variable CONDOR_RENDER_PATH=[install directory] with no trailing slashes.

Preparing the HTCondor Submit File Header

In the condor_render installation directory there is a file named condor_render.hdr . This file contains the default behavior for every HTCondor job you create using condor_render. Most of the defaults in the file should work fine for most situations, with the exception of the Executable line. This line should contain the full path to the Maya renderer ( render.exe ). Because of the current limitations of CondorNT, if render.exe is located on a network drive you must create a batch file on the local drive that calls render.exe on the network drive, e.g.

@T:\cs.wisc.edu\s\maya-3.0\i386_nt40\bin\render.exe

and give the path to the batch file on the Executable line. In the same manner, the environment variables listed in the Environment line, MAYA_LOCATION and MAYA_ALT_EN , should be set appropriately for your site.

Running condor_render

If condor_render is run without any arguments, a help screen is displayed that explains all of the currently available options. If condor_render is successful, it produces an HTCondor submit file called condor_render.sub and calls condor_submit to add your rendering jobs to the job queue. If condor_submit is not in your search PATH, condor_render will inform you that the submit failed and you will have to run condor_submit manually.