Published on Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television acquired a Qube! render management
system to overcome bottlenecks when handling multiple student projects.
|Before adopting Qube!, LMU’s lab consisted of isolated desktops that limited students to rendering on single workstations, resulting in long render times that tied up computers and often prevented students from accessing their projects. Students would work on their animations with only a few test renders which left inadequate time for corrections if their project needed significant changes at the end of the term.|
|Through distributed rendering, Qube! allows them to go through more iterations more rapidly and achieve the final product, with any necessary changes, faster. Students had the opportunity to improve their skills and apply more creativity while learning to use a more professional render workflow that they could apply to jobs later on. A number of major studios are now using Qube! such as Digital Domain Media Group, Arc Productions, Method Studios and Image-Engine. Qube! is also a turnkey system that is easier for the technical team to maintain.
The system’s functions are programmable. For example, to fix the students’ gridlock, LMU’s Animation Technical Services Engineer Mark Allen and the PipelineFX support team set up a tool called aggressive pre-emption to increase render throughput. Lab workstations not in use could be switched over to use for rendering whenever students weren’t logged in to the system.
|If a student subsequently needed to log on, a script would run that immediately killed frames rendering on that machine. The disrupted frame would then begin rendering on an unused machine automatically, and the student was free to use the computer for other projects. In practice, this doubled the lab’s rendering output. www.pipelinefx.com|