I just want to render a frame!

February 8th, 2005 by Patrick Boucher - Viewed 12467 times -

A while back one of the guys here comes up to me and tells me that he wants to render a frame.

“Good for you! Go right ahead, you have my blessings!” – I tell him.

He then proceeds to make me understand that he can’t. If he wants to render out a single frame of only a few passes in his scene he has to go into the options of each pass, change the frame range and only then render each pass one by one. Then he has to remember to reset his settings by hand or next time he’ll throw something out to the render farm, he’ll only have single frames.

You kidding me?

If this isn’t a neat little place for some quick and dirty automation, I don’t know what is!

I go back to my desk and start writing up a little solution for his problem. Now if Softimage ever reads this, this kind of tool is something you need out-of-the-box in the interface.

It’s a self-installable plug-in that you can drop in your favorite workgroup. When you do so you’ll have two other items in your render menu:

  • Render Current Frame
  • Render Frame Selection

Render Current Frame

Just select a few passes and press this button. The current frame will be rendered out for each selected pass and an evaluation of the time it took to do so will be displayed. If no passes are selected, only the current pass is rendered.

Render Frame Selection

Just select a few passes and press this button. When the popup appears you’ll have the option to select a frame range you want rendered and the rest is like the previous command. The text field is particularly neat when only a couple frames of a render farm dispatching have failed and you want to restart them on your local computer. You can put down a string of the following format, \d(-\d)?(,\d(-\d)?)+, and it will render a discontinuous sequence.

The tool gives you an evaluation of the time it took to render out the selected frames because before our animators throw out a job to our render farm they need to know approximately how much time each frame takes. You can easily comment that part of the tool out if you wish

This being said, download away and keep me posted if you like this little toy.

9 Responses to “I just want to render a frame!”

  1. Francois Lord says:

    Thanks Patrick. This is really cool and useful!

  2. The fact you work at the same place I do and that you”re one of the guys who asked for this doesn”t indicate bias, does it? ;)

  3. [...] g self-installables, you should. Hopefully this little case study of my publicly available PB_Render can give you a little hand in getting started. First of all we’ll look at what makes a self-installa [...]

  4. Marc-André says:

    Thanks Patrick. Very useful tool. Especially for lighting folks who want to pre-comp something quick.


  5. Gene Crucean says:

    Nice little script P. I just wanted to say thanks.

  6. Thank you! Very helpful!

  7. Gene Crucean says:

    Was talking with a coworker today and we thought a nice little addition to this would be to have a “Current Frame for all passes” option.

    mmmmm… smooth like butter :)

  8. A late “thank you” !
    You have saved me a lot of time with this litte helper!

    Stay creative

    - Germany-

  9. Very handy, thanks!!! No more forgetting to set the frame range back before it goes to the farm!