We have been using Deadline with 3dsmax & vray more frequently over the last few weeks for stills in order to utilise all available resources within the office - one thing that seems to be stumping us is that the VFB History Autosave is completely disabled when rendering via deadline. For obvious reasons I can understand why this would be disabled for animation sequences, but for still images having the option to enable the history would surely have advantages for certain workflows.
For example: As I’m sure is the same with a good number of smaller practices, a high percentage of our workflow is in the form of stills & our current workflow seems to be quite monotonous…
1 - Set up first camera & finish test rendering - including adding all lens effects & corrections
2 - Remember to head over to Render Setup & add in the location to save the vrimg
3 - Deadline config & submit (head back to step 2 as we almost always forget under tight deadlines)
4 - Change to next camera & finish test rendering - including adding all lens effects & corrections (remembering to disable the above vrimg save location)
5 - Remember to head over to Render Setup & re-enable the save the vrimg (& also remembering to update the file name accordingly so that we don’t get conflicts / overwrites)
6 - Deadline config & submit (head back to step 5 as we almost always forget under tight deadlines)
7 - Repeat the above for remaining cameras in our scene
8 - One way or another get the vrimg back into our vfb history to ensure they are ready for region rendering once we have passed client comment stage (This is the one that causes the most issue as the corrections are not saved so they either need copying and pasting over from a previous test render if we kept one, or alternatively re-implement them from scratch. Also… the vrimg’s saved from deadline drop to the bottom of the history as they are not sorted in chronological order, they have no file names or additional detail such as camera render time etc which is a real pain in the backside for later house keeping)
Obviously, if the VFB History Autosave was functional, it would be as simple as set up your camera, submit via deadline & then see the images re-appear in your history once complete - the only consideration I can imagine is that Deadline will need it’s own overriding config options for the Autosave location to ensure that there aren’t any conflicts between nodes (I expect that these settings would be sticky within the deadline submitter as they wouldn’t need updating from job to job - And would also be accompanied by an enable / disable button which would be completely disabled if the job has an image sequence assigned).
I’m raising this on the ChaosGroup forum as well as on here, mainly as I’m unsure where the current restriction comes from. Fingers crossed someone can either point out the error of our ways or give us a quick fire solution to enable the render history.