Houdini / Redshift / Deadline Submissions with Takes


I’ve worked with Deadline in other packages but I’m new to the Houdini/Redshift combo.

I’m setting it up on a single machine for testing in general and also to create a workflow for a multiple submit-queue on a local machine. It’s not behaving as expected…

Deadline appears correctly setup (from repository to depot to slave) on the single machine. My current test is submitting multiple jobs from a single Houdini file that contains many Takes. Some of the Takes render the full sequence range, other Takes have FX elements that only appear for 20 or 30 frames so I have smaller frame ranges for those.

I’ve got a Deadline ROP node whose frame ranges reference the Redshift ROP, and those start/end frames are driven per Take. Deadline appears to be seeing those start/end values fine.

I’m going Take-by-Take and submitting the job. I get prompted to save the file each time, and I do. Doing this, though, causes the occasional ‘unexpected EOF’ error for an earlier submission from the same file. This is the first clue that I’m doing something wrong.

I submitted a dozen jobs last night this way. This morning, about 75% showed as finishing successfully but there was no output EXCEPT for some frames from the last submission, which hadn’t even started yet. :open_mouth: Also, the jobs took wayyyyyyy longer than they should have per frame.

Okay, now to the TLDR lightning round!

  1. By saving each successive file without the ‘Submit Houdini Scene’ file checked, did I just end up pointing each job to the most recent version of the file with no other parameters to follow? So whatever Take was active in the last save, that drove all the previous renders? Will checking the ‘Submit Houdini Scene’ drop the right/isolated saved-state scene file into the depot for the corresponding job?

  2. Is there a way for me to tell Deadline, “Hey, here’s this Houdini file with a bunch of Takes. Render them all!” ? If I wire the Deadline ROP into a Wedge instead of the Redshift ROP, will it still honor the changing frame ranges even though the Wedge won’t?

  3. Were the renders slow because Deadline was creating a new Houdini session for each task, as opposed for just opening a single session for the whole job?

  4. How do I tell Deadline to only open a single Houdini session per job, for all tasks, but still only render one frame at a time?

  5. And is leaving the GPU affinity set to 0 the same as saying ‘use all GPUs’, or is it just using the ‘0’ slot GPU?