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HOUDINI REDSHIFT rendering every nth Frame without restarting plugin

Hi everyone, new to deadline, coming from backburner.

i have read through the post, and understand that this is expected behavior from deadline, but wanted to see if there are any way around it.

i am submitting a job 0-1000 rendering every 2nd frame (0-1000by2) from Houdini, rendering with REDSHIFT.

job is listed in deadline as expected, 0,2,4,6,8,10… however deadline will launch houdini for each frame, and once the frame is done, closes houdini, and restart houdini for the next frame.

the thing is since i am running redshift, each frame is under 1 min render time, but because of this restarting behavior, the render times are about 2-3 min per frame. i guess if frames take 30min+ perhaps this becomes smaller issue, but with GPU rendering, and testing, its quite difficult to swollow. so in truth, its much faster to just render in houdini.

again, i have read the forum, and understand this is expected behavior, but was really hoping for some way around it?

i know this is a wrong forum for this question, but can hQue do this better?

thank you for any help in advance!

Do a bigger range, if splitting between two machines 1000 frames then set the task size to 500, then it should process 500 without restarting

Thank you anthonygelatka for responding, however, think there has been a misunderstanding ; )

so yes, if i am doing sequential rendering from 0-1000 (0,1,2,3,4…), increasing the “frames per task” to larger number at least groups them up.

however, if i am trying to do every nTh frame, say 0-2000, but frames 0,2,4,6,8… no matter if if i group them up to larger “frames per task” they will all be submitted as individual frames/tasks.

and deadline will treat each frame as a separate task, restarting Houdini every frame.

problem is you usually render out every say 5th frame to test animatic or render test, usually submitted at lower quality or resolution for speed. however, because i am rendering in redshift, just rendering the whole 5 frames (basically every frame sequentially) is faster than having Houdini restart every frame.

again, i have read the forums and understand this is expected behaviour (my understanding is that not every application can handle skipped frames), but was wondering if there are any workarounds since Houdini do natively support skipped frame rendering.



Since Houdini won’t take a frame range like 2,4,6 we’re stuck starting houdini for each frame. Would using the Redshift Standalone plugin help you get around startin Houdini each time?

Might be worth checking with SideFX, I’m sure there must be a way to pass $F and not have to restart houdini each frame?

Thanks Justin, Anthony.

inside houdini itself, user can set the range to be 1-1000 every 2nd (or any other nth frame).

however, i am assuming what you are referring to a commandline parameter? that houdini does not take frame ranges as parameter? but maybe start and end frame?

regarding the redshift standalone, i have read this as an answer to Maya nth rendering as well.

i will have a look, but for obvious reasons, i would like to stay within the workflow as much as possible, as rendering nth frame is usually for rapid testing or prototyping. and would like to not have too much hurdle just to iterate.

Hi Justin, actually did some research.

my understanding is that deadline launches render using commandline? (or python)?

in commandline rendering it seems we can give parameter to render nth frame

with “-e”: -f start end Frame range start and end
-i increment Frame increment

is this something we can use to send nth frame render into houdini?

Yeah, we could use this!

If you open up /DeadlineRepository/plugins/Houdini/ you’ll see a RenderArgument method. That takes settings from the job submission and builds the command that we run Houdini with.

If you’re handy with Python you can customize this to read an additional setting to make use of -i. You’d also have to customize the submitter to set that as well. Both of those changes should be pretty minimal as you can copy how we’re already doing it.

Before making any changes, first copy the plugin/submitter folder into /custom so that your customizations don’t get blown away by an upgrade.

Thanks justin, my python skill hopefully is enough for me to get this tested.

i am new to deadline forums, but really finding great resources and active community and staff.

i was wondering what happens to all these offshoot or brenching? for example this nth frame rendering could benefit everybody, i don’t mind making alterations for it, but do these kind of suggestions or modifications gets added into the main destribution?

or is it common for people to build up their own deadline plugins (which i get the feeling lot of big studios do, but i am a very small company)

that all being said, each submitter plugin does not seem to change too much from each release, so perhaps its common to carry around a custom submittter?

thanks for all your help so far!

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It kind of depends on the change and how many people ask for it if it’s going to make it into base Deadline. Something like this makes sense to add but I can’t say when it’ll happen.

It is pretty common for studios to customize submitters as some of the plugin submitters can have an overwhelming number of options and a simpler submitter makes training new artists much easier. Or like in your case they want to make use of options that our code hasn’t made available.

Since you’re going down the scripting in Deadline rabbithole I always like to highlight Event Plugins and the Scripting Overview.

Be great to see these improvements being proactively implemented by the team, been a while since any application updates have been put through, despite many requests on the public forum (r23 etc)

be great to see this kind of thing put through and seems relatively simple also?

I hope it’s appropriate to revive this post.
Rendering nth frame without restarting Houdini would greatly improve our workflow. If someone has a ready solution, please share it.

So I made it:

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