Tag Archives: Thinkbox Software

Thinkbox particle plug-in for Max upped to V2, beta version for Maya available

Thinkbox Software has updated Frost MX, its meshing particles and fluid simulations plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max, to version 2.0. Thinkbox has also launched the beta for Frost MY 2.0, the Autodesk Maya version of the plug-in.

Frost MX 2.0 now offers twice the speed in particle meshing modes than previous versions. Its integration with V-Ray V.3.1 and higher enables customizable particle scattering for distributing and rendering millions of mesh instances in Custom Geometry meshing mode.

The new V-Ray Instancing mode leverages dynamic memory allocation to render millions of high-resolution meshes with low memory overhead. Frost MX 2.0 continues to support all Custom Geometry features in V-Ray Instancing mode, including particle channel propagation, material and shape ID controls, animation timing offsets and motion blur from particle velocity. Coupled with the advanced particle generation and Magma data channel manipulation capabilities offered by Thinkbox’s Krakatoa MX, which is available at no extra cost via the License-Free mode, the V-Ray Instancing feature offers a whole new world of power and flexibility to Frost users.

“The latest version of Frost is a massive leap forward in terms of speed. By stripping away much of the computational burden traditionally associated with data-heavy particle meshes and fluid simulations, we’re enabling artists to work more dynamically and see their work come to life more quickly,” reports Chris Bond, founder of Thinkbox Software.

Additionally, the new Region of Interest option in Frost MX 2.0 lets users easily define a custom bounding box region that can be applied to Viewport meshing for faster previews while adjusting settings of complex particle data sets, to remove unwanted areas in Render-time meshing, or both. A dedicated Frost menu bar has been added to 3ds Max’s main menu for faster access to major features such as creating Frost objects, auto-adding new sources to a Frost object, accessing the Log window, and mass-changing the meshing mode of selected Frost objects.

Frost MX 2.0 is available for 64-bit versions of 3ds Max from 2012 to 2017, and requires an updated license.

For beta access to Frost MY 2.0, email beta@thinkboxsoftware.com.

Thinkbox addresses usage-based licensing

At the beginning of May, Thinkbox Software launched Deadline 8, which introduced on-demand, per-minute licensing as an option for Thinkbox’s Deadline and Krakatoa, The Foundry’s Nuke and Katana, and Chaos Group’s V-Ray. The company also revealed it is offering free on-demand licensing for Deadline, Krakatoa, Nuke, Katana and V-Ray for the month of May.

Chris BondThinkbox founder/CEO Chris Bond explained, “As workflows increasingly incorporate cloud resources, on-demand licensing expands options for studios, making it easy to scale up production, whether temporarily or for a long-term basis. While standard permanent licenses are still the preferred choice for some VFX facilities, the on-demand model is an exciting option for companies that regularly expand and contract based on their project needs.”

Since the announcement, users have been reaching out to Thinkbox with questions about usage-based licensing. We reached out to Bond to help those with questions get a better understanding of what this model means for the creative community.

What is usage-based licensing?
Usage-based licensing is an additional option to permanent and temporary licenses and gives our clients the ability to easily scale up or scale down, without increasing their overhead, on a project-need basis. Instead of one license per render node, you can purchase minutes from the Thinkbox store (as pre-paid bundles of hours) that can be distributed among as many render nodes as you like. And, once you have an account with the Store, purchasing extra time only takes a few minutes and does not require interaction with our sales team.

Can users still purchase perpetual licenses of Deadline?
Yes! We offer both usage-based licensing and perpetual licenses, which can be used separately or together in the cloud or on-premise.

How is Deadline usage tracked?
Usage is tracked per minute. For example, if you have 10,000 hours of usage-based licensing, that can be used on a single node for 10,000 hours, 10,000 nodes for one hour or anything in between. Minutes are only consumed while the Deadline Slave application is rendering, so if it’s sitting idle, minutes won’t be used.

What types of renderfarms are compatible with usage-based licensing?
Usage-based licensing works with both local- and cloud-based renderfarms. It can be used exclusively or alongside existing permanent and temporary licenses. You configure the Deadline Client on each machine for usage-based or standard licensing. Alternatively, Deadline’s Auto-Configuration feature allows you to automatically assign the licensing mode to groups of Slaves in the case of machines that might be dynamically spawned via our Balancer application. It’s easy to do, but if anyone is confused they can send us an email and we’ll schedule a session to step you through the process.

Can people try it out?
Of course! For the month of May, we’re providing free licensing hours of Deadline, Krakatoa, Nuke, Katana and V-Ray. Free hours can be used for on-premise or cloud-based rendering, and users are responsible for compute resources. Hours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and any unused time will expire at 12am PDT on June 1.

Thinkbox at SIGGRAPH with cloud-enabled pipelines

Thinkbox Software showed off some new features from the upcoming new release of Deadline, a high-volume compute management solution that enables studios to link any combination of local and cloud-based resources into one logical pipeline. Currently entering beta testing, Deadline 8 will introduce on-demand metered licensing to work with both local and cloud-based farms alongside existing permanent and temporary licenses.

houdini_jigsaw

Deadline 8 also adds a Proxy Server application that allows users to securely connect to and interact with remote and cloud-based render farms over public Internet without the need for a virtual private network (VPN). The new version includes an updated user interface with enhanced interactivity and a new sandboxed Python environment to facilitate additional rendering and event stability.

Currently, Deadline supports cloud rendering on Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and OpenStack, among others.

Leading up to SIGGRAPH 2015, Thinkbox released Deadline Cloud Wizard for Google Cloud Platform and a beta version for Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). These wizards automate the configuration of cloud-based render farms running Deadline into a one-time automated task completed in less than 30 minutes. Similarly, Deadline was made available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace for one-click access to the software.

Thinkbox also recently launched the beta for Deadline 7.2. New features include new Quick Draft options to create movies from rendered images or perform file conversions without having to create template scripts. Integration with NIM Labs’ NIM pipeline management tool enables the creation of NIM renders, and automates the uploading of thumbnails and movies to NIM when jobs complete. Enhanced support for SideFX Software’s Houdini introduces Jigsaw region rendering, HServer interactive rendering, and HQueue simulation node slicing.