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HomeCraftsAnimationThinkbox Software Launches Deadline 6.0

Thinkbox Software Launches Deadline 6.0


Thinkbox Software has announced the release of Deadline 6.0, the latest version of the company’s popular render farm management system for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX-based render farms. Rebuilt from the ground up using Digia’s Qt development framework and a MongoDB database, Deadline 6.0 facilitates identical performance, scalability and flexibility across all platforms.

“Deadline 6.0 is a major evolutionary step forward for an already mature network rendering system it’s as if a Volvo got a Ferrari engine,” Scanline VFX senior technical director, Laszlo Sebo said. “The new MongoDB-driven core surpasses all expectations. It’s extremely fast and scales without effort. Even during the alpha/beta phase, Deadline 6.0 was the reliable backbone of our animation pipeline for 300: Rise of an Empire.”

Key new features of Deadline 6.0 include:

– New Database Backend – With a MongoDB Database for sizable gains in scalability, Deadline 6.0 functions with thousands of jobs and Slave configurations, and offers asynchronous access for efficient work, even over remote connections.

– Redesigned User Interface – Deadline Monitor introduces a wide range of new features including delayed data loading, live data refreshing, a fully customizable layout that allows re-sizing, docking and floating of any panels and a new, customizable filtering system. Deadline Monitor also automatically refreshes data in a background thread, eliminating the need for a manual refresh.

– Graphic Data Representation – Large graphs make it easy to visualize various aspects of the farm. Artists, producers and administrators can monitor the progress of jobs and projects as well as the overall health of the farm, all from across the room.

– Simplified User Group Management – Administrators can assign users to custom groups and control the available functionality and features.

– Slave Log Streaming – Users can directly connect to the Deadline Slave running on a remote machine and view its log in real time.

– Scripting Improvements – All Deadline plug-ins and scripts now use a native Python bundle, and customizable script menus are available in almost every list in the Deadline Monitor.

– Flexible Environment Control – Set environment variables for a job and apply them at render time either exclusively or by merging with the Slave’s current environment.

– Streamlined Archiving System – Archived jobs are removed from the database and saved in the repository as a .ZIP file, which can be imported again later.

– Amazon EC2 Cloud Support – Cloud features built into the Monitor allow it to connect to Amazon EC2 and control existing instances. Start up, shut down or clone existing images to scale the farm up and down as necessary.

Compatible with a wide range of rendering packages, Deadline is a leading render management software in the industry with more than 60,000 seats currently in use worldwide. Several major visual effects studios have already deployed Deadline 6.0 for work on upcoming projects.

“When we update our tools, we look to incorporate features that take workflows to the next level and really pay attention to feedback from our customers,” said Chris Bond, founder, Thinkbox Software. “Deadline 6.0 is a massive release and the result of a tremendous effort to improve an already powerful rendering tool. The new architecture is designed to be the platform of tomorrow the foundation for scalability, performance and usability, and the phenomenal response we’ve received from our beta customers indicates we are right on track.”

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