duberPython runs the latest IronPython 2.7.1 without issues!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Python,showcase,software,technical | Thursday, October 27th, 2011

duberPython

Just a quick shout about the compatibility of duberPython and the latest and greatest IronPython 2.7.1 release (released a couple of days ago). All working smoothly and quickly, as expected. ;)

Should you need more info on duberPython or what we’re doing with it and Shotgun or Tactic, just drop me a line and I’ll be more than happy to show you how cool duberPython is. ;)

duber purchases a license of RVIO

loocas | opinions,software | Saturday, September 24th, 2011

RV

I’d test driven RV a few months ago to see what all the fuss was about. I was kind of satisfied with RV at that time, but didn’t really have a strong reason to switch from my beloved FrameCycler. Now, however, I needed a strong platform for conforming, ingesting and generally managing my review and delivery pipeline. My two immediate options were MetaRender and RVIO.

First of all, I am not a big fan of acquisitions. I admit it’s sometimes to the better for all of the parties involved, but sometimes, for the worse. I personally don’t see Adobe investing too much (at least not in the begining) to FrameCycler and MetaRender. They admitted they were more interested in the color grading suites. Secondly, RVIO provides a bit more robust framework for transcoding etc… and seems overall more powerful.

So, that’s the reason right there, I’m slowly switching to RV mainly thanks to RVIO. I wish FrameCycler all the very best, I certainly don’t want to see it go and it most likely won’t go anywhere, but, I think there are more interesting things happening on the RV side. :)

Pixomondo uses duberPython in their 3ds Max pipeline

loocas | miscellaneous,showcase,software | Monday, August 8th, 2011

Pixomondo and duberPython banner

That’s right, folks! I am thrilled to announce, that Pixomondo, the company behind some of the most challenging VFX shows, such as Sucker Punch, Iron Man 2 or 2012, has purchased and implemented our duberPython plugin for 3ds Max, allowing them to tightly integrate software, such as Shotgun, into their complex pipeline.

We’ve also helped with scripting Shotgun wrappers and optimizing the duberPython engine to suite Pixomondo’s needs. This resulted in a more refined, streamlined and faster IronPython connection for 3ds Max TDs, scripters, developers or even regular users.

A few key points of duberPython:

  • It allows for direct calling of Python code from within MAXScript
  • Also allows for Python script files to be called with unlimited number of arguments
  • duberPython supports behind-the-scenes data type conversions between Python and MAXScript
  • duberPython is a dotNET assembly, which means it’s a 3ds Max version and release agnostic (can run on Max 9 to 2012, both x64 and x86)
  • duberPython is built on IronPython and thus supports the latest dotNET version and 3ds Max releases
  • duberPython was created for the sole purpose of enabling 3ds Max users to use tools like Tactic or Shotgun
  • duberPython is available for licensing! Get in touch for more info.

I’d love to show you more, so, you can either wait for me to make a nice presentation and put it up here, or, you can get in touch and I’ll give you a private presentation and provide you with a fully functional, time-limited, version of duberPython. :)

Shotgun, a really powerful tool

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I’ve been really lucky to have been able to use Shotgun as a developer for some time now (getting to know the API, integrating it into 3ds Max pipelines, etc…).

Now, for the first time, I’ve actually tried to use it on a production we’re working on here at duber studio. The reason is the sheer amount of shots needed to be done, even though they are not very complicated.

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Photoshop is not a compositing tool

loocas | opinions,software | Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Photoshop CS5

Let me get this straight. Photoshop is not a compositing tool. Period.

I certainly am not a compositing artist, however, I have a, rather, deep technical knowledge of compositing principles and compositing software packages (such as Nuke) and thus I get asked from time to time by fellow CG artists about some compositing issues they have etc. The worst thing is when I find out they’re comping their still image in Photoshop saved as a PNG file! Blasphemy!

There are so many attributes that make a good compositing program that you cannot even start considering Photoshop for the duty. Even After Effects fall flat facing some more serious compositing tasks (mainly true 32bit float comps, or 3D space comps etc…). Why, you may ask. Let’s start with the essentials. One of them is color management. It truly startles me that Photoshop, the mecca of digital image manipulation tools, doesn’t have this feature! I mean, of course you have color management in Photoshop, but that’s more to have with calibration to printing standards, CMYK color space etc… but you don’t have a chance loading up a custom LUT, or, hell, even something as essential as an sRGB LUT. So, working with true linear renders is a huge pain in Photoshop.

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Mari 1.3v2 is finally available!

loocas | Mari,Nuke,software | Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Mari 1.3v2

Finally! This was one of the reasons why I bought a copy of Mari! The bridge between Nuke and Mari makes these two an uber-powerful combo!

Here are some information about this update and Frank’s video demonstrating the power of this tool.

Btw: this is something I also want to extend to the 3ds Max world. Stay tuned… ;)

Creating 3ds Max deployments

loocas | 3ds Max,miscellaneous,software,technical | Monday, June 27th, 2011

A very informative post on the Autodesk forums about making 3ds Max deployments.

I planned to do a similar how-to here, on this blog, in the future. Possibly a videotutorial, so, stay tuned… ;)

Virtualizing the render farm

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software,technical | Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

So far I haven’t had much luck transforming my render farm to a fully virtualized environment for easier management of the render nodes’ software config.

I’ve tried Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology at first as it seemed like the easiest path, but I couldn’t have achieved what I’ve wanted from the setup:

  • Startup of the render nodes
  • Have all the render nodes boot up to a centralized virtual OS
  • Render tasks
  • Shutdown

I’ve even tried the SCVMM, but it was way too complex and complicated so I didn’t actually spend too much time fiddling with it.

I’m currently looking at my #2 option (mainly due to added cost and software layers), VMWare. Especially the VMWare View and vSphere products.

So, no virtualization tips from me right now, all is still one big work in progress, but I’ll be posting updates as soon as I have them.

Deadline’s Power Management not waking slaves properly

loocas | deadline,miscellaneous,software,technical | Sunday, May 29th, 2011

I recently had a problem with Deadline 5 and its (awesome) Power Management setup. The issue was that the server that was running the Pulse on wasn’t waking my machines up from their shutdown states (WOL).

The weirdest thing was that I was able to wake those machines up from any of my workstations via the Deadline Monitor app, but Pulse wasn’t able to. So, after speaking to the Thinkbox Software support (which is also top-notch and very helpful, by the way), they recommended me a few network traffic sniffing apps to monitor what is going on on the NICs.

The problem was that the NIC connected to the network was not actually sending the magic packet, so, no machines were, obviously, able to receive it. After a bit of further investigation, I found out that the WOL packet was actually being sent through the secondary NIC on the server, which wasn’t physically connected to the switch (mainly because the server also acts as a DC). So, the simplest solution seemed to disable the secondary NIC in Windows and have the primary NIC take care of the whole business.

This, however, presented a lot of trouble. By disabling the secondary adapter, you completely disable the NIC (in Windows, that is), so, with that you also disable any licenses that are bound to that particular adapter’s MAC! After that I wasn’t able to start Nuke, Mari, or even Deadline Slaves!

So, I had to dig deeper. The answer was Interface Metrics. In the Advanced tab under the IP properties, you can manually override Interface Matrics. See the link for more details, but basically, any lower value has higher priority. In my case, the secondary NIC (not physically connected to the switch), got automatically assigned a higher priority matric (a lower value), than the primary NIC. I manually overrode those and voila!, all traffic was being directed through the primary NIC.

To check what settings you’re at, use this command in the command prompt:

netsh interface ip show address

Hope this helps… :)

duber studio buys Mari

loocas | Mari,miscellaneous,software | Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Mari

That’s right, I bought my first license of Mari a week or so ago and have been toying with it since. :)

I’ve been looking for a usable and flexible texture painting app aside from Cinema 4D or Deep Paint (is it still being developed?) that can take on really complex projections and meshes. The way Mari handles its project data and the textures is absolutely fabulous! Oh, and did I mention Mari also sports Python? ;)

Originally I wanted to buy Mari prior to buying a license of Nuke X and Furnace, but then the job I would have needed Mari extensively for got cancelled, unfortunately, so I put it on hold. Then, recently, I saw Frank Rueter’s Nuke/Mari workflow video and immediately fell in love with the idea of software interoperability!

So, after playing with Mari for a few days and bugging the support team at The Foundry (about one undocumented feature of Mari’s command port), I now have everything I need to make Mari and 3ds Max communicate the same way as Frank demos with Nuke in his video.

Anyways, expect at least a preview of the things I’m about to do with Max and Mari in the near future. Stay tuned!

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