College of Arts & Letters

AL Student Lab Documentation


Squidnet - Submitting Render Job

The step assumes you have setup your project folder, put a scene with all of the needed files into that project folder, and now need to tell squidnet to work on the render.

  1. Run Squidnet-UI on the computer in MRP 1007.
  2. Open the Project Manager and select your Project folder. NOTE: If you do not see any of the projects, chances are the render farm is not accessible for that station at the moment. Reboot and try again, or another station.
  3. If these is the first time you have done this you may need to go to the Squidnet-UI preferences, Choose Job Submission category and move the Autodesk Maya form from the Available Templates into the Listed Templates.
  4. Select New Job from the Project Folder window and use the Autodesk Maya Template.
  5. Change the Job ID to something more readable such as your username and scene name. I will use #millsm-ex1. Job names must be unique so you may need to add a number on the end.
  6. In the Basic Settings section I recommend checking “Skip Existing Frames” in case you have to submit the job again to fix errors. This will check for any existing frames and not repeat them if they exist in the output folder.
  7. On the right site change the Application to say $APP(MAYA2014) (this will change each year to match the version of Maya running in the lab.)
  8. Change the Project Dir entry to be your project folder. It will use this to save your job request. For my example it will be /Network/Servers/
  9. Change the Scene to be the scene file inside the Project Directory scene folder. For my example it will be /Network/Servers/
  10. Set the Starting Frame and Ending Frame to match your scene animation. This example has 300 frames starting at 1 and ending at 300
  11. For Frames per slice you can manage how many frames to do per each machine job working on the render. It takes a long time for Maya to open and read settings and get started on just the first frame, so it may be handy to have it do 5 or 10 or 20 frames per slice. As a rule of thumb, if you only have 30 frames or less, stick with 1 frame per slice. From 30 to 300 use 5 frames per slice. From 300 - 1000 use 10 frames per slice. Anything over that I would do 20 frames per slice. In my example I will use 5 frames per slice.
  12. In the general purpose section change the Renderer to use to be MentalRay.
  13. Change the Output Image Path to be the Output folder in your scene folder. My example it is /Network/Servers/
  14. Change the Format to be name#.ext and Num Digits to match your project size to make your output have nicely ordered names. Since my example has 300 frames, I need the Num Digits to at least 3.
  15. Set the type to be JPG or PNG. If you need transparency then PNG is the format to use.
  16. Most of the other settings are good as default. Hit the Submit button, and when it asks to save the job to the project folder select Yes. Thats it!


Now you will want to check the status of the job and see if its going smoothly! Once the job is submitted, you do not need to stay logged in. The render farm works in the background on all the available nodes. You can just check it the next time your on.