Scene preparation for a still image

Scene preparation for a still image project – Cooperative mode

To prepare your still image projects, you must use RANCHecker, a free standalone application developped by the RANCH. This easy to use tool gathers all the assets needed by your scenes and prepares them as verified, ready-to-render .vum project archives.

RANCHecker is also able to benchmark your system and give you useful cost/time estimations for your projects.

You can download RANCHecker on our RANCH for Maxwell Render on our web site (PC and Mac versions are available).

Since version 2.2, RANCHecker is also able to generate a MultiCam project (one project with several cameras to render). For more details on MultiCam projects, please read Appendix B of this manual dedicated to the MultiCam mode.

Resuming a cooperative project

This exclusive RANCH feature lets you resume a previously rendered cooperative project. Let’s say you just rendered a project called “MyHouse.vum” for two hours. You download your files, check the image and the MXI… but wish you had specified a render time of four hours, because the Sampling Level is not high enough and the image is still too noisy.

Fortunately, the RANCH is able to resume a cooperative render! If you resend a project with the exact same name (in our example “MyHouse.vum”) and – obviously – the exact same X / Y resolution, the RANCH will be able to automatically retrieve the data from its projects cache and resume the render from the state it was in at the end of the last render. Other things to know about resuming:

  • All the data from a cooperative project is kept in the cache until the temporary ftp account for the project expires. Thus if you try to resume an old project (more than 5 days old), no data will be available and the project will be considered as a new project.
  • If you want to resume a project, you must send it from the same RANCH user account as the previous one.
  • Each resumed project, when finished, will itself be considered as a new project by the RANCH. It will have its own new ftp directory… and you will be able to resume it! It means that you can improve the original project progressively, through successive resume projects!
  • When using the resume feature, the e-mail you receive will confirm that the current project is indeed a resumed project.
  • Do not worry if, looking at the RANCH queue during the second run, you see that the displayed SL is not higher than the one displayed during the first run: the MXIs of the first and second run are simply merged at the end to produce the final MXI.

Another good surprise for the end: when resuming a project, the RANCH will only use the data from its cache, and will not attempt to decompress the .vum file you send. It means that you don’t need to resend a big project file (the true scene) each time. Just create a small text file (it must not be empty though, its size must be > 0), rename it to the exact name of the original project – in our example it would be “MyHouse.vum” – and send it!

If the same name is found in the RANCH cache, only the previous data will be retrieved, so it does not matter that the .vum file you send is not a “real” .vum file. Of course, if no data is available in the cache for a project of this name, it will simply be rejected as an invalid .vum file.