This documentation contains information specific to the use of Maxwell Render on the RANCH.
The total time of a project, which determines its cost, includes:
+ the distribution of the project across the network
+ the preparation / voxelization phase
+ the render time itself that you specify in the submit project form
+ and the merging of all the individual MXIs produced by the render nodes into the final MXI
Important: MXI merging changes since version 2.7
Maxwell Render 2.7 introduced MXI compression. The size of the MXI file produced by a project is smaller, so it will take less time to download the final MXI, even though the compression ratio can vary considerably with each scene, depending on many parameters (number of channels, definition, number of emitters, use of Multilight, etc.). Compressed MXIs typically take a bit more time to merge than their non-compressed equivalent in low/medium definition, but less time in high definition.
The drawback of MXI compression is that it is no longer possible to accurately predict the merging time of a project based on the size of the MXI, since:
- the compression ratio is never the same from one project to the next.
- compressed MXIs of the same size do not necessarily take the same time to merge.
- the final merged MXI is heavier than individual MXIs.
So a 500 MB compressed MXI file may be equivalent to a 1 GB uncompressed MXI, or a 4 GB uncompressed one… the merging time will be 4 times longer in the second case, even though the MXI compressed size is about the same. General rule to keep in mind: a complete merging on the RANCH generally takes between 1 and 20 minutes, for typical MXI sizes (from a few MBs up to 2 GB).
Tip: to keep the size of the MXI low, do not use Multilight unless you absolutely need it. If that is the case, avoid Color Multilight as it can produce really _huge_ MXIs.
The RANCH offers specific features for unbiased renderers in general, and Maxwell Render in particular:
- Ability to resume projects to improve image quality
- Ability to target a cooperative sampling level (SL)
- You get back the MXIs files and the bitmaps
- Ability to render several cameras within a single project (MultiCam mode)
- A denoising pass is automatically applied to cooperative renders
- The waiting list displays in real time an approximation of the current global Sampling level (SL) reached while rendering a cooperative project. The first SL display is available 5 to 6 minutes after the beginning of the project.
- Real time image previews let you check your project visually while it is being rendered.