IBC 2012: PipelineFX release Qube! 6.4

Pipeline have released a new update to their render farm manager, Qube!, at IBC 2012. Qube 6.4 introduces mobile access, workstation management and ‘augmented priority controls’ to the software.

MobileView, QBlocker and priority controls

“Scalability, stability, and simplicity have always been key drivers in the development of Qube!,” said Richard Lewis, CEO of PipelineFX. “Qube! 6.4 breaks new ground in this space, and provides even more features and applications that will put more power into the hands of its operator.” Headline features that are sure to please megalomaniac system supervisors everywhere include MobileView, which lets you access Qube! from your smartphone, and one-click control over priority limits and how much of any given workstation can be used by the farm.

“The promotion of intelligent render farm software affords farm supervisors the power to shape the destiny of their system,” says the unusually philosophical PipelineFX press release. That destiny is partly shaped by QBLocker, which lets individual artisits sacrifice resources to the render farm at CPU core level, then reclaim them when they have to take on particularly demanding jobs. However, the new priority limit tools also mean that supervisors can limit the amount of control an artist has over the task priority list. (“Unnecessary competition between artists and render wranglers is over,” PipelineFX’s press team inform us optimistically.)

The best of the rest

Other new features include:

1. Reporting functionality: will display the reasons why a job is pending, allowing for quick and easy troubleshooting.

2. New administration tools: GUI-based worker removal with a right mouse click; MySQL Check/Repair applied from inside the Qube! GUI; and “Studio Overrides” that let a system admin set up GUI preferences and defaults for the entire studio.

3. More job types: Qube 6.4 adds Dynamic Allocation for Nuke & Houdini, eliminating the need for multiple startups or excessive data transfer times; improved V-ray support for DBR (Distributed Bucket Rendering); as well as enhanced render elements support, better logging, and more effective termination of 3ds Max jobs.

“We measure the value of Qube! by how well it addresses the needs of artists and studios,” added Lewis. “We feel confident when we say that there’s nothing ahead of Qube! 6.4 in render management, if you want more time to perfect your art or improve your bottom line.”

“I’ve already had a bit of a play with the new features in beta form and they do make Qube! more artist-friendly, which is a good thing,” says 3D consultant Ben Kitching. “The MobileView web interface is a nice addition as well, meaning jobs can be monitored and basic management performed from any web browser (including mobile devices). The fact that default preferences can now be set for the GUI make Qube! a bit less prickly to set up, as well. I think I’d still recommend Deadline for the smaller studios, although it’s a closer fight now – PipelineFX are obviously listening to feedback. Qube! is still the most powerful, configurable render manager we have, and it’s becoming less complex.”

Qube! 6.4 is available immediately for existing Qube! users – get in touch with support@pipelinefx.com to request a 6.4 license.

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