How to auto-populate renders with Autodesk 3ds Max

How to auto-populate renders with Autodesk 3ds Max

If you’re presenting building plans to clients, it’s always good to give a bit of human context. The 3ds Max auto-populate feature in the 2015 version is more than just putting people into renders to help the idea of scale – you can make the automatically generated people follow defined paths around scenes and more.

The auto-populate function hasn’t just been limited to large scenes (visual garnish), and can actually be used for smaller indoor scenes, with people reacting with the furniture in the room appropriately. There are also some large customisation capabilities so you can have a lot more control over how every person looks.

Check out the video below for more on how to use the auto-populate functionality in Autodesk 3ds Max 2015.

Want to know more about Autodesk 3ds Max? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email autodesk@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Wacom, Adobe and Autodesk team up to offer brilliant freebies with Intuos tablets

Wacom, Adobe and Autodesk team up to offer brilliant freebies with Intuos tablets

Not content with offering us brilliant bonuses when we buy Cintiqs, Wacom have launched a new ‘Boost Your Ideas’ promo that gives anyone buying an Intuos, Intuos Pro, Intuos Creative Stylus 2 or Bamboo Stylus Fineline the chance to bag some amazing extras.

Pick up an Intuos tablet, Creative Stylus 2 or Bamboo Stylus Fineline between 1st November 2014 and 28th February 2015, and Wacom will give you until the 31st August 2015 to claim the following freebies:

Intuos Pro customers can get a three month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud, a 90 day Autodesk SketchBook Pro subscription and a £40 Whitewall gift voucher.

Standard Intuos tablet customers can enjoy a 90 day Autodesk SketchBook Pro subscription or a £20 Whitewall voucher.

Intuos Creative Stylus 2 customers can get a 90 day Autodesk SketchBook Pro subscription and a Bamboo Paper software bonus pack for their stylus. (This will require your credit card details and will be extended by 12 months unless you cancel at the end of the three month trial.)

Bamboo Stylus Fineline buyers can get the Bamboo Paper software bonus pack for free.

Couple of warnings: your Autodesk subscription will require your credit card details and will be renewed for a year if you don’t cancel at the end of the 90 day trial, and the Whitewall vouchers require a minimum spend, so maybe don’t opt for them if you’re not a regular user of the service.

How do I claim?

1. First, buy one of the above before 28th February 2015.

2. Go to www.wacom.eu/register and register your new device before 31st March 2015. You’ll then get a registration email from Wacom that contains details of the offers you’re eligible for.

3. You’ll have until 31st August 2015 to click the links and reclaim your free gifts (nope, you don;t have to choose between them – you can have as many as you’re eligible for). You can see the full instructions here.

Want to know more about Wacom? Here’s our helpful webpage. For more information, contact the team on 03332 409 306 or at sales@Jigsaw24.com. For more news and deals, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

 

Autodesk Desktop Subscriptions: What you need to know

Autodesk Desktop Subscriptions: What you need to know

Our resident licensing expert Kim Beard explains the difference between Autodesk’s new Desktop Subscriptions and your usual common or garden Autodesk licence…

What are Autodesk Subscriptions?

Back in the day, Autodesk only offered one kind of subscription, and it gave you access to support, resources and free version upgrades. Now, that’s known as a Maintenance Subscription and a new player has entered the game: Desktop Subscriptions.

A Desktop Subscription is also termed a Licence, and in layman’s terms it’s a you rent the licence on  an annual or quarterly basis, rather than buying it outright. Rather than buy a licence and then pay an annual maintenance fee, you pay a flat fee every year or quarter, and Autodesk make sure you have access to the latest version of your software.

Does this mean perpetual licences are being phased out?

No! Both perpetual licences and Desktop Subscriptions are available from Autodesk.

Who would want an Autodesk Subscription?

If you’re a new business looking to limit your initial spend, renting your licences for the first couple of years is a cheaper alternative to buying them outright straight away – especially if you expect the number of staff you employ to fluctuate over your first few years of operations. Similarly, any company that takes on extra staff on a project-by-project basis can save by having a core of perpetual licences, then effectively renting any additional ones on an annual or quarterly basis using Desktop Subscriptions.

And, surprisingly, this could actually be a great deal for any of you using Autodesk’s LT range. With the full versions of applications like AutoCAD and Maya, it only takes three to four years for a Desktop Subscription to add up to the price of a perpetual licence. But if you’re using an LT package, the lower subscription fee means it could take up to a decade for a Desktop Subscription to cost you as much as a perpetual licence, by which time your workflow could have changed entirely.

How does the cost compare to perpetual licences?

Buying a full licence of Autodesk 3ds Max or Maya costs £3625 (all prices are SRP), and a Maintenance Subscription to keep your licence up to date will cost £1280 every year thereafter. An annual Desktop Subscription includes maintenance, so will just cost you £1280 per year. Over time, you end up with a cost comparison that looks like this:

So if you’re going to need your licence for any longer than four years, you’re better off buying a perpetual licence. AutoCAD gives much the same result, as a perpetual licence costs £4350 with an annual £595 maintenance fee, whereas a Desktop Subscription costs £1360 annually.
Our helpful graph for AutoCAD LT looks markedly different:
A perpetual licence with Maintenance Subscription costs you £1140 for the first year and £190 thereafter, putting it far ahead of a Desktop Subscription’s £300 annual payment.
Obviously, this is a sizeable investment either way, and we recommend that you drop Kim and the ever-knowledgable autodesk@Jigsaw24.com team a line before you buy, but hopefully our charming graphs have cleared things up a bit.
Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email autodesk@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

An apology: Autodesk Softimage final release announcement

An apology: Autodesk Softimage final release announcement

An apology: On Tuesday 4 March 2014, we ran a story on our blog detailing Autodesk’s announcement of the final release of their Softimage software.  

All at Jigsaw24 would like to apologise for the mistiming and tone used in this article. We try to keep our brand’s style light-hearted, but understand a more considered approach was needed here. Sorry to any of the dedicated Softimage users who happened to find this news out from us in this way, rather than from the official Autodesk press release. We have posted the official announcement from Autodesk below, including details and FAQs on everything Softimage users need to know about the future of Softimage. We will also continue to support our loyal Autodesk and Autodesk Softimage users with advice.

 

Softimage final release announcement

We regret to inform you that the upcoming 2015 release will be the last one for Softimage® software. This final version is expected to ship on or around April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to offer product support until April 30, 2016. We will also provide Softimage support services (including Hot Fixes and Service Packs) to all Softimage customers with Autodesk Subscription, at no cost, until April 30, 2016.

We understand that you will now need time to re-evaluate your production capabilities. To help you, we are offering Autodesk Softimage Subscription customers special no-cost options to migrate to either Maya or 3ds Max software while continuing to use Softimage in production. These options will be available until February 1, 2016. Upgrade paths are also available for customers who are not on Subscription.

Although this decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by focusing our development efforts, we can better serve the needs of the media and entertainment industry and provide customers with better products, faster. Autodesk wants to continue its relationship with you into the future. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause; however, we believe that you will find our new transition product offerings very attractive.

FAQs
What is happening to Softimage?

Autodesk Softimage 2015 will be the last version release of the software. As of March 28, 2014, customers will no longer be able to purchase new standalone licenses. For Softimage customers who are currently on Autodesk Subscription, there will be options to migrate to transition offerings that include either Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max for no additional cost.

How long will Autodesk provide support services for Softimage?

Autodesk plans to provide support and maintenance services to Softimage customers with active Autodesk Subscription contracts until April 30, 2016 or until the end of their contract in cases where an existing contract has a later expiry date. Customers renewing Subscription contracts will be able to continue to do so until April 30, 2016. Where necessary, contracts after March 28, 2014 will be prorated to end on April 30, 2016.

What about Service Packs?

Ongoing maintenance development (Hot Fixes and Service Packs) will continue for all Softimage customers (Subscription and non-Subscription) for a two-year support period (until April 30, 2016). All customers will be entitled to any Hot Fixes or Service Packs released for their version of software. However, an Autodesk Subscription contract will be required to access any additional customer support.

Want to know more about Autodesk productsGive us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Expansion pack brings new features to Autodesk 2014

Expansion pack brings new features to Autodesk 2014

It’s a good day to be an Autodesk user. Not only have the 3D giants revealed new features for their M&E range, they’ve also dropped the price of Entertainment Creation Suites and announced that you can upgrade to the Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate for 20% less. 

Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Mudbox get new extensions for subscription customers

Not content with rolling out service packs left, right and centre, Autodesk are introducing new features to their core VFX and 3D applications. Highlights include the addition of Python scripting to 3ds Max, and 3ds Max users with an Autodesk Subscription can also log in to the Autodesk App Exchange to download a separate update that adds stereo camera viewing functionality.

Maya users should brace themselves for the arrival of Xgen, the program Disney and Pixar developed to make their award-winning range of animated hair, fur and feathers. Autodesk have had Xgen on an exclusive licence for a while now, but this is the first time we’ve seen it take centre stage in one of their biggest applications, and we could not be more excited.

Mudbox has received a refresh of its retopology toolkit, so you should find it easier to force topologically symmetrical results or to mix topological symmetry with spatial asymmetry. There’s also a new caliper tool that enables you to measure the distance between two points on a model or along a curve.

To be able to access these new features you’ll need an Autodesk Subscription. If you’re not a subscriber already, you can get in touch with our team over at Autodesk@Jigsaw24.com for advice on how to go about adding Subscriptions to your existing licences.

Want to know more about your Autodesk options? Give the team a call on 03332 409 306 or email Autodesk@Jigsaw24.com to find out more. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

App review: Autodesk AutoCAD 360 for iPad

App review: Autodesk AutoCAD 360 for iPad

Tablets like iPad have completely revolutionised design review, letting architects in the field collaborate with clients and colleagues on the fly. Take Autodesk’s AutoCAD 360 mobile app – using this, you can open up DWG and DWF files, mark up and annotate them, then quickly ping them back to stakeholders without the need to head back to the studio to log on to your email. It’s the future of design review, it’s free, and we love it! 

What is AutoCAD 360?

AutoCAD 360 (Autodesk, free) is an easy-to-use drawing and drafting app that lets you view, edit, and share AutoCAD drawings on iPad while you’re on the move. If you’ve been an avid AutoCAD user for a while, you might remember their mobile app was formerly called AutoCAD WS. Now, Autodesk have rebranded it with a ‘360’ to bring it in line with the web-based 360 tools in the desktop version of AutoCAD, and given it a few brand new features too.

What can it do?

You can break down AutoCAD 360’s functionality into three areas: viewing, editing and sharing. First, you can open and view 2D and 3D DWG drawings that are stored in your free AutoCAD 360 online account, seeing all aspects including external references, layers and image underlays, and using multitouch zoom and pan to navigate around. Edit-wise, AutoCAD 360 lets you draw and edit shapes, select, move, rotate and scale objects, and add text annotations directly on to your drawing before saving your edits back to your AutoCAD 360 workspace. When it comes to sharing, you can add comments and images, and invite responses using AutoCAD’s Design Feed. You can also share designs directly from the app, print remotely from your device or plot designs to PDF or DWF to share via email.

Opt for a paid AutoCAD360 Pro Subscription, and you also get access to advanced features including: new drawing creation, larger file size support, connectivity to third-party storage (including Dropbox, Box and more), advanced layer management, properties and attributes, block libraries, drawing coordinates, priority support, increased storage space, new tools and much more.

How will it benefit my workflow?

Letting you seamlessly share drawings with colleagues and clients across a range of devices, Autodesk 360’s powerful design review and markup tools can seriously simplify site visits. All you need is an internet connection and you’re away! It’s already been a hit too, with over 12 million people having downloaded AutoCAD 360 since its arrival, so we can see the app becoming an essential part of the design review and approvals process.

Where can I get it?

AutoCAD 360 (Autodesk, free) is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod, and you can download it either from the App Store on your device, or by heading to iTunes. There’s also more info on Pro subscription pricing.

Want to find out more? Check out Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 here. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email CAD@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

How to stay on top of your Autodesk licences

How to stay on top of your Autodesk licences

We’ve banged on about how we think every Autodesk user needs a subscription, we’ve told you about all their latest offers, and now it’s time to reveal what comes next. Keeping your Autodesk licences in order and making sure all your subs are in sync can look like a tricky business, but we’ve got our team on hand to help.

Consolidating your licences

If you’re a busy facility with ten copies of Maya, five of MotionBuilder and a few copies of 3ds Max just in case, the last thing you want to do is waste time performing admin tasks for eighteen different products, each with a different serial number, each of which were forgotten by everyone about ten minutes after the software entered the building. One of the (totally free!) services we can provide is the consolidation of all your licences for each Autodesk product, so you’ll have one serial number that covers all your Maya licences, another for all your MotionBuilder ones and a third for 3ds Max. Far easier to manage, no?

Aligning your renewal dates

Alas, subscription plans are not indefinite. At some point, your time will be up, and you’ll need to pay for the next year, three years or what have you, and if you’ve got a lot of subscriptions to manage, that can become a major budgeting headache. If you’d like to align your licences and subscriptions so that all of them expire at once, or clusters expire at the same, convenient time, we can help with that too. Give our team a call (or ask the fella on the end of the phone when you call up to buy) and we can arrange to have your licences and subscriptions expire when it’s convenient for you, making it easier to budget for renewals.

We can either help you produce a plan of what you need to renew and when in order to get out of whatever rats’ nest of licences you’re trapped in and into a smooth software management workflow or, if you’re already organised, we can arrange it so that any additional licences you take on expire at the same time as your existing ones.

If you’re phone-phobic, there’s always the Autodesk Subscription Centre

The Autodesk Subscription Centre is where you can track your own subscriptions and licences, and keep an eye on which are coming up for renewal. As well as being the place where you access all your Autodesk 360 cloud benefits, the Subscription Centre is where you go to request access to an older version of your software should you need it, download new releases and request any serial numbers that you’ve lost, so it’s well worth a bookmark.

Visit the Autodesk Subscription Centre

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

The drafting face-off: AutoCAD LT and Vectorworks

The drafting face-off: AutoCAD LT and Vectorworks

Deciding on new software means thinking about what you need it to achieve. For an all-in-one, affordable 2D drafting solution, AutoCAD LT is a great choice, but if you want to add 3D drafting to your workflow, Vectorworks Fundamentals is the way to go.

We’ve weighed up the main points in favour of each program, so you can see which you should be looking at before you make an investment…

Drafting tools

AutoCAD LT is promoted for entry level 2D drafting and detailing, but now offers everything you need for general CAD work. It can work with Xrefs, raster images, dynamic blocks and PDFs, and Autodesk have added new features to the most recent versions of LT that were previously reserved for bigger brother AutoCAD. These include support for the AutoCAD WS mobile and web app, the Sheet Set Manager organisational tool, and other powerful tools such as Associative Arrays (maintain relationships between arrayed objects), Multifunctional Grips (now for lines, arcs and dimensions) and Delete Duplicate Objects (removes unnecessary geometry).

You wouldn’t expect to see a professional modelling solution within an entry level program, but Vectorworks Fundamentals punches above its weight, providing conceptual design tools and powerful 3D modelling functionality for professional free-form solid modelling designs. In that sense, it should be compared to the full AutoCAD package’s range of 2D and 3D tools for drafting, modelling, annotation and presentation.

Rendering

While LT doesn’t have solid modelling capability, it manages to produce some excellent 3D surface models in the hands of the capable user. There’s no rendering capability either, but again you wouldn’t have to look too far to find a compatible and affordable renderer such as Photoshop or Shaderlight for Google SketchUp. With Vectorworks,you have the option to add the Renderworks integrated renderer module, and the new CINEMA 4D rendering engine provides advanced functionality to produce quality photorealistic and artistic render images.

Interface

LT shares the same flexible user interface as the fully-featured AutoCAD and as it’s customisable, you can set up the screen to look and function how you want. Vectorworks also features a customisable GUI, with tool palettes and drop-down menus to suit the user’s way of working. Both programs pick up a point here for their layout and ease of use.

Compatibility

Since LT works in the native DWG format, it’s easier to use with AutoCAD users as it maintains the integrity of the DWG drawing and can be used for annotation and detailing on a drawing project. Vectorworks operates in its native .vwx format but also includes .dwg import and export functionality with mapping tools to allow Vectorworks users to work seamlessly and share drawing data with AutoCAD users.

Both Vectorworks and AutoCAD LT will also run on either Windows or Mac, which means they’re ideally suited to a drawing office where employees have a choice of platform.

Making a decision

AutoCAD LT was developed as a cheaper entry-level alternative to AutoCAD and has since grown to become the best-selling CAD software globally, even out-stripping AutoCAD. The full version does include enhanced 3D drafting and programming capabiliy, but if you’re only going to be using it for 2D drafting and detailing, it’s a solid all-in-one solution.

If you do need to work in 3D however, the modelling tools in Vectorworks Fundamentals mean it’s a cut above AutoCAD LT. For a similar price, you can take your project from conceptual design to parasolid 3D modelling. Even if you work primarily in 2D, being able to create quick 3D volumes during the concept stage provides big advantages, including the ability to take live sections, so it’s very useful to have these tools at your disposal.

Already a Vectorworks veteran or an AutoCAD convert? Let us know your opinions in the box below. For more info, call us on 03332 409 306, email CAD@Jigsaw24.com, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

– Visit our store to buy the latest versions of Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2012 and Nemetschek Vectorworks Fundamentals.

Use Backburner to queue renders from non-Autodesk software

Use Backburner to queue renders from non-Autodesk software

In a step-by-step guide, our 3D technical consultant explains how to use Backburner to render with non-Autodesk software, and even provides a few example commands for you to use.

“Backburner is Autodesk’s render farm management solution and will allow you to submit renders from the likes of 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage to a farm of networked machines. Backburner is included for free with the above packages, as well as a few others, such as Smoke. In a completely Autodesk pipeline, Backburner is a cheap way to manage a render farm (you can’t argue with free after all). However, many pipelines also make use of software that isn’t made by Autodesk such as After Effects or CINEMA 4D.

Using a little-known feature of Backburner called the cmdjob, it’s possible to control any software capable of being managed from the command prompt and have these cmdjobs queued by Backburner to make the most efficient use of your farm.

Implementing this will require the writing of batch scripts, so you may need to enlist the help of a script geek to get you up and running. The complexity of these batch scripts will depend on the application you are trying to control as the commands within them will be specific to that application. I tried it with both After Effects and CINEMA 4D, and reckon that the options will be familiar to anyone who uses these applications as you’re simply setting options like which comp to render or the size of the output image – the only difference being that you are just doing it with a command string instead of by ticking a box in the application.

To get started with the cmdjob, you will first need to call cmdjob.exe within your batch script. On a Windows machine this can be found in C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner – on a 64 bit Windows machine substitute ‘Program Files’ with ‘Program Files (x86)’.

A working example: After Effects

We will start with a simple example using After Effects to render a comp called COMP1 within a file called aetest.aep. After Effects contains a command line renderer called aerender.exe. You need to ensure that After Effects is installed on each render node you intend to use for rendering the job. AE Render (and in fact After Effects) has a render option for using multiple machines which, when selected, will cause a machine to ignore any frames that already exist in the output directory. In effect the machine assumes another machine is already working on them and skips them to render other frames in the range. This option is perfect for rendering across multiple machines, as it allows you to run exactly the same command on all machines and have them figure out which frames to render for themselves.

So let’s start building the command:

•    First we call cmdjob.exe with the relevant options. In this case we add the following commands:-jobname “test job” to set the name that will appear for the job in the Backburner monitor, -manager testmanager. This tells cmdjob which Backburner manager to send the job to, and you should replace testmanager with the name of the machine that runs your Backburner manager. Finally we add -perserver to tell Backburner to send exactly the same command to each of our render nodes. So far our command looks like this: “C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\cmdjob.exe” – jobname “test job” -manager testmanager -perserver

•    Now that we have the job set up we must add the aerender command that we want Backburner to run. AE Render (for CS5.5) is located in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS5.5\Support Files so we must call that first. Next we must tell aerender which project we want it to render using -project \\shareddrive\aetest.aep. Note that, as with any render farm job, the project must be in a shared location accessible to all of the render nodes. Then we specify the composition that we want to render from our project using -comp COMP1, the frame range we want to render (in this case 1 -10) using -s 1 -e 10. Next we enable the multi-machine settings that make all of this possible with -RStemplate “Multi-Machine Settings” -OMtemplate “Multi-Machine Sequence”. Finally we specify the output path, frame padding and output format with a single command, in this case rendering out Photoshop files with 2 digits of padding-output \\shareddrive\output\test[##].psd. AE Render is intelligent enough to know that putting .psd on the end means you want Photoshop files and will replace the # signs with your frame numbers. Again the output file must be on a network location that can be seen by all of your render nodes.

Our final command looks like this:

“C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\cmdjob.exe” – jobname “test job” -manager testmanager -perserver “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS5.5\Support Files\aerender.exe” -project \\shareddrive\aetest.aep -comp COMP1 -s 1 -e 10 -RStemplate “Multi-Machine Settings” -OMtemplate “Multi-Machine Sequence” -output \\shareddrive\output\test[##].psd

You should paste this command into Notepad and save the file as something.cmd. If you then double-click this command to run it you should see the job appear in your Backburner monitor and start to run on your render nodes.

CINEMA 4D
 [http://www.jigsaw24.com/groups/cinema%5E4d?ct=disabled&PageSize=30] But what if we have a more complex program (for example CINEMA 4D) where we would need to specify a different frame range for each node? To get this functionality we can use something Backburner refers to as a taskfile. This is a simple tab delimited text file, created in any text editor or spreadsheet program. The taskfile contains three columns. Column 1 is the taskname, which will appear in the Backburner monitor. Columns 2 and 3 are the start and end frames respectively. An example taskfile for ten render nodes working on a 250 frame scene is below:

  • frames 0-24    0    24
  • frames 25-49    25    49
  • frames 50-74    50    74
  • frames 75-99    75    99
  • frames 100-124    100    124
  • frames 125-149    125    149
  • frames 150-174    150    174
  • frames 175-199    175    199
  • frames 200-224    200    224
  • frames 225-250    225    250

We would save this taskfile on the same network location as our scene file and specify slightly different options within our batch file. First we would name the cmdjob as before but, instead of using the -perserver switch, we use the -taskfile switch and point it towards out taskfile and tell cmdjob that our tasknames are in column 1:

“C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\cmdjob.exe” – jobname “test job” -manager testmanager -taskfile \\shareddrive\taskfile.txt – taskname 1

Next we would call the CINEMA 4D command line renderer but replace the start and end frames with pointers to our tasklist file. This will cause Backburner to generate a slightly different command for each node only containing the frames that node is required to render:

“C:\Program Files\MAXON\CINEMA 4D\CINEMA 4D.exe” -nogui -render \\shareddrive\myscene.c4d  -frame %tp2 %tp3

Note the %tp2 and %tp3 these options tell Backburner to read from the tasklist file and replace these strings with the relevant frame range before running the command so the command sent to the first render node would contain -frame 0 24, the command to the second node would contain -frame 25 49 and so on.

So the final command for our batch file would look like this:

“C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\cmdjob.exe” – jobname “test job” -manager testmanager -taskfile \\shareddrive\taskfile.txt – taskname 1 “C:\Program Files\MAXON\CINEMA 4D\CINEMA 4D.exe” -nogui -render \\shareddrive\myscene.c4d  -frame %tp2 %tp3

Running this batch file would queue up your CINEMA 4D job within Backburner – once again you must ensure that CINEMA 4D is installed on each render node and that you have enough net render licences to cover the amount of nodes on your farm.

Further Information

These basic theories can be extended to allow Backburner to make use of any software that allows rendering through the command line. While generating the batch files can look a bit scary, you soon find that the options available match those you would be setting within the scene file anyway. If you need to do a lot of queuing of multiple programs on your render farm, I would recommend something more advanced like Qube! as it wraps all of this functionality in a more user-friendly GUI. For those that need this functionality occasionally or don’t have the budget for something like Qube!, Backburner’s cmdjob is a great option.

A full list of the commandline options for cmdjob, aerender and CINEMA 4D can be found by following these links:

Autodesk Support

MAXON Support

aerender Support

For more information on using Backburner, call our 3D modelling and animation team on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. Alternatively, leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Export Inventor data directly into Revit

Export Inventor data directly into Revit

The BIM Family Toolkit Technology Preview allows you to easily export Inventor configuration data from iParts and iAssemblies (parameters, file properties and component visibility) directly to Revit families. 

Once the family data has been imported into Revit, you can create a simplified version and leverage the imported parameters and properties to reduce the amount of time it takes you to create BIM-ready models.

Download BIM Family Toolkit via Autodesk Labs

This recent update adds a set of installers for 2012 which won’t expire until November 20th 2011 – as opposed to the 2011 installers which, though still present, will expire on August 1st 2011.

You can interoperate between 2011 and 2012 versions:

Export Inventor To Revit Table

Thanks to It’s Alive in the Lab for the heads up on this one.

If you’d like to discuss any element of your BIM workflow (or set one up), give our CAD consultants a call on 03332 409 306 or email CAD@Jigsaw24.com.