Maya

1. Download and install

Log in to Web Manager (our web dashboard) at https://garage.farm and download our renderBeamer app for you operating system.

Web Manager downloads panel

Install the renderBeamer app and start it. Once renderBeamer is done with the installation process, you need to choose the default download directory. This path will be used as the main output place for all your renders. Next, just log in using the account ID you received or your account email. Please keep in mind that the app should always be running in the background whenever uploading a project or downloading rendered frames.

renderBeamer startup windows - default download directory on the left, and login panel on the right

Once renderBeamer is installed and you’re logged in, you’ll see the “Plugins” window. Plugins installation window should automatically open after the first renderBeamer startup. You can also open it anytime you need to install additional plugins for your 3D apps.

3D app plugins installation panel

Here, you can install plugins that allow you to work with our farm. Please keep in mind that each 3D app you use needs to have a plugin installed to properly connect to and render on our farm.

Once you installed the plugin for your 3D app, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Prepare the scene

Open your scene in Maya and prepare it for rendering on a render farm.

  • Supported versions of Maya – 2014 and above.
  • Scene files should be saved in .ma or .mb format.
  • Output – should be set the same way as when rendering on your local machine. We support most of Maya output formats. Please keep in mind that we render to frames – not animations – so any kind of animated output formats like .mov are not supported.
  • To upload your scene, you should have it prepared in the correct project directory structure, and the scene file should be in the folder named: scenes. Information on how to properly Set a project in Maya you can find here: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-ManagingScenes/files/GUID-D5CA162A-0956-49C6-9FAC-2F73DCF03409-htm.html
  • Please make sure you have a renderable camera selected and it is not named the same as the default ones: persp, sideShape, topShape, frontShape, perspShape etc.
  • In the Cammon setting, it is best to tick on the Animation and put the range of frames you need to render. In the case of a single frame, please enter the same value for start / end frame.
  • Plugins – we support a lot of Maya plugins & addons (Yeti, Ornatrix, PhoenixFD, Golaem, and many others), however, if you are using some extra add ons, please send us the info. We will check for the plugin availability and purchase options.
  • Render region should be off, however, should you require it, you can turn it on but let us know on the live chat, we will set up render region values on our end.
  • Simulations (e.g. X-Gen) – If there are dynamics / particles features used in the scene, you should create a cache file for them and properly link it in the scene. Here’s an example guide on how to prepare caches for X-Gen: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-CharEffEnvBuild/files/GUID-5CDC5D2C-6330-425B-98E9-E2A145CB42B6-htm.html

3. Use the plugin – setting the mode (Redshift)

After installing our plugin, it should be visible in the Maya GUI. To send your project to the farm, please locate the renderBeamer icon which can be found in the shelf tabs and click the icon to open the plugin window. Please remember to make sure you have the correct version of the scene to render opened before starting the plugin.

renderBeamer plugin from Maya interface
Running renderBeamer plugin from Maya interface

TIP: If you have problems with the installation of the plugin, i.e. you cannot locate the plugin in the shelf, or you have a missing icon, we suggest checking the solutions in the thread on our forum to help you fix the issue.

Plugin render modes for Redshift render engine:

  • Render as is – At this point, this is the only mode available for the Redshift render engine. This mode doesn’t have any additional settings because our plugin automatically reads your current render settings and just mirrors them here. Use this mode to render your animation – both for fully animated scenes which include objects animations, materials changes, camera or light movement and also camera movement. Moreover, using this mode, you can also render single frames in high resolution.

Settings for “Render As Is” mode
Settings for “Render As Is” mode

NOTE: For this mode, you can use any mix-option for GI Engine but you need to remember that we do not support “Rebuild” and “Rebuild (prepass only)” modes. The default “Rebuild (don’t save)” and “Load” ( if you use the generated and linked GI cache) modes are supported.

You can read more about the importance of testing and ways to estimate the render cost and time in our FAQ.

4. Use the plugin – project settings

Once you selected the plugin mode, you can now continue the workflow in the setup window and go to the range and resolution setup.

Our plugin automatically detects your settings that have been set in Maya render setup, but regardless of the render mode you choose, you can always make changes here in the plugin before sending the scene.

Main setting for all Redshift modes
Main setting for all Redshift modes

resolution – Please make sure that the resolution you have entered is the one that you need to render.

frame range – Please make sure you enter the range you need to render.

render layers – In this window, you will find information about the current settings for render layers created in a given scene.
You can check two settings for each layer you created:

  • renderable – the “True” parameter means that this layer is set as renderable and will be rendered, if the parameter is displayed as “False” it means that the layer is set as non-renderable and will not be rendered.
  • ext – this parameter displays what extension was selected for a given layer (e.g., exr, png, jpg, etc.)

5. Upload the project

Once our plugin completes the scene export, your project will be redirected to renderBeamer to be uploaded. renderBeamer is a standalone uploader/downloader application that works in conjunction with our plugins. Simply put, it takes care of the file transfers.

After the scene has been fully uploaded, the app will show you a window with a direct link to your scene on Web Manager (web dashboard). To continue just use click here to submit job button. If for some reason you closed the window with the link or it didn’t work, don’t worry, you can locate your project in the web dashboard and submit your scene by clicking on the scene file later (more on that in the next step). You can also copy link to clipboard and manually paste it into your web browser.

Project uploaded successfully
renderBeamer window with options to add job to render farm

6. Submit the job & monitor render progress

Now that your project is uploaded you will need to follow the final step - creating and submitting a job to render farm. Web Manager is the place where all your projects and render jobs reside.

If you followed the link generated earlier by renderBeamer, you will now see the job submission window with several fields and settings. If you didn’t follow the link or it didn’t work, you can do it manually by locating your project in the Projects panel, finding the scene file within the project folder (in your folder structure look for the folder called “data”, i.e. Project_name/data/SceneName.mb), and clicking on it to open the job window.

Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser
Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser

You can choose between three priorities when submitting a job: High, Medium, and Low (more info on Pricing page and FAQ page).
You will also see information on the queue length for each priority, which should help you decide which priority to use.

Additional settings for jobs prepared using Maya software
Additional settings for jobs prepared using Maya software

Layers list - in this window, you will find the settings of your render layers that were created in the scene. By default, the settings are the same as in the scene. Layers that are renderable are ticked, and those that are non-renderable are unticked. You can check these settings and switch OFF those layers you don't want to render.

Render each layer in a separate job - If you need to render each of your renderable layers as a separate job, then you need to select this option. If you do, each layer will be added to the queue as a separate job and rendered independently of other jobs. By default, this option is disabled.

TIP: If you want to render different ranges for each layer in your scene then please select this option (Render each layer in a separate job) and add your job to render queue as paused ("Add job as paused" option in Web Manager) and contact our support. We will help you set your ranges for each layer and resume rendering.

Legacy render layers - this option is automatically set as enabled or disabled. It depends on your Rendering Preferences settings in Maya. If you use "Render Setup" as the default mode for the Prefered Render Setup System, this option will be unticked in Web Manager. However, if you use "Legacy Render Layer" then this option will be ticked in Web Manager.

After giving your render settings a final check and choosing your preferred priority hit Submit to add your job to the render queue. If you’re a first time user, you will have received $25 worth of credit to test out our service. The credits should be enough to run a few test jobs and get you familiar with the service.

TIP: You can right click on the job to get additional options: change priority, pause job, kill job, and archive job.

NOTE: The estimate is based on the currently finished frames, and is an approximation at that point. Rendering a test as prompted in the plugin (using a step i.e. 1to100s10) is highly recommended for more accurate estimates and for detecting potential errors.

Jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button
Jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button

When the job has started rendering, you can check the real-time progress of currently processed frames. To do that, just select the render job from the main project list and then click the arrow on the top right side to open the progress panel.

Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames
Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames

The Progress Panel (the panel on the right side of the screen) will show its content only when any of the jobs is selected. The panel is divided into 3 sections.

Active frames - it shows currently rendering frames. When a frame finishes, it is moved to the second section Done frames. If you select any frame in the Done frames list, you can then access the render output process log in the bottom section called Process results.

TIP: When you’re in the Progress Panel and right click on any of the currently rendering frames in the “Active frames” section, you can access the real-time render log from our nodes.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that if a job has finished rendering, the frames list in the “Active frames” section will be empty because all frames are already rendered and the list is moved to “Done frames”.

Real-time render log from our nodes accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB
Real-time render log from our nodes accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB

7. Download and review frames

Each frame that has completed rendering is downloaded automatically to your local drive to a directory you selected in the renderBeamer application. If you’re not sure where your download folder is located, you can double check it or change it in renderBeamer’s settings (click on the cogwheel). Also, make sure you have auto download turned on to get the frames downloaded as soon as they are available. If this box is unchecked, you will have to click on each job and manually download the frames.

renderBeamer default settings with auto download ON

If you prefer more control over what to download and when, you can also download your frames manually. To do that, just turn off auto download switch in renderBeamer settings and go to the “downloads” tab. Next, select the desired render output using a checkbox, and click the download button.

renderBeamer downloading frames for a selected render job

This kind of workflow will download all rendered frames for the selected job or jobs. However, renderBeamer also gives you an option to download individual frames. To do that, you need to use the list files function under RMB.

renderBeamer listing files option for selected render job

Once files for the selected job are listed, just roll down the list and select the files you’d like to download using checkboxes. Next, use the same download button.

renderBeamer downloading only selected frames from a render job

Once your frames are downloaded, you can use open directory option under RMB to open the folder where frames are saved.

NOTE: Please make sure you keep renderBeamer running whenever you have jobs rendering to get the frames downloaded right away. It may happen, however, that your frames aren’t downloading in the given moment, and most likely that’s because our application checks for the files on the server in 15 minute cycles and it is currently in between the cycles. You can click refresh list to force the check without waiting for the next cycle.

8. Purchase credits

When you use up all your trial credits, you’ll need to charge your account to continue using the service. Please note that when your balance goes below $0, you won’t be able to download rendered frames or start new render jobs. You can make payments in the Billing panel in Web Manager. We accept debit cards, credit cards, PayPal and DotPay payments.

If your rendering needs are high or you plan to render regularly, please make sure to check out our volume discounts.

billing panel where you can buy credits, view cost & payment history, and view discounts

9. Contact us anytime

You can talk to the GarageFarm.NET’s tech team any time of the day, any day of the week. We’re here to help you get started, answer your questions, and assist you in any way. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout.

You can contact us through our live chat accessible in the web dashboard or our desktop app when you log in to your account or message us here through the guest chat.

We also recommend checking out our FAQ page which answers most of the questions new users have.

1. Download and install

Log in to Web Manager (our web dashboard) at https://garage.farm and download our renderBeamer app for you operating system.

Web Manager downloads panel

Install the renderBeamer app and start it. Once renderBeamer is done with the installation process, you need to choose the default download directory. This path will be used as the main output place for all your renders. Next, just log in using the account ID you received or your account email. Please keep in mind that the app should always be running in the background whenever uploading a project or downloading rendered frames.

renderBeamer startup windows - default download directory on the left, and login panel on the right

Once renderBeamer is installed and you’re logged in, you’ll see the “Plugins” window. Plugins installation window should automatically open after the first renderBeamer startup. You can also open it anytime you need to install additional plugins for your 3D apps.

3D app plugins installation panel

Here, you can install plugins that allow you to work with our farm. Please keep in mind that each 3D app you use needs to have a plugin installed to properly connect to and render on our farm.

Once you installed the plugin for your 3D app, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Prepare the scene

Open your scene in Maya and prepare it for rendering on a render farm.

  • Supported versions of Maya – 2014 and above.
  • Scene files should be saved in .ma or .mb format.
  • Output – should be set the same way as when rendering on your local machine. We support most of Maya output formats. Please keep in mind that we render to frames – not animations – so any kind of animated output formats like .mov are not supported.
  • To upload your scene, you should have it prepared in the correct project directory structure, and the scene file should be in the folder named: scenes. Information on how to properly Set a project in Maya you can find here: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-ManagingScenes/files/GUID-D5CA162A-0956-49C6-9FAC-2F73DCF03409-htm.html
  • Please make sure you have a renderable camera selected and it is not named the same as the default ones: persp, sideShape, topShape, frontShape, perspShape etc.
  • It is best to set the animation mode as Standard and put in the range of frames you need to render. In the case of a single frame, please enter the same value for start / end frame.
  • Plugins – we support a lot of Maya plugins & addons (Yeti, Ornatrix, PhoenixFD, Golaem, and many others), however, if you are using some extra add ons, please send us the info. We will check for the plugin availability and purchase options.
  • Render region should be off, however, should you require it, you can turn it on but let us know on the live chat, we will set up render region values on our end.
  • Simulations (e.g. X-Gen) – If there are dynamics / particles features used in the scene, you should create a cache file for them and properly link it in the scene. Here’s an example guide on how to prepare caches for X-Gen: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-CharEffEnvBuild/files/GUID-5CDC5D2C-6330-425B-98E9-E2A145CB42B6-htm.html

3. Use the plugin – setting the mode (V-Ray)

After installing our plugin, it should be visible in the Maya GUI. To send your project to the farm, please locate the renderBeamer icon which can be found in the shelf tabs and click the icon to open the plugin window. Please remember to make sure you have the correct version of the scene to render opened before starting the plugin.

renderBeamer plugin from Maya interface
Running renderBeamer plugin from Maya interface

TIP: If you have problems with the installation of the plugin, i.e. you cannot locate the plugin in the shelf, or you have a missing icon, we suggest checking the solutions in the thread on our forum to help you fix the issue.

Plugin render modes for V-Ray render engine:

  • Render as is – In this mode your scene renders “as it is”. It’s useful for scenes with already pre-cached GI or for shots which do not need GI caching. Also, it can be used for scene testing purposes or for atypical GI setups like Brute Force with Brute Force, or Brute Force with Light Cache. We do not provide any GI caching options in this mode. Render as is doesn’t have any additional settings either.

Settings for “Render As Is” mode
Settings for “Render As Is” mode

  • Bake and render full animation – This mode should be used for fully animated scenes which include objects animations, materials changes, camera or light movement. Generally, if your scene contains more than an animated camera, you should use Full Animation mode. Our plugin creates two jobs in this mode. The first one for the GI caching – called the “bake” scene. The second job is the rendering scene. The rendering scene uses pre-cached GI maps from the first job.
Settings for “Bake and render full animation” mode
Settings for “Bake and render full animation” mode

  • With full animation mode, GI is cached for each frame in the selected render range so if your scene is starting at 0 and ending at frame 100, you will receive 101 GI map files. Each GI map is calculated on a separate node, so the process is very fast and stable. Full animation mode works only with Irradiance map & Light Cache. Before using Full Animation mode please make sure that your GI setup is set to Irradiance Map & Light cache! Otherwise please use the “Render As Is” mode.
    With Full Animation mode you have some additional settings you can use – on/off switch for use camera path in irradiance map and use camera path in light cache. By default, both settings are turned off, but if you want to use them, you need to turn them on before submitting your scene.
  • Bake and render camera animation – This mode should be used for scenes where the camera is the only animated object. Camera Animation mode works only with Irradiance map & Light Cache. Depending on which settings you choose, this mode will create 2 or 3 jobs – a GI cache, a merge and a render job.


Settings for “Bake and render camera animation” mode
Settings for “Bake and render camera animation” mode

  • The first job is for the GI caching – called the “bake” scene. The GI cache is calculated using the “bake step” parameter. For the GI cache job, we switch your current Irradiance map mode type to “add to current map” and Light cache mode type to “flythrough”. For render jobs, we use both GI engines in the “from file” mode. GI caching is done using the bake step and bake jobs parameters. The default baking step value is 10, so if your scene is starting at 0 and ending at frame 100, you will receive 11 frames cached (including the first and last frame) into one .vrmap (Irradiance Map cache) file. Before using Camera Animation please make sure that your GI setup is set to Irradiance Map & Light cache! Otherwise please use “Render as is” mode. GI (IR+LC) cache can be calculated using one of two methods – single node or multi node. The first method which is used by default is a single node setup, here GI will be calculated on one machine.
  • With a multi node setup, your frame range will be split over several render nodes. Each of the “split” jobs will be cached with the selected bake step parameter. So, for example, if your scene is starting at frame 0 and ending at frame 100, you can make GI cache with the bake jobs parameter at 5. Our plugin will create 5 GI caching jobs using the 0 to 100 range, and each of them will be cached with the selected bake step parameter. After successful GI caching with multi-node setup, our software will merge the parts of the Irradiance map into one big file and use it for rendering. Multi-node GI caching set-up is recommended for scenes with render ranges more than 500 frames.
NOTE: If needed, you can increase or decrease the value for the default settings for the “bake step”. You can make this change in Web Manager when adding the scene to the queue.
  • Still Image (High resolution single frame) – This is our custom distributed rendering system. It’s designed especially for high-resolution still shots. It works with all kinds of GI setups. Depending on which settings you choose, submitting your scene with this mode creates two jobs – render and merge.


Settings for “Still image” mode
Settings for “Still image” mode

  • If you already have pre-cached GI, you can connect your GI maps in the scene. They will be uploaded with your scene and used for rendering. Still Image mode renders your scene with “strips” (horizontal or vertical render regions). After the strip render jobs are completed, strips are then stitched to one final resolution frame in a merge job. Please keep in mind that the usage of non-cacheable GI settings sometimes can cause issues with GI rendering. For example, with BR+BR setup you can receive visible seams where the strips connect as each of the render nodes will be calculating GI from scratch when rendering the strip.

NOTE: When submitting a scene via our plugin, you can choose the number of strips that will be used when rendering your job. Each strip is assigned to one node. You have to remember that the number of strips is strictly dependent on the resolution you have set. If your resolution does not have many divisors, please try to modify the high/width values of the resolution.

Below all the render mode options you can find the checkbox render in V-Ray Standalone instead of Maya. By default, this option is disabled. This selection list is for rendering Maya scenes as .vrscenes. You can do that by turning on the send as .vrscene switch. This option forces V-Ray to export the scene to V-Ray standalone. This can be used in various situations. For instance, when the scene is really big, or when most of the scene is built of V-Ray objects, or V-Ray proxies and similar solutions. More importantly, in most cases rendering a .vrscene (V-Ray standalone scene) is significantly faster than rendering a .ma or .mb file.

You can read more about the importance of testing and ways to estimate the render cost and time in our FAQ.

4. Use the plugin – project settings

Once you selected the plugin mode, you can now continue the workflow in the setup window and go to the range and resolution setup.

Our plugin automatically detects your settings that have been set in Maya render setup, but regardless of the render mode you choose, you can always make changes here in the plugin before sending the scene.

Main setting for all V-Ray modes
Main setting for all V-Ray modes

resolution – Please make sure that the resolution you have entered is the one that you need to render.

frame range – Please make sure you enter the range you need to render.

render layers – In this window, you will find information about the current settings for render layers created in a given scene.
You can check two settings for each layer you created:

  • renderable – the “True” parameter means that this layer is set as renderable and will be rendered, if the parameter is displayed as “False” it means that the layer is set as non-renderable and will not be rendered.
  • ext – this parameter displays what extension was selected for a given layer (e.g., exr, png, jpg, etc.)

5. Upload the project

Once our plugin completes the scene export, your project will be redirected to renderBeamer to be uploaded. renderBeamer is a standalone uploader/downloader application that works in conjunction with our plugins. Simply put, it takes care of the file transfers.

After the scene has been fully uploaded, the app will show you a window with a direct link to your scene on Web Manager (web dashboard). To continue just use click here to submit job button. If for some reason you closed the window with the link or it didn’t work, don’t worry, you can locate your project in the web dashboard and submit your scene by clicking on the scene file later (more on that in the next step). You can also copy link to clipboard and manually paste it into your web browser.

Project uploaded successfully
renderBeamer window with options to add job to render farm

6. Submit the job & monitor render progress

Now that your project is uploaded you will need to follow the final step - creating and submitting a job to render farm. Web Manager is the place where all your projects and render jobs reside.

If you followed the link generated earlier by renderBeamer, you will now see the job submission window with several fields and settings. If you didn’t follow the link or it didn’t work, you can do it manually by locating your project in the Projects panel, finding the scene file within the project folder (in your folder structure look for the folder called “data”, i.e. Project_name/data/SceneName.mb), and clicking on it to open the job window.

Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser
Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser

You can choose between three priorities when submitting a job: High, Medium, and Low (more info on Pricing page and FAQ page).
You will also see information on the queue length for each priority, which should help you decide which priority to use.

Additional settings for jobs prepared using Maya software
Additional settings for jobs prepared using Maya software

Layers list - in this window, you will find the settings of your render layers that were created in the scene. By default, the settings are the same as in the scene. Layers that are renderable are ticked, and those that are non-renderable are unticked. You can check these settings and switch OFF those layers you don't want to render.

Render each layer in a separate job - If you need to render each of your renderable layers as a separate job, then you need to select this option. If you do, each layer will be added to the queue as a separate job and rendered independently of other jobs. By default, this option is disabled.

TIP: If you want to render different ranges for each layer in your scene then please select this option (Render each layer in a separate job) and add your job to render queue as paused ("Add job as paused" option in Web Manager) and contact our support. We will help you set your ranges for each layer and resume rendering.

Legacy render layers - this option is automatically set as enabled or disabled. It depends on your Rendering Preferences settings in Maya. If you use "Render Setup" as the default mode for the Prefered Render Setup System, this option will be unticked in Web Manager. However, if you use "Legacy Render Layer" then this option will be ticked in Web Manager.

After giving your render settings a final check and choosing your preferred priority hit Submit to add your job to the render queue. If you’re a first time user, you will have received $25 worth of credit to test out our service. The credits should be enough to run a few test jobs and get you familiar with the service.

TIP: You can right click on the job to get additional options: change priority, pause job, kill job, and archive job.
NOTE: The estimate is based on the currently finished frames, and is an approximation at that point. Rendering a test as prompted in the plugin (using a step i.e. 1to100s10) is highly recommended for more accurate estimates and for detecting potential errors.
Jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button
Jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button

When the job has started rendering, you can check the real-time progress of currently processed frames. To do that, just select the render job from the main project list and then click the arrow on the top right side to open the progress panel.

Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames
Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames

The Progress Panel (the panel on the right side of the screen) will show its content only when any of the jobs is selected. The panel is divided into 3 sections.

Active frames - it shows currently rendering frames. When a frame finishes, it is moved to the second section Done frames. If you select any frame in the Done frames list, you can then access the render output process log in the bottom section called Process results.

TIP: When you’re in the Progress Panel and right click on any of the currently rendering frames in the “Active frames” section, you can access the real-time render log from our nodes.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that if a job has finished rendering, the frames list in the “Active frames” section will be empty because all frames are already rendered and the list is moved to “Done frames”.

Real-time render log from our nodes accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB
Real-time render log from our nodes accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB

7. Download and review frames

Each frame that has completed rendering is downloaded automatically to your local drive to a directory you selected in the renderBeamer application. If you’re not sure where your download folder is located, you can double check it or change it in renderBeamer’s settings (click on the cogwheel). Also, make sure you have auto download turned on to get the frames downloaded as soon as they are available. If this box is unchecked, you will have to click on each job and manually download the frames.

renderBeamer default settings with auto download ON

If you prefer more control over what to download and when, you can also download your frames manually. To do that, just turn off auto download switch in renderBeamer settings and go to the “downloads” tab. Next, select the desired render output using a checkbox, and click the download button.

renderBeamer downloading frames for a selected render job

This kind of workflow will download all rendered frames for the selected job or jobs. However, renderBeamer also gives you an option to download individual frames. To do that, you need to use the list files function under RMB.

renderBeamer listing files option for selected render job

Once files for the selected job are listed, just roll down the list and select the files you’d like to download using checkboxes. Next, use the same download button.

renderBeamer downloading only selected frames from a render job

Once your frames are downloaded, you can use open directory option under RMB to open the folder where frames are saved.

NOTE: Please make sure you keep renderBeamer running whenever you have jobs rendering to get the frames downloaded right away. It may happen, however, that your frames aren’t downloading in the given moment, and most likely that’s because our application checks for the files on the server in 15 minute cycles and it is currently in between the cycles. You can click refresh list to force the check without waiting for the next cycle.

8. Purchase credits

When you use up all your trial credits, you’ll need to charge your account to continue using the service. Please note that when your balance goes below $0, you won’t be able to download rendered frames or start new render jobs. You can make payments in the Billing panel in Web Manager. We accept debit cards, credit cards, PayPal and DotPay payments.

If your rendering needs are high or you plan to render regularly, please make sure to check out our volume discounts.

billing panel where you can buy credits, view cost & payment history, and view discounts

9. Contact us anytime

You can talk to the GarageFarm.NET’s tech team any time of the day, any day of the week. We’re here to help you get started, answer your questions, and assist you in any way. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout.

You can contact us through our live chat accessible in the web dashboard or our desktop app when you log in to your account or message us here through the guest chat.

We also recommend checking out our FAQ page which answers most of the questions new users have.

1. Download and install

Log in to Web Manager (our web dashboard) at https://garage.farm and download our renderBeamer app for you operating system.

Web Manager downloads panel

Install the renderBeamer app and start it. Once renderBeamer is done with the installation process, you need to choose the default download directory. This path will be used as the main output place for all your renders. Next, just log in using the account ID you received or your account email. Please keep in mind that the app should always be running in the background whenever uploading a project or downloading rendered frames.

renderBeamer startup windows - default download directory on the left, and login panel on the right

Once renderBeamer is installed and you’re logged in, you’ll see the “Plugins” window. Plugins installation window should automatically open after the first renderBeamer startup. You can also open it anytime you need to install additional plugins for your 3D apps.

3D app plugins installation panel

Here, you can install plugins that allow you to work with our farm. Please keep in mind that each 3D app you use needs to have a plugin installed to properly connect to and render on our farm.

Once you installed the plugin for your 3D app, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Prepare the scene

Open your scene in Maya and prepare it for rendering on a render farm.

  • Supported versions of Maya – 2014 and above.
  • Scene files should be saved in .ma or .mb format.
  • Output – should be set the same way as when rendering on your local machine. We support most of Maya output formats. Please keep in mind that we render to frames – not animations – so any kind of animated output formats like .mov are not supported.
  • To upload your scene, you should have it prepared in the correct project directory structure, and the scene file should be in the folder named: scenes. Information on how to properly Set a project in Maya you can find here: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-ManagingScenes/files/GUID-D5CA162A-0956-49C6-9FAC-2F73DCF03409-htm.html
  • Please make sure you have a renderable camera selected and it is not named the same as the default ones: persp, sideShape, topShape, frontShape, perspShape etc.
  • It is best to set the “Frame/Animation” mode as “name_#.ext” and put in the range of frames you need to render. In the case of a single frame, please enter the same value for start / end frame.
  • Plugins – we support a lot of Maya plugins & addons (Yeti, Ornatrix, PhoenixFD, Golaem, and many others), however, if you are using some extra add ons, please send us the info. We will check for the plugin availability and purchase options.
  • Render region should be off, however, should you require it, you can turn it on but let us know on the live chat, we will set up render region values on our end.
  • Simulations (e.g. X-Gen) – If there are dynamics / particles features used in the scene, you should create a cache file for them and properly link it in the scene. Here’s an example guide on how to prepare caches for X-Gen: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-CharEffEnvBuild/files/GUID-5CDC5D2C-6330-425B-98E9-E2A145CB42B6-htm.html

3. Use the plugin – setting the mode (Arnold)

After installing our plugin, it should be visible in the Maya GUI. To send your project to the farm, please locate the renderBeamer icon which can be found in the shelf tabs and click the icon to open the plugin window. Please remember to make sure you have the correct version of the scene to render opened before starting the plugin.

renderBeamer plugin from Maya interface
Running renderBeamer plugin from Maya interface

TIP: If you have problems with the installation of the plugin, i.e. you cannot locate the plugin in the shelf, or you have a missing icon, we suggest checking the solutions in the thread on our forum to help you fix the issue.

Plugin render modes for Arnold render engine:

  • Render as is – This mode doesn’t have any additional settings because our plugin automatically reads your current render settings and simply mirrors them here. Use this mode to render your animation – both for fully animated scenes which include objects animations, materials changes, camera or light movement and also camera movement.
Settings for “Render As Is” mode
Settings for “Render As Is” mode
  • Still Image (High resolution single frame) – It’s designed for rendering high resolution still shots. This is our custom distributed rendering system. If you turn on strip image switch, your scene will be rendered with only one frame. Depending on which settings you choose, this mode creates two jobs – render and merge. Still Image mode renders your scene with “strips” (horizontal or vertical render regions). After the strip render jobs are completed, strips are then automatically stitched to the final resolution frame in a merge job.
Settings for “Still image” mode
Settings for “Still image” mode

NOTE: When submitting a scene via our plugin, you can choose the number of strips that will be used when rendering your job. Each strip is assigned to one node. You have to remember that the number of strips is strictly dependent on the resolution you have set. If your resolution does not have many divisors, please try to modify the high/width values of the resolution.

You can read more about the importance of testing and ways to estimate the render cost and time in our FAQ.

4. Use the plugin – project settings

Once you selected the plugin mode, you can now continue the workflow in the setup window and go to the range and resolution setup.

Our plugin automatically detects your settings that have been set in Maya render setup, but regardless of the render mode you choose, you can always make changes here in the plugin before sending the scene.

Main setting for all Arnold modes
Main setting for all Arnold modes

resolution – Please make sure that the resolution you have entered is the one that you need to render.

frame range – Please make sure you enter the range you need to render.

render layers – In this window, you will find information about the current settings for render layers created in a given scene.
You can check two settings for each layer you created:

  • renderable – the “True” parameter means that this layer is set as renderable and will be rendered, if the parameter is displayed as “False” it means that the layer is set as non-renderable and will not be rendered.
  • ext – this parameter displays what extension was selected for a given layer (e.g., exr, png, jpg, etc.)

5. Upload the project

Once our plugin completes the scene export, your project will be redirected to renderBeamer to be uploaded. renderBeamer is a standalone uploader/downloader application that works in conjunction with our plugins. Simply put, it takes care of the file transfers.

After the scene has been fully uploaded, the app will show you a window with a direct link to your scene on Web Manager (web dashboard). To continue just use click here to submit job button. If for some reason you closed the window with the link or it didn’t work, don’t worry, you can locate your project in the web dashboard and submit your scene by clicking on the scene file later (more on that in the next step). You can also copy link to clipboard and manually paste it into your web browser.

Project uploaded successfully
renderBeamer window with options to add job to render farm

6. Submit the job & monitor render progress

Now that your project is uploaded you will need to follow the final step - creating and submitting a job to render farm. Web Manager is the place where all your projects and render jobs reside.

If you followed the link generated earlier by renderBeamer, you will now see the job submission window with several fields and settings. If you didn’t follow the link or it didn’t work, you can do it manually by locating your project in the Projects panel, finding the scene file within the project folder (in your folder structure look for the folder called “data”, i.e. Project_name/data/SceneName.mb), and clicking on it to open the job window.

Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser
Adding a scene to rendering directly from Web Manager file browser

You can choose between three priorities when submitting a job: High, Medium, and Low (more info on Pricing page and FAQ page).
You will also see information on the queue length for each priority, which should help you decide which priority to use.

Additional settings for jobs prepared using Maya software
Additional settings for jobs prepared using Maya software

Layers list - in this window, you will find the settings of your render layers that were created in the scene. By default, the settings are the same as in the scene. Layers that are renderable are ticked, and those that are non-renderable are unticked. You can check these settings and switch OFF those layers you don't want to render.

Render each layer in a separate job - If you need to render each of your renderable layers as a separate job, then you need to select this option. If you do, each layer will be added to the queue as a separate job and rendered independently of other jobs. By default, this option is disabled.

TIP: If you want to render different ranges for each layer in your scene then please select this option (Render each layer in a separate job) and add your job to render queue as paused ("Add job as paused" option in Web Manager) and contact our support. We will help you set your ranges for each layer and resume rendering.

Legacy render layers - this option is automatically set as enabled or disabled. It depends on your Rendering Preferences settings in Maya. If you use "Render Setup" as the default mode for the Prefered Render Setup System, this option will be unticked in Web Manager. However, if you use "Legacy Render Layer" then this option will be ticked in Web Manager.

After giving your render settings a final check and choosing your preferred priority hit Submit to add your job to the render queue. If you’re a first time user, you will have received $25 worth of credit to test out our service. The credits should be enough to run a few test jobs and get you familiar with the service.

TIP: You can right click on the job to get additional options: change priority, pause job, kill job, and archive job.

NOTE: The estimate is based on the currently finished frames, and is an approximation at that point. Rendering a test as prompted in the plugin (using a step i.e. 1to100s10) is highly recommended for more accurate estimates and for detecting potential errors.

Jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button
Jobs added to render queue and options available under right mouse button

When the job has started rendering, you can check the real-time progress of currently processed frames. To do that, just select the render job from the main project list and then click the arrow on the top right side to open the progress panel.

Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames
Web Manager progress panel showing currently rendering frames

The Progress Panel (the panel on the right side of the screen) will show its content only when any of the jobs is selected. The panel is divided into 3 sections.

Active frames - it shows currently rendering frames. When a frame finishes, it is moved to the second section Done frames. If you select any frame in the Done frames list, you can then access the render output process log in the bottom section called Process results.

TIP: When you’re in the Progress Panel and right click on any of the currently rendering frames in the “Active frames” section, you can access the real-time render log from our nodes.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that if a job has finished rendering, the frames list in the “Active frames” section will be empty because all frames are already rendered and the list is moved to “Done frames”.

Real-time render log from our nodes accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB
Real-time render log from our nodes accessible in the “Active frames” section under RMB

7. Download and review frames

Each frame that has completed rendering is downloaded automatically to your local drive to a directory you selected in the renderBeamer application. If you’re not sure where your download folder is located, you can double check it or change it in renderBeamer’s settings (click on the cogwheel). Also, make sure you have auto download turned on to get the frames downloaded as soon as they are available. If this box is unchecked, you will have to click on each job and manually download the frames.

renderBeamer default settings with auto download ON

If you prefer more control over what to download and when, you can also download your frames manually. To do that, just turn off auto download switch in renderBeamer settings and go to the “downloads” tab. Next, select the desired render output using a checkbox, and click the download button.

renderBeamer downloading frames for a selected render job

This kind of workflow will download all rendered frames for the selected job or jobs. However, renderBeamer also gives you an option to download individual frames. To do that, you need to use the list files function under RMB.

renderBeamer listing files option for selected render job

Once files for the selected job are listed, just roll down the list and select the files you’d like to download using checkboxes. Next, use the same download button.

renderBeamer downloading only selected frames from a render job

Once your frames are downloaded, you can use open directory option under RMB to open the folder where frames are saved.

NOTE: Please make sure you keep renderBeamer running whenever you have jobs rendering to get the frames downloaded right away. It may happen, however, that your frames aren’t downloading in the given moment, and most likely that’s because our application checks for the files on the server in 15 minute cycles and it is currently in between the cycles. You can click refresh list to force the check without waiting for the next cycle.

8. Purchase credits

When you use up all your trial credits, you’ll need to charge your account to continue using the service. Please note that when your balance goes below $0, you won’t be able to download rendered frames or start new render jobs. You can make payments in the Billing panel in Web Manager. We accept debit cards, credit cards, PayPal and DotPay payments.

If your rendering needs are high or you plan to render regularly, please make sure to check out our volume discounts.

billing panel where you can buy credits, view cost & payment history, and view discounts

9. Contact us anytime

You can talk to the GarageFarm.NET’s tech team any time of the day, any day of the week. We’re here to help you get started, answer your questions, and assist you in any way. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout.

You can contact us through our live chat accessible in the web dashboard or our desktop app when you log in to your account or message us here through the guest chat.

We also recommend checking out our FAQ page which answers most of the questions new users have.


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