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Overview


 

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In this step-by-step walk-through, we show the process of setting up V-Ray for Houdini to work as part of a Deadline render farm.

A Windows 10 machine is used in this guide but the process is identical under Linux.

 

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 This setup uses Deadline version 10.0.9.4 which adds support for Houdini 17.5

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This setup does not require a Houdini installation on the client machines.

 

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titleDownload JobPreLoad.py Example
urlhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1Plm9tJuhRZAJpbrvTQ6SyFedFOmbNyqh

 

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Using V-Ray for Houdini through Hython


 

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V-Ray is loaded in Houdini by specifying a list of environment variables pointing to the location of the V-Ray libraries.

Those environment variables are required regardless if Houdini is started in GUI or Batch mode, or through Python.

In simple terms, when a Deadline job is submitted through the Deadline ROP in Houdini, a hython script is executed and the connected Renderer ROPs are initiated. Thus, Deadline needs to be aware of the V-Ray setup when loading and rendering the submitted hip file.

This can accomplished by adding the V-Ray for Houdini environment variables in the JobPreLoad.py script which is sourced before the call to hython.

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For more information on the JobPreLoad.py file, please check the following page from the Deadline manual: Render Environment.

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Add the provided python file in your DeadlineRepository/plugins/Houdini folder. Feel free to modify it according to your setup.

The file contains four functions used to define the V-Ray for Houdini environment variables. Those are completely equivalent to the variables set up by the hfs.bat / hfs.sh files shipped with V-Ray.

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generateVRayForHoudiniEnvironment()

The function above takes the path to the V-Ray for Houdini folder and the Houdini version to set up the environment.

Ideally, you would place V-Ray for Houdini on the network such that it's accessible by all Deadline Slaves, and provide the network path in place of "C:\vray_win".

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Finally, enable the Limit Render Frames to Deadline Node option on the Deadline ROP.

Because V-Ray is not yet officially supported by Deadline, the settings on the V-Ray Renderer ROP may be read incorrectly, causing the entire Frame Range to be rendered instead of e.g. a single frame.

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