Houdini 17.0 Nodes Render nodes

HQueue Render render node

HQueue, or Houdini Queue, is a distributed job scheduling system.

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HQueue, or Houdini Queue, is a distributed job scheduling system. It consists of an HQueue server and a farm of processing nodes, or clients. The server accepts job submissions from users and assigns them to available clients.

The HQueue Render output driver submits render jobs to HQueue for distribution on the farm. The actual rendering is done by the node specified in the Output Driver parameter. This is typically a Mantra ROP, but can also be a Composite ROP or other output driver.

Parameters

Submit Job

Submit a render job to the HQueue system. If the submission is successful, then a dialog pops-up with the render job’s id. The id can be used to track the job progress on HQueue’s web-based user interface.

Note

On your first submission, Houdini uploads all the project files required by your render job. On subsequent submissions, Houdini only uploads the project files that have been modified since the last submission.

General

Job Name

The name of the job. Set this to <default> or set blank if you want the default job name to be used.

Output Driver

The render node used to generate the output files. For most cases, this would be a path to a Mantra ROP.

Note

This parameter does not apply if the Use Existing IFDs option are chosen.

HQueue Server

The machine name and listen port of the HQueue server.

Target HFS

The path to the Houdini distribution that will execute the render on the HQueue farm. The distribution must be installed in a location that is accessible by every machine on the farm. You can use the $HQROOT and $HQCLIENTARCH variables to help specify the folder path (see HQueue Variables).

Job Priority

The job’s priority. Jobs with higher priorities are scheduled and processed before jobs with lower priorities. 0 is the lowest priority.

Render Current HIP File

Choose this option if you want HQueue to render the .hip file that is currently open. The current .hip file must be in a location that is accessible by every machine on the farm. Note that any changes that are made to the .hip file while it is rendering on the farm are live. That is, any changes made will show up in your renders.

Render Target HIP File

Choose this option if you want HQueue to render another .hip file. The .hip file must be located somewhere that is accessible by every machine on the farm.

Copy Project Files to Shared Folder and Render

Choose this option if you want HQueue to render a copy of the currently opened .hip file. After clicking on the Render button, a file dependency dialog pops-up giving you an opportunity to choose the project files that are needed by the render. These files are copied to the destination specified by the Project Path parameter.

Use Existing IFDs

Choose this option if you want Hqueue to use existing IFD files for the render.

Target HIP

When Render Target HIP File is chosen, set this parameter’s value to the location of the .hip file to be loaded and rendered on the farm. The .hip file must be saved somewhere on the shared drive, or any other location that is accessible by every machine on the farm. You can use the $HQROOT variable to help specify the .hip file path (see HQueue Variables).

Project Path

When Copy Project Files to Shared Folder and Render is chosen, set this parameter’s value to the location on the shared folder where you want to copy your .hip file and its dependencies to. The location must be accessible by all machines on the farm. You can use the $HQROOT variable to help specify the .hip file path (see HQueue Variables).

IFD Path

When Use Existing IFDs is chosen, set this paramter’s value to the path of the IFDs to be used for rendering. The location must be accessible to all locations on the farm.

Start/End/Inc

When Use Existing IFDs is chosen, set these fields to specify the start frame, the end frame, and the frame increment value for the render. The frame increment may not be zero and the start and end frames chosen must correspond to existing files when the IFD Path is expanded with frame numbers.

Automatically Save HIP File

When checked, Houdini automatically saves the current .hip file before submitting a job to HQueue. This guarantees that the farm renders with the latest changes made to your scene. This parameter does not apply when Render Target HIP File or Use Existing IFDs is chosen.

Warn If Unsaved Changes in HIP File

When checked, Houdini warns of any unsaved changes in the .hip file when submitting the job to HQueue. If this parameter is not checked, then Houdini ignores any unsaved changes and automatically submits the job to HQueue. This parameter does not apply when Render Target HIP File or Use Existing IFDs is chosen.

Skip File Dependency Dialog

When checked, the file dependency dialog is skipped. This parameter only applies when the Copy Project Files to Shared Folder and Render option is selected.

Report Submitted Job ID

When checked, Houdini shows a message stating the ID of the successfully submitted job. To avoid these messages, uncheck this parameter.

Email Options

Send Status Emails

Enable this parameter if you want status emails for the specified events to be sent out.

Note

The following parameters only apply when the Send Status Emails parameter is turned on.

Email Address

The list of emails that will be sent status updates. Use commas to separate the entries.

On Start

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when the job starts being processed by a client.

On Success

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when the job is successfully completed.

On Failure

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when the job has failed, been canceled, or abandoned.

On Pause

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when the job is paused.

On Resume

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when the job is resumed.

On Reschedule

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when a job is rescheduled.

On Priority Change

Enable this parameter to have emails sent when a job’s priority is changed.

Mantra Options

Generate IFDs

When checked, a job is submitted to HQueue which writes IFD files to the specified path. As IFDs are generated, additional jobs are automatically submitted to HQueue which perform the rendering using the IFDs as input. When unchecked, IFD generation is skipped and hython, instead of Mantra, is used to cook and render each frame. Having this parameter turned on guarantees that at most 1 HBatch (or greater) license token is used on the farm to process your job.

This parameter does not apply when the Use Existing IFDs options are chosen or when the Output Driver parameter points to a ROP other than the Mantra ROP.

Assign IFD Job To

Set this parameter if you want HQueue to assign the IFD generation job to a specific client or a member of a specific client group. This parameter only applies when the Generate IFDs parameter is checked on.

Same Clients Assigned to Render Jobs

Choose this option if you want HQueue to assign the IFD generation job to the same list of clients that will process the render jobs. The list is determined by the Assign To parameter under the Advanced tab.

Listed Clients

Choose this option to specify a list of client machines that HQueue can assign the IFD generation job to.

Clients from Listed Groups

Choose this option to specify a list of client groups. HQueue will assign the IFD generation job to any machine that is a member of at least one of the listed client groups.

Clients

The list of client machines that HQueue can assign the IFD generation job to. Use commas to separate the machine names.

This parameter only applies if Listed Clients is chosen in the Assign To parameter.

Select Clients

Click to pop-up a dialog with a list of client machines registered on the HQueue farm. Accepting the selection in the dialog automatically populates the Clients parameter with the selected clients.

Client Groups

The list of client groups that HQueue can assign the IFD generation job to. Use commas to separate the group names. Specifically, HQueue assigns the IFD generation job to a machine that is a members of at least one of the groups in the list.

This parameter only applies if Clients from Listed Groups is chosen in the Assign To parameter.

Select Client Groups

Click to pop-up a dialog with a list of client groups registered on the HQueue farm. Accepting the selection in the dialog automatically populates the Client Groups parameter with the selected groups.

Delete IFDs On Frame Completion

If this box is checked, the IFD for a frame will be deleted when the farm finishes rendering that frame.

This parameter only applies when Generate IFDs is enabled. It does not apply when the Use Existing IFDs option is chosen.

Allow cross-platform rendering

If this box is checked, the render job submitted using the IFD file would be platform-independent.

This parameter is default to false, and only applies when Generate IFDs is enabled or hq_hip_action is set to use_ifd.

Distribute IFD Generation

When checked, the Generate IFDs job is distributed into multiple jobs. Each of these jobs requires a Houdini License. This option only applies when the Generate IFDs option is selected.

Min. Clients per Frame

The minimum number of client machines that should concurrently render a single frame. Multi-client rendering is achieved on HQueue using Mantra’s -H option (please see rendering on the network for more information). This parameter only applies if the Output Driver parameter is pointing to a Mantra ROP.

Max. Clients per Frame

The maximum number of client machines that should concurrently render a single frame. This parameter only applies if the Output Driver parameter is pointing to a Mantra ROP.

Render Single Tile

Check this box if you only want the single tile specified by the Mantra ROP's Tile Index parameter to be rendered. If tiling is enabled and this is box is not checked, then the tiles are rendered as separate jobs before being stitched together into the final image. This parameter only applies if neither Use Existing IFDs or Generate IFDs are enabled.

Note

This has no effect unless the Mantra output driver has tiling enabled.

Enable Checkpoints

Check this box to turn on Mantra checkpointing. If the job fails or is cancelled, then checkpointing enables the job to continue rendering from its last checkpoint if it is rescheduled.

Advanced

Assign To

Set this parameter if you want HQueue to assign the render job to a specific list of clients or client groups. This parameter only applies when rendering to a local HQueue farm.

Any Client

When this option is selected, HQueue will assign your render jobs to any available machine.

Listed Clients

Choose this option to specify a list of client machines that HQueue can assign the render jobs to. When rendering with Mantra, make sure that you list enough clients to meet the requirement set by the Min. Clients / Frame parameter in the Mantra Options tab.

Clients from Listed Groups

Choose this option to specify a list of client groups. HQueue will assign the render jobs to any machines that are members of at least one of the listed client groups.

Clients

The list of client machines that HQueue can assign the render jobs to. Use commas to separate the machine names.

This parameter only applies if Listed Clients is chosen in the Assign To parameter.

Select Clients

Click to pop-up a dialog with a list of client machines registered on the HQueue farm. Accepting the selection in the dialog automatically populates the Clients parameter with the selected clients.

Client Groups

The list of client groups that HQueue can assign the render jobs to. Use commas to separate the group names. Specifically, HQueue assigns render jobs to only the machines that are members of at least one of the groups in the list.

This parameter only applies if Clients from Listed Groups is chosen in the Assign To parameter.

Select Client Groups

Click to pop-up a dialog with a list of client groups registered on the HQueue farm. Accepting the selection in the dialog automatically populates the Client Groups parameter with the selected groups.

Batch All Frames in One Job

Check this parameter if you want to render all of the frames in a single HQueue job. This is especially useful when rendering with a Dynamics ROP or a Geometry ROP where a cooked frame depends on the cooked results of the previous frames. RBD, Cloth and Wire simulations, which cannot be divided into slices and distributed across multiple machines, work best with this option turned on.

Frames per Job

The number of frames that are rendered in a single HQueue job. For each job, HQueue starts Houdini, loads the .hip file, renders the requested number of frames and then quits. Having more frames per job reduces the amount of overhead spent starting and quitting Houdini. However, having too many frames per job means less jobs can be distributed across the farm which could potentially lengthen the overall rendering time depending on the number of available client machines.

The ideal value for this parameter would result in having at most one render job assigned to a machine on the farm. You can use the following formula as a starting point:

frames_per_job = ceil(number_of_frames / number_of_machines)

In most cases, a value of 1 is usually sufficient.

This parameter only applies if Batch All Frames in One Job is unchecked.

Frame Order

Render Frames in Linear Order

Render the frames in an incremental sequence (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4).

Render Frames in Binary Subdivision Order

Render the frames in binary subdivision order. For example, if the frame range is 1 to 20, then the render sequence of the frames is 1, 20, 11, 6, 16, 4, 9, 14, 18, 3, etc. The binary subdivision order is useful for when you want to see if the sequence will render correctly early on.

Set Number of CPUs per Job

Check this parameter if you want to set the maximum number of CPUs used for each render job.

CPUs per Job

The maximum number of CPUs that will be used by a render job. If the number exceeds a client machine’s number of CPUs, then the client machine will not be assigned to any render jobs.

Render Retries

Each of the render jobs submitted will have a triesLeft attribute equal to the value provided in the Render Retries box.

Environment

A list of variable names and values that should be defined on the client machine when running the job. The variables appear as shell environment variables.

Create Directories

A list of output directories that should be created on the farm before any files are rendered out. For example, if your render generates a shadow map and an image, then you can add $HIP/shadowmap and $HIP/pics to this list.

Note that this parameter does nothing if the output directories already exist.

HQueue Variables

HQueue defines a set of variables which appear in the environment of a running job. You can use these variables to refer to common file paths, machine settings and server configuration values.

HQROOT

Evaluates to the root directory of the HQueue shared file system. The default HQueue installation sets this variable to /mnt/hq on Linux systems, H:/ on Windows systems, and /Volumes/HQShared on Mac OSX systems. Note that the shared file system can be configured to reside in a different location so check with your HQueue administrator for details.

HQCLIENTARCH

Evaluates to the architecture and operating system of the client machine assigned to execute the render job. For example, if the HQueue server assigned a job to a Linux, 64-bit machine on the farm, then $HQCLIENTARCH is set to 'linux-x86_64' in the environment.

This variable is useful for when you want to refer to paths that depend on the client machine’s platform. For example, /mnt/hq/houdini_distros/hfs.$HQCLIENTARCH could refer to the Houdini distribution to use for a render job. Specifically, it tells HQueue to use /mnt/hq/houdini_distros/hfs.linux-i686 when running the job on a 32-bit Linux machine, and to use /mnt/hq/houdini_distros/hfs.linux-x86_64 when running the job on a 64-bit Linux machine.

Render nodes

  • Agent

    This output operator is used to write agent definition files.

  • Alembic

  • Archive Generator

    Generates disk-based archives which can be used by either mantra or RIB renderers.

  • Bake Animation

    Bakes animation from object transforms and CHOP overrides.

  • Bake Texture

    Generates a texture map from one or more objects' rendered appearance.

  • Batch

    Renders the input ROP in a single batch job.

  • Brick Map Generator

    Allows you to convert Houdini volume primitives into Pixar brickmap files.

  • Channel

    The Channel output operator generates clip files from a particular CHOP.

  • Composite

    The Composite output operator renders the image(s) produced in the Compositing Editor.

  • DSM Merge

    Merges two or more deep shadow/camera map files.

  • Dynamics

    Saves the state of a DOP network simulation into files.

  • Fetch

    Makes a dependency link to a ROP in a different network.

  • Filmbox FBX

    Exports entire scenes to FBX files.

  • Frame Container

    Prevents frame dependency changes in the contained nodes from affecting its inputs.

  • Frame Depedency

    Allows an output frame to depend on one or more input frames.

  • Geometry

    Generates geometry files from a SOP or DOP network.

  • HQueue Render

    HQueue, or Houdini Queue, is a distributed job scheduling system.

  • HQueue Simulation

    HQueue, or Houdini Queue, is a distributed job scheduling system.

  • Hair Card Texture

    Renders hair textures for use on hair cards.

  • MDD Point Cache

    This output operator is used to write an MDD animation file.

  • Mantra

    Renders the scene using Houdini’s standard mantra renderer and generates IFD files.

  • Mantra Archive

    Generates disk-based archives which can be used by mantra.

  • Merge

    Merges several render dependencies into one.

  • Net Barrier

    Blocks the ROP network until synchronization occurs.

  • Null

    Does nothing.

  • OpenGL

    Render an image using the hardware-accelerated 3D viewport renderer.

  • Pre Post

    Renders ROPs before and after a main job.

  • RenderMan

    Renders the scene using Pixar’s RenderMan renderer.

  • RenderMan

    Renders the scene using Pixar’s RenderMan RIS renderer.

  • RenderMan Archive

    Generates disk-based archives which can be used by RenderMan .

  • Shell

    Runs an external command.

  • Subnetwork

    The SubNetwork output operator provides an easy way to manage large number of output operators.

  • Switch

    Renders one of several inputs.

  • Tractor

    Tractor is a program shipped out with Pixar’s distribution of RenderMan.

  • Wedge

    Re-renders the same ROP multiple times with different settings

  • Wren

    This output operator is used to drive the Wren rendering program.

  • glTF

  • glTF