Hqueue can only write images in $JOB or $HIP directory?

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Short version:

My HQueue Render node is giving me an error message “The value of the Output Picture parameter in /out/mantra1 must start with $HIP or $JOB”. Why is that? Can't I just write my images wherever I want them? Is there a workaround to this?

Further details:

I am trying to use HQueue to write out .ifd files to /a/b/c/file.$F.ifd, which will I will then copy over to be rendered on a different system, to make /one/two/three/file.$F.exr. I am using a HQueue Render node and setting Output Driver to a Mantra node that's set up to write .ifds to /a/b/c. The eventual path of the images, /one/two/three, doesn't exist on the cluster where I am writing the .ifds. But HQueue seems to be forcing me to write “/one/two/three/file.exr” in terms of /a/b/c, which isn't going to work. What should I do?
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Sorry, I don't really use HQueue, but just thought I'd mention you might be able to use /../ tokens in your parameter if there's the limitation of having to start it with $HIP or $JOB. That'll allow you to go up in the folder structure and hopefully reach the path you're looking for. I know this won't solve your whole problem but it might help you find a solution.
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Thanks, that's a good guess and I tried that too. Unfortunately this does not work.
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Hello!

What version of Houdini/HQueue are you using? The $HIP/$JOB check was first put in as a way to ensure that jobs sent to the farm wouldn't fail because of a bad or non-existent folder path. It was a very common mistake back in the day for someone to enter a local hard drive path into the Output Picture parameter and then submit a job on the farm that didn't know anything about the local path.

But the $HIP/$JOB check was recently removed starting in build 16.5.350.

So you could try the latest H16.5 production build to get around the error.

As for your setup, with build 16.5.350+ it should be possible. You just need to additionally:
- Configure your Mantra ROP to write out .ifds.
- Turn *off* the Generate IFDs option on the HQueue Render ROP.
- And depending on how many Houdini licenses you have available in your network for IFD generation, check on the “Batch All Frames in One Job” parameter under the Advanced tab of the HQueue Render ROP. Or play around with the “Frames per Job” parameter in the same area.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Rob
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