Qube! is a robust and highly scalable render management solution that can be integrated into any production workflow. Qube! can be easily tailored to any pipeline requirements and works with all leading content creation applications including Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk Maya®, NUKE™, SOFTIMAGE®|XSI®, Shake®, Adobe® AfterEffects®, Pixar’s RenderMan®, DNA Research's 3Delight, and Eyeon® Fusion™. Qube! is the only production proven solution that is certified IBM ServerProven®, and runs on Windows®, Linux®, and Mac OS®X operating systems.
Combining the power and simplicity of the WranglerView Performance Charts with the colorful, more flexible user interface of the ArtistView, Dashboards will put decision making data right at your fingertips. Targeted for release in the middle of 2015, stay tuned for further updates!
ArtistView is a fast, visual, and artist-friendly front end to managing your render jobs. ArtistView includes everything an end user needs to easily manage their own render jobs. Always flexible, every right-click menu item and context sensitive tab is a simple and easy to create python plug-in. Manage and troubleshoot rendering jobs while seeing a breakdown of current and planned jobs, estimated completion times, a log history and rendered frames previews. Controls over the queue allow a user to block a job, kill it, re-attempt or sort it for more efficient results. It is also possible to scrub through rendered frames directly inside the GUI.
The Qube! WranglerView GUI allows wranglers and system administrators to monitor and manage servers and other network equipment on your render pipeline in a straight-forward and complete view.
Qube! MobileView enables users to monitor the render queue remotely and perform essential tasks such as retrying dropped frames.
Qube's QBLocker is a desktop application for artists or students to easily add or subtract CPU cores to and from the render farm. Only one click to purge render jobs if the desktop is needed for creative work.
- Multi-threaded Supervisor
- Event-driven queuing
- Custom job types
- Host clustering priority
- Priority-based preemption
- Centralized worker configuration
- Worker Locking
- Global resources
- Customizable UI application
- Worker heartbeat
- Offline host reacquisition
- User-based permissions
- Windows drive mapping
- Dependency Graphs
- Smart Clustering
- Shotgun Software Integration
- Host-Based Licensing
- Pre & Post Flight Jobs
- Windows, Mac OS, Linux
- At the heart of Qube! is a multi-threaded Supervisor with the ability to manage thousands of jobs simultaneously. The multi-threaded architecture is highly-available, low-maintenance, and extremely stable. Adding more threads to the Supervisor not only improves performance, but makes Qube! scalable to virtually any size production.
- Event-driven queuing is the patent-pending technology underlying the Qube! Supervisor. This event-driven architecture provides instantaneous response to job submission and dispatch to workers. In addition, the event-model supports the attachment of arbitrary callbacks via the Qube! API for unlimited customization options. Events can then trigger other events or external interactions with applications.
Custom job types
- Qube! comes with a number of custom application pipelines, including Maya®, SOFTIMAGE®|XSI®, 3ds Max®, and Nuke™. Each pipeline contains a submission form for the Qube! GUI, a command line submission tool, a submission GUI integrated into the application itself, and a backend execution module specifically developed to interface directly with the application. The custom pipelines reduce the time for integrating internal production pipelines with Qube! by including ready-made interfaces and execution backends. Since these job types are mostly constructed as open architecture scripts, they can be further customized, on-site. The direct application interface enables the backend to best utilize Qube! features like the work agenda and to optimize performance by not reopening files any more than necessary.
- Jobs can be assigned a numeric priority. Jobs with the higher priority will run ahead of jobs with lower priority, which minimizes production bottlenecks and ensures that the system handles the important jobs first.
Host clustering priority
- Hosts can be grouped into hierarchies called "clusters." Jobs that are submitted to a particular level of the hierarchy will have higher priority than jobs submitted to a different level, thereby maximizing the efficiency of the farm while maintaining host allocations between departments or projects.
- Jobs running at low priority can be preempted by jobs with higher priority. Depending upon configuration, jobs will be placed back into the queue for later dispatch immediately or when they finish the frame they were working on. This ensures that only the highest priority jobs are running. Additionally, this enables Qube! to quickly adjust when work priorities change.
Centralized worker configuration
- The Supervisor controls the configuration of each worker via a single freeform configuration file that enables workers to be updated with a single administrative command. This saves time and effort and makes the modification of worker configuration much easier to maintain.
- Calendar- and screen saver-based worker locking enables users to add desktop hosts to the farm when they are needed. Worker locking provides a mechanism by which those desktops can be added to the farm at a moments notice, or by a set schedule, or even when they're not in use.
- Global resources keep track of arbitrary resources across entire systems. By configuring the system to monitor and allocate a global resource, jobs can be constrained without the loss of rendering due to application failure.
Customizable GUI application
- The Qubic GUI interface is a powerful, customizable multi-purpose tool for users and administrators. It is used to monitor and control jobs, and (for administrators) to lock and unlock render farm hosts. Operating Qube! from a common GUI helps creative teams stay productive as users do not have to learn command line tools to use the system.
- Each worker automatically pings the Supervisor at regular intervals in order to report status. The Supervisor uses this information to keep a list of "live" hosts to which it can send jobs. Administrators do not need to configure the Supervisor with explicit lists of hosts. The Supervisor can also report hosts as "down" when it misses a worker heartbeat. This makes it easier for administrators to keep up-to-the-minute tabs on the state of the farm.
Offline host reacquisition
- The Supervisor will periodically update the state of all hosts automatically, and re-acquire hosts that have not checked in for some time. This saves time for busy administrators.
- Individual users can be granted or denied the various Qube! capabilities, such as job manipulation. This important security feature prevents users from manipulating or even killing other users' jobs.
Windows drive mapping
- Qube! analyzes the drive mappings at submit time, stores them with the job, and when the job executes, automatically creates the same mappings. This feature is useful to sites that establish different drive maps for each user. Files don't need to be copied to specific file systems available to the render farm - they can remain on the file system mapped to each user instead.
"Smart Farming" technology
- "Smart Farming" describes a system for render farm management that delivers the power of pipeline data through integrated charting and reporting, automates labor intensive render farm processes, and integrates with other digital media infrastructure packages. The concept was developed after an extensive product validation process with customers across digital media verticals in major markets around the world.
Version / Release Updates
PipelineFX Releases Qube! 6.9
- Qube! Metered Licensing - Allows customers to burst beyond their already paid licenses to on site resources like desktops and local servers or to the cloud. Clients will only pay for what they use (just like a public cloud provider) and at the end of every month (just like a utility bill). Per minute billing at the rate of $0.10 per hour.
- Cluster Priorities - Separate your resources into clusters, most commonly used for groups or departments, and set priorities for the use of the usage of those clusters.
- Katana support - Submit jobs to Katana from inside of ArtistView or from one of the most closely integrated Katana in app render submission UI's in the industry.
- Modo support - Modo jobs now include support for multi-channel EXR's.
- Redshift support - Beta tested by a select, small number of clients in our 6.8-3 release, Redshift is now fully supported with integrated customer feedback.
OIIO support - This popular VFX library is now supported in ArtistView, to read more about OIIO, visit their site: https://sites.google.com/
- Autodesk VRED 2017 support - Some significant changes to the 2017 version of the VRED software have led to a new floating submission interface.
- Autodesk Maya 2017 and 3ds Max 2017 support
Specifications & Licensing
Supported Operating Systems
|Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Fedora 14, 15, 17
2003, 2008, 2012 Server
Windows 7, 8
|OS X 10.8
OS X 10.9
OS X 10.10
Recommended Minimum Hardware
AMD® multi-core processor
4 cores (8 preferred)
|4 GB of RAM
|4GB of free disk space
(SSD preferred on farms > 25 workers)
Supported Software Packages
- Maxwell Render
- Maya Mel
- Mental Ray
- Real Flow
- RED (REDline)
- Vue RenderBull
Qube! is licensed per host on standard servers and desktops with up to 12 CPU cores. Qube! is licensed per CPU sockets on Intel® Itanium® 2-based machines regardless of the number of CPU cores. Each Supervisor, generally one per studio, requires a license and a dedicated host. These licenses are always floating – not locked to any particular node and not locked to any OS – so you can direct work to any machine in the farm, without dedicating a license to that machine.
A good rule of thumb is to buy one license for each machine that you want to do work. If you want to extend the peak capacity of your farm (to include desktops, for example), you can quickly rent or buy more licenses.
*New Subscription Licensing*
You can now purchase Qube! Unlimited licenses on a month-to-month basis under "Qube! Subscription Licensing." The unique flexibility of this licensing model helps studios and organizations ramp up to meet project demands, or manage cash constrained operating expenses by paying for software licenses only when they are needed.
Upgrades / Support
Pipeline FX offers the following Upgrades and Support options:
Qube! Maintenance and Support
- Software updates & new versions
- Bug fixes & technical support
- Email and phone support
- Online support forum
- Support is also included during rental terms via web forum.
- Upgrades from previous versions of Qube! requires active maintenance
RFX is available for all your support needs.
PipelineFX provides support with active maintenance
The PipelineFX license rental program allows existing customers to obtain additional Qube! Worker software licenses to augment their existing Qube!-based render farm. Rented licenses are commonly used to add artists desktops to the farm for extra rendering capacity, or to service rented rendering servers that have been contracted to finish a project. Contact RFX for details
PipelineFX Qube! works with the following applications:
- 3Delight; GUI
- 3ds Max; GUI, PLUG
- 3ds Max Batch; GUI
- AfterEffects; GUI, PLUG
- Aqsis; GUI
- Blender; GUI
- Cinema4D; GUI
- Combustion; GUI
- Fusion; GUI
- Houdini; GUI
- LightWave; GUI, PLUG
- LightWave(Screamernet); GUI
- Maxwell Render; GUI
- Maya; GUI, PLUG
- Maya(Batch); GUI, PLUG
- Maya(maya_melCmds); GUI
- Maya/MentalRay(MiGen); GUI, PLUG
- Maya/Renderman (Mtor); GUI, PLUG
- Mayaman (batch); GUI
- Nuke; GUI, PLUG
- Nuke (cmdline); GUI, PLUG
- Mentalray Standalone; GUI
- RED (redline); GUI
- RealFlow; GUI
- Rhino; GUI
- Renderman Standalone; GUI
- Sequence Publisher; GUI
- Shake; GUI
- Softimage; GUI, PLUG
- Softimage (Batch); GUI, PLUG
- Vue; GUI
Educational licenses are available for institutions. Please contact RFX for details.
Training / Resources
Go to PipelineFX (www.pipelinefx.com) for documentation, examples, and tutorials
Chapman University Qube! Tutorial - great example of a University's use of Qube!.
Remote online consulting service for quick ramp to rendering.
The new service provides customers with a quick and efficient way to set up and get their rendering farm going. Designed for deployments on a tight schedule and for companies with limited available technical resources, Qube! Jumpstart will insure basic render management functionality in the shortest possible timeframe.
Some of the benefits of Qube! JumpStart include:
- Reduce time to deploy new render manager
- Reduce risk by leveraging experienced consultants and proven best practices
- Easy to schedule and delivered remotely
- Cost effective: no travel expenses and available in affordable 4 hour blocks