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> Forum Home > Announcements > Smedge 2015 Development

  Tue, 10/Dec/2013 4:06 PM
Robin
1136 Posts
I am going to use this thread to post updates and reports about Smedge 2015 development, which has begun already. Downloads of pre-release versions will be here, along with discussions about features and issues that get added or resolved during development. Please feel free to contribute your voice to the discussion or ask questions if you want to know more. Users are the key to Smedge, making sure that the features resolve your needs and are easy to understand.

The very first change I'm making is that the Windows build will finally join the 21st century as a native 64 bit application, as the Mac and Linux builds already are. Though this doesn't really affect the performance of your 64 bit renderers on such machines, it will give Smedge more scalability in the windows world, and better performance in the long term.

I am also in progress on the first major feature: "Stay Resident Rendering". This feature allows the renderer to remain open with the scene file data loaded in memory, after finishing a render. This makes the renderer ready to start another frame immediately, vastly reducing the effect of scene load time on render time. It also will decrease the load on the network and shared file system improving overall performance of all of your machines. Finally, the concept of packet sizes can be ignored for optimum distribution of frames to all machines, even in heterogenous environments, as well as being simpler to use.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
-robin
   
  Mon, 16/Dec/2013 12:38 PM
Robin
1136 Posts
Smedge is now available as 64 bit native on Windows. You can download it here:

http://www.uberware.net/download/Win64/Smedge2014.1.msi
http://www.uberware.net/download/Win64/Smedge2014.1.zip

Note that these will require that the x64 version of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 runtime libraries are installed on your system. The MSI will ensure this for you, but if you use the ZIP, you can get the runtime library from Microsoft here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679

This update is versioned as Smedge 2014 Update 1 (f1), which is an upgrade from the 32 bit version. That means you can simply run the MSI and it will remove the old and install the new, just like any other upgrade. However, it is still compatible with the existing release of Smedge 2014 Update 1 on other machines on the network, so you can test out the 64 bit build without affecting any other nodes, and deploy at your leisure.

Note that the paths to the executables will be different. 64 bit applications are installed by default to C:\Program Files instead of C:\Program Files (x86). If you are using scripts that access the command line interface, you may need to adjust the paths to those scripts, or adjust your PATH to the new Smedge folder.

For now, I have left the "official" release as the 32 bit version, until the 64 bit version gets some more production experience behind it. However, any future releases (and pre-releases) of Smedge on Windows will be 64 bit only from this point forward, as Linux and Mac are. Though I doubt this will be an issue, if anyone ever requires a 32 bit version for anything, please contact me, and I can generate a build.

If you experience any problems with the 64 bit build or installer, please let me know as soon as possible.
-robin
   
  Mon, 06/Jan/2014 6:21 PM
Robin
1136 Posts
Hi again and happy new year everyone!

Stay Resident Rendering is progressing, albeit a little more slowly than I had hoped because I ran into a strange issue that caused a memory leak under some extremely adverse network conditions that just happened to be hitting one of my largest customers. The leak itself was caused by a failure of the Master to correctly resolve a machine name to an IP address, leading to a small leak of the machine connection info.

I have fixed the issue, but the hunt for it took some time, and, combined with the holidays, I'm a few weeks behind where I wanted to be, but I'm back to forward progress.

That said, I am going to be putting out a release of Smedge 2014 called Update 2. This update will include the fix for this particular issue, and a few other small bugs that have been squashed along the way. It will also make the official 64 bit Windows version public.

I will post a new message when the official update 2 release is available, and will continue to post updates about 2015 progress here as well. Thank you,
-robin
   
  Tue, 07/Jan/2014 3:48 PM
Robin
1136 Posts
Hi again!

Smedge 2014 Update 2 is coming along and will be available shortly. In the meantime, here are a few of the major featuers I'm planning for Smedge 2015:

Stay Resident Rendering: As noted before, this will improve render times for many products. Initially this will be for Maya, Max, and Cinema 4D, with other products that can support it added over time.

Unicode: Smedge 2015 is going to be Unicode throughout (using UTF-8 as the native encoding on all platforms). No more problems with unusual characters in other languages!

Complete Smedge Version Interoperation: The new data system will be version agnostic, allowing both old and new versions to completely communicate, even if the new version includes data that the old version is unaware of. This means you will no longer have to update the entire farm all at the same time.

Runtime Product Configuration: You will be able to create and modify new products and new versions of products (for example adding separate products for "Maya 2014" and "Maya 2015"), on the fly without messing with INI files and without having to restart Smedge.

Usage metered licensing: Similar to renting Smedge licenses, this will provide an alternative way to pay for your Smedge, by only monitoring the actual usage and paying for what you use on a per-unit-time basis. This is great for those that want to scale their farm with machines in the cloud on a temporary basis without constantly dealing with buying or week-long rentals.

Auditing and Statistics: Every change to a job or engine, will be logged in a separate system to better track what happens and who caused it, and more usage statistics will be available for jobs, engines, and users (using the Job Creator string).

Maya product reorganization: The "Maya" product is the most developed of all of the systems, and has the most complicated configuration at this time. Rather than the confusion of separate products for each plug in renderer, there will be a single "Maya" product with support for overriding plug-in renderers as a parameter for the type. I'm still working out details on how this will work, so please contact me if you have any input or requests for functionality


I'm still in the early stages for this version, so this information is subject to change as development progresses. If anyone has any specific requests, now is a great time to let me know. Thank you, and see you in Smedge!
-robin
   
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