Using Google Zync with Cinema 4D: Launching a Render in Cinema 4D with Zync Render

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Instructor EJ Hassenfratz

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In this video, viewers will learn how to launch a render using Zync Render.

In this video, viewers will get an overview of the Zync Render settings, Google Cloud Platform render machines, and learn how to launch a render using Zync Render.

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In this video, I'm going to cover how you can launch a render in Cinema 4D using the Zync Render and everything it allows you to do. So, before you begin, make sure that you have installed both the Zync clients app as well as the Zync plugins. So, once you do that, we can go up to our plugin menu and grab Render with Zync, and this will bring up our Zync Render window. Zync is a great solution for 3D artists as it integrates so tightly into your current workflow. So, basically, you just set up a render like you normally would as if you're rendering to your local machine. So, your resolution, your multi-passes, output pass, number of frames, all that stuff, you'd set this up normally, and Zync will pull all that information and use it when it goes to render. So, my scene is already set up to launch a render. But let's go ahead and just cover all of the options here. So, first thing we have here is takes. So, if you have multiple takes, you can choose which one you want to render out. And Zync supports both takes and render tokens. So, let's go ahead to the general job settings. We have job priority, which is actually less of an issue now that Google Zync offers users up to 500 machines. But basically, the lower the number job, the higher priority. Now, the image output path. This is where your rendered images will be saved to once they're finished rendering. And Zync, again, pulls in the output path that you already have set up in your project file. So, as long as it's set up correctly in your project's render settings, you won't need to change this here. You only need to change this unless you want to override any of those settings. So, again, Zync allows you to work exactly as you normally would for a normal local machine render. So, notify on job completion sends out an email notification to whatever email you signed up with so that no matter where you are, you'll know exactly when your render is finished. Now, file management, we have upload only. And upload only allows you to pre-upload files using this option. So, Zync will actually upload all the data necessary for the render, and only new files will get uploaded. So, this is a great way to pre-upload large assets ahead of time in the background while you continue working and cut down on the file uploads at render time when you actually submit a job. So, this is awesome if you have a lot of file dependencies that have large file sizes that are required for render. So, to initiate this, we'll just check on this upload only, and then just click Launch Zync Job. And then we'll just have that saved first, and then we'll launch. So, we'll just have to save the scene first. Now, let's see if we can launch the render job. And it'll say "Job Submitted" and hit OK. And this is just going to upload our assets. So, Zync will work in the background and upload all those files to Zync. And Zync is very smart in that if you've already uploaded a file, it won't re-upload it unless that file is changed, so you won't waste any time re-uploading the same asset twice. So, select auxiliary files is for pre-uploading files that haven't been brought into the scene yet or for making sure things like large simulation caches have been uploaded. So, you can go ahead and pre-upload those as well. I'll just hit the back button and uncheck the upload only. And we're going to cover more about file management in a later video. Let's hop down on to frame range, and again, this pulls the frame range information that you set in your project's render setting. And Zync is, again, all about allowing you to work as you would normally work. But you can also override the settings if you need to here. Frame step is how many frames are rendered in a row. So, you can usually leave this out, one, if you're rendering the whole project but you can change this to higher values if you want to do a test render to see how the render looks across the span of the full animation. So, if you want to change this to 30, it'll render out every 30 frames or so, and you can check how that animation looks every 30 frames. But I'll just change this back to one. Next, we have chunk size, which is set to 10 by default. But this is basically how many frames each machine will render on a single machine and then download. So, for example, if you're rendering one frame per machine, you'll get those images back faster as it will download after each of those individual frames are done on each of those machines. So, same thing if the chunk size is five. So, after each machine is done rendering five frames, it will just download those five frames in one batch. Chunk size is all dependant on how fast your frames render and how fast you actually want those frames back. So, let's say you have 9,000 frames that render pretty quickly. You'll want to end up having a larger chunk size, so you're not wasting time waiting for those CPUs to start up on each machine, initialize Cinema 4D, and the scene and then begin rendering. But on the other hand, if you have fewer frames than machines or your scene renders slowly, a smaller chunk size makes more sense because it will make the best use of the available machines and the time to start, stop or initialize is very small compared to the overall render time. So, I'll leave this at 10. So, really, chunk size will correspond with how many machines you have. So, if you have 90 frames, like I do, you can use 9 machines and then have each computer render 10 frames. So, I can just choose nine machines here. So, having Zync is like having a massive powerful and scalable render farm at your fingertips. Zync uses the Google Cloud platform which is the same massive back-end infrastructure that powers Google, so scalability is virtually limitless. So each new account starts with 50 machines, but once you've upgraded to a paid account, Zync can provide you with up to 500. And you can simply email zync-support@google.com to request up to 500. So, here we have machine type. And you can see all the different options we have here, all based on how many cores each computer has, how fast they are. We also have these preemptible options. So standard is your typical regular on-demand machine. But if you want to save money, you can try some of these preemptable machines. Preemptible machines are excess capacity of machines which are offered at a significant discount over standard on-demand machines as you can see here. With preemptibles though, there is a risk that they could be pulled from a job if capacity demand requires. But again, they are up to 40% cheaper than using Zync on a regular machine type. And this is why it's recommended to use low-chunk sizes if you decide to render using preemptible machines. So, estimated cost is shown for the hour, but billing is actually per minute after a 10-minute minimum per machine. So, it'll be less than if the job takes less than 10 minutes. So, this allows you to scale the jobs quite high. For example, if you have 48 frames to render, and you know each one will take more than 10 minutes, you can just use 48 machines and then assign the chunk size to one, and each frame will go on a single machine. Let me just reset this to 10 and 9. Now, let's move on to cloud storage. Now, if this is an existing project that's already been uploaded to Zync, then you can use that existing Zync project. But since this is a brand new Zync project, I can just create a new one. Cloud storage will be covered more in depth in another video. Next are our render settings. Again, these are pulled from your project render settings as well as the resolution settings. But again, you can override these here if you want. So, with that, we can actually launch this Zync job. And it'll now say, "Job submitted." And we can check the status of our job in the Zync console, so we can continue working, or we can hop over to our web console and see what's happening there. So, here we are. You can see our job is running. You'd see I have some previous jobs on here as well. Therefore, we click on our current job. We can see that it's running and it's currently at 6%. If we go over here, we can see we have our job controls, and you have options to restart, cancel jobs, all stuff that is very familiar to you if you've used other render interfaces before. We also have all of our job details here, our render bar progress, the number of machines, the software we're using, as well as all of our render settings from Cinema 4D. Let's move on down to our tasks, and you can currently see the progress of each individual frame here. And we also have our task control here, where we can requeue task, skip task or re-download task which is great because it allows you to re-down specific frames if you need it. So all these frames are going to be downloading to exactly where you set them on your Cinema 4D project render paths. So we can actually go and check out our job logs here by just clicking on one of these C4D links, and this will allow you to see everything to do with that individual file. And the great thing about this is that you're viewing it re-path to a local environment, so it'll match what you would see on your local system. It's not using some cloud path. So, we have a few of our frames that are already done. So, let's go ahead and check out my render folder here. And you can actually see all of my frames start populating this folder as it's being rendered and downloaded from the Zync render system. So, this is great because it's using and saving to the exact project render path that I set in my Cinema 4D render settings, so we don't have to track down our files in some other folder. So, you can see how rendering with Zync is as easy as rendering to your local machine, only with Zync, you can now render using the power behind the massive Google Cloud platform.
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