Launches New Designer Licensing Targeting Design Firms with Reduced Pricing

PipelineFX has released Qube 6.6, a new version of its render-farm management software with a new Smart Share feature for handling simultaneous jobs and Flight Checks designed to detect roadblocks in the pipeline before a job is sent to render.

Smart Share improves the overall render pipeline throughput, the company said, by re-assigning idle "workers" (separate daemons or services) in a controllable way that balances the distribution of jobs across hardware. And Flight Checks are executed immediately before a job runs, ensuring that essential assets are available (such as fonts in After Effects), accessing a production tracking system, or transferring files to a dailies system.

The new Universal Callbacks help facilitate integration with other VFX pipeline software, such as Autodesk Shotgun, and ArtistView imrpovements include the centralization of preferences and pligins as well as OpenEXR image support in preview and a new thumbnails tab. Subscription customers can download the new version immediately from PipelineFX.

PipelineFX CEO Richard Lewis told StudioDaily it has seen its license base increase 30 percent in the last two years, the result of what he calls a "drive for efficiency" in the VFX business as facilities look for new ways to keep their costs down. He said the economics of cloud-based rendering are not working out in users' favor, positioning Qube to help them make the most of their local hardware.

PipelineFX is also launching a new pricing tier aimed at the design market — specifically design firms that only run one job per host system, rather than needing to manage multiple jobs on any given host. Workers for the design market will be just $100/year, (compared to $360 for the full product) in a package of 50 for $5,000 announced at SIGGRAPH. The new pricing makes Qube especially competitive with options like Thinkbox Deadline in the design market, Lewis said.