Thinkbox Software Unveils Deadline v7.1 at NAB 2015

Updated Version Adds Support for Leading AEC Applications

Las Vegas, NV (April 13, 2015) -- Today at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, NV,  Thinkbox Software unveiled Deadline 7.1, the latest version of its flexible high-volume compute management system for Windows-, Linux-, and Mac OS X-based render farms. In addition to built-in cloud support and integration with the latest 3D animation tools, Deadline 7.1 now also supports leading architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD, VRED, and VREDCluster; CSI's CSiBridge, ETABS, SAFE, and SAP2000; EnergyPlus; and Bentley MicroStation. Thinkbox will be demonstrating Deadline 7.1 during NAB in their suite at the Renaissance Hotel Las Vegas, and in the FileCatalyst booth, SL 8505.

Deadline 7.1 builds on recently introduced built-in VMX (Virtual Machine Extension) support to allow both VFX and AEC users to leverage public and private cloud resources for on-demand compute. It also includes updated Slave metrics and statistics, enhancements to balanced/weighted job scheduling, expanded font synchronization, and more. Also new in Deadline 7.1 is an updated version of Draft, a lightweight compositing and video processing plugin designed to automate typical post-render tasks such as creating and processing QuickTimes, thumbnails, and other deliverables.

"Deadline 7.1 is an important step forward for making efficient data and render management solutions more accessible to AEC professionals," said Chris Bond, founder, Thinkbox Software. "We know the challenges that AEC users face and have been eager to expand our AEC user base for some time. Now, with added support for industry-leading applications like AutoCAD, MicroStation, and others, these users will be able to leverage Deadline's resources both in the office and via private or public clouds."

Key Deadline v7.1 features include:

Support for new third-party applications: AEC and product visualization users can now experience support for Autodesk AutoCAD, VRED, and VREDCluster; CSI’s CSiBridge, ETABS, SAFE, and SAP2000; EnergyPlus; and Bentley MicroStation. Deadline 7.1 also introduces support for the following media and entertainment applications: Adobe Media Encoder, Natron, Nuke Studio’s Frame Server, and Chaos Group V-Ray for MODO.

Enhanced application support: Deadline 7.1 is updated to include the latest versions of previously supported 3D animation applications such as Autodesk 3ds Max 2016, Autodesk Maya 2016, Side Effects Houdini 14, and more. Deadline 7.1 also supports new features of previously supported applications, including Corona Renderer’s distributed rendering, LuxRender’s LuxSlave distributed rendering, and RenderMan’s RIS for Maya.

Draft update: The new version of Draft (v1.3) includes added support for EXR data and display windows, as well as ACES 1.0 LUTs. It also optimizes memory usage and performance when assembling large images for Tile and Jigsaw renders.

Improved logic for balanced job scheduling: An Enhanced Balancing Logic option has been added to Deadline’s balanced and weighted job scheduling settings, resulting in more consistent distribution of Slaves among jobs.

New Slave metrics: Slaves now report their Network I/O, Disk I/O, and Swap usage, which can be viewed from the Monitor. This information is also stored in the statistics that are gathered for the Slaves. In addition, Swap usage for rendering is stored within a job’s task and statistics when it completes.

Improved Slave statistics reports: The Slave Resource Usage Farm report is now called the Slaves Overview farm report, and shows new statistics including how many slaves are in each state (e.g. starting job, rendering, idle, offline, stalled, disabled). New Available/Active Slaves charts also show the number of available and active Slaves. Both of these reports have the option to show Slaves for a given region, whether in the cloud, on render nodes, or on workstations.

Expanded font synchronization: The new FontSync event plugin that ships with Deadline can be used to synchronize fonts on Mac OS X and Windows before the Slave application starts rendering any job, or when the Slave first starts up. This general FontSync event plugin replaces the font synchronization options in the After Effects plugin, and now works for all plugin types in Deadline.

Flexible image viewer configuration: The Monitor has always had the option to specify up to three viewers to use when viewing images from the Task list – now optional command line arguments can be set, which are passed to the viewer when viewing images. Special tags automatically replace information about the image being viewed.

Standalone Web Service application: Deadline now ships with a standalone Web Service application, which can be configured using the new Web Service page in the Repository Options.

Protected jobs: Jobs now have a “protected” property that can be enabled to limit job deletion to the job’s user, a super user, or a user that belongs to a user group that has permissions to handle protected jobs. The job is also protected from Deadline’s automatic house cleaning.

Deadline 7.1 is in the final beta testing stage, and will be available soon. For more information about Deadline, including pricing, please call 1-866-419-0283 or visit . 

About Thinkbox Software

Founded by Chris Bond in 2010, Thinkbox Software develops production-proven tools for visual artists and backs each product with highly responsive support. Used across entertainment, engineering and design industries, Thinkbox’s products include Deadline® high-volume data management software used to render or process files and several other artist-driven software tools to create, visualize and modify datasets for visual effects, animation and digital simulations. For more information, visit or follow @thinkboxsoft on Twitter.

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