Working with the Conductor cloud platform is a straightforward process that doesn’t require IT expertise to implement. Whether a studio or individual is looking to establish a virtual render farm from scratch or augment an existing one, Conductor provides flexible means to acquire the compute power needed to accommodate jobs and budgets of all sizes. If you’ve decided Conductor is the right tool for your rendering needs, setup is simple, and you can be up and running in minutes following these three easy steps.
1) Account Setup
Clicking through Conductor’s Get Started button on the top right of its website will begin the fairly standard account setup process that you’ve probably completed in some form countless times. You’ll need to provide your name, email and phone number (optional), then select which operating system/s and software are used.
At the same time, you’ll create your account name, verify your email via a link sent from Conductor and select a password (you may have to get a little creative to fulfill the security requirements).
For billing, you will initially be set up with a $300 credit, but can set up a credit card or manual billing later, which will invoice you for time used; in both cases you can preset spending limits to make sure costs never exceed that predetermined amount (without your authorization). Finally, install Conductor on your desktop – then the fun begins.
2) Job submission
Once installed, the Conductor submitter plug-in will appear in any of the supported applications, and the interface will appear very similar to a local render farm.
A big difference with Conductor is that you can pick from any number of instance types and find the machine perfectly suited for your workflow and budget. Projects with longer lead times can be rendered with lower, economical RAM and returned more slowly, or higher compute power can be selected for faster turnaround, but at a higher price point. (Check out our handy cost calculator to budget various scenarios ahead of time.)
Conductor’s pricing is all-inclusive for compute and software; to scale to 1,000 nodes, you don’t need 1,000 copies of a license, just select your application and run your render.
If you like to customize your tools, Conductor’s submission plug-ins are easily modified or integrated into your own render farm tools by using its REST or Python APIs. Clicking the submit button automatically sends the list of required dependencies to Conductor’s centralized uploader, which can be shared across your studio. After it’s submitted, your job will appear in Conductor’s web UI.
Job dependencies will synchronize to Conductor’s auto scaling high performance cloud system, and Conductor will start up as many machines as it needs to get your job done as quickly as possible within the preset cost parameters, up to 40K cores or more when the need arises. As tasks finish, they are downloaded back to the artist’s output directory.
When rendering, you can track your costs in real time using our usage page.
Conductor allows you to tag your jobs with any kind of metadata, which means you can run reports against anything your heart desires. With Conductor’s Cost Limits feature (one of our customers’ favorites because it’s really born out of production), you can set a cost limit against any metadata you’re tagging and specify an action for Conductor to take when that threshold is reached.
Furthermore, Conductor automatically shuts down resources that aren’t needed, so you are only paying for what is actually used. Once you’ve rendered a frame with Conductor, those elements are securely retained within a storage management interface that helps keep your disk footprint low. Rendered frames don’t need to be re-uploaded with each submission, expediting turnaround and minimizing costs.
There you have it; Conductor setup in a nutshell. But never fear, if you run into any issues, the amazing Conductor support team is on standby to help