We have submitted jobs to render on our small render farm (30 machines) that do not always make the alpha channel in resulting .TIFF images. I do not see errors in the backburner logs. I can tell what is wrong is when I preview the images in Windows XP with Thumbnail view. If the alpha channel was created successfully, then the background is white. If it is not created, then the background is black. Also, when I load the individual .TIFFs in Photoshop, I check the channels and only see RGB,R,G,B. I do not see the ALPHA channel.
Here is the software we are using
with Service Pack 3
with RealDWG 2007 patch
Forestpro 2.31 plugin
mixture of machines running Backburner as a service (serversvc.exe) or manually (server.exe). When used as a service, all are setup to use the same network account that has full permissions to maps and output directories. When used manually, the logged on use has full permissions to maps and output directories.
I have isolated the problem to 20 of the machines in my render farm and the only difference I can detect is that the ones that render properly have 3dsMAX 8 activated on them. The others are pure render servers, so they do not need to have it activated. Besides, I only have 7 licenses for my animation department to use. The 10 machines that work either have current versions of 3dsMAX or old versions installed (7 or 6)
I started to look at all sorts of ways to tackle this problem.
- All servers had the same version of all required software.
- In 3dsMAX scene, we used asset tracker to make sure all resources and Xrefs used UNC paths to find maps and output paths.
- When using batch rendering, we checked 'Include Maps' and unchecked 'Include Maps'. Neither setting made any difference.