Source code of render farm management system Duma to be released
Last week CineSoft, a Moscow-based company that does software for design and VFX studios, announced plans to release source code of Duma — their render farm management system.
Duma works on multiple systems from ground up — both Linux, Windows and Mac. It was initially written as an in-house for Cinemateka studio whose R&D department later became CineSoft.
What's interesting about Duma is that it's 100% compatible with Pixar Alfred scripts and supports main VFX tools such as Renderman, MR standalone, MayaBatch MR, MayaBatch Software, Nuke, Shake, DF, After Effects.
The name actually means Russian parliament, various components of the package are likewise named in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, but you don't have to adore the but-in-soviet-russia kind of jokes to use Duma:
- Secretary is the core of the system, dispatching all jobs;
- Comrade is the remote launching service;
- Deputat is the actual UI for managing Duma;
- Televisor allows watching rendered content as JPEG images over network.
And there's, of course, a bundle of scripts for scheduling rendering from native applications.
Frankly speaking, unlike for Cerebro (the media project management system by CineSoft), it's a kind of pain to find case studies for Duma. There are very few companies who mention in the public that they use this render farm management solution. One of the few who actually do is "Vedis Group", a TOP10 Russian real estate developer who have their own archiviz department.
Also, if you go back in history for a few years, you won't see a lot of mentioning of Duma in the news archive on CineSoft's website. Either way, here is what Konstantin Kharitonov, CEO of CineSoft, says:
It was a predefined decision. Let me explain it: there are two kinds of render management software on the market — freeware and commercial (quite expensive, by the way). Both kinds have significant user support issues: support pricing plans for commercial products are sometimes too hard to afford, while freeware doesn’t imply any support at all.
This is critical sometimes because a render management software is not that easy to deploy and there are not too many people around skilled enough to do it (though these rare birds can be come across occasionally :)).
That’s why we made the Solomonic solution — let people take DUMA for free if they can use and tweak it by themselves. If not — we’re here, ready to help them out for a reasonable reward.
The source code is not yet available and will be released after improvements and documentation updates. You can, however, already request it by emailing the company.