Shot Manager Addon Lite(free)

Hi all,
I’d like to share my Shot Manager addon, originally developed for a specific project and has proven to be a huge time saver. It makes it easier to organize shots without needing to save out separate .blend files. Great for mid-sized productions when its easier to keep all the cameras, and assets in one file.

The addon lets you create shots each with its own frame range, view layer toggles, render camera and output path. Either set frame ranges manually or link start/end points to markers. Configuration is saved into you Blender file. Free download from Github https://github.com/OtherRealms/Shot-Manager-Free

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Holy shit that is awesome… So i can render multiple camera angles in a single sequence with multiple camera ? Is that what its main purpose is ?

Yes though its different to using Blenders multi-view feature, which can render multiple views into a single layered EXR, this addon still uses separate render commands per view/shot, but is useful for effectively slicing the timeline. Select a shot, and the associated frame range, camera and view layers & render path will be set with it. Some things like the samples and transparency are there just because they were handy to have in one place.

This is really cool, I’ve wanted to create something like this for a long time, thank you. Another idea I had was to link it to After Effects (but this would require AE scripting) so you can re-render part of an image sequence straight from AE, only exactly the frames you need.

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This might be a good add-on to offer to become “official.”

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Here’s a video tutorial to for those who need it! latest version is 0.4.1.

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Hi Pablo! Thanks for sharing this, it looks really interesting!

I love how you automated the output path creation on a shot basis, it’s something I always felt the need for, but I am no good at scripting…
I am wondering what’s your workflow when you then actually want to launch a render? Beside just launching the animation within the blender interface shot by shot, is there a way to render the whole shot list in bulk, so that each shot created will be placed in the correct output folder? What about launching the render from command line? Or, also from command line, selecting what shots you want to render? Sorry… lots of questions, but your plugin is really exciting :smiley:

Lately I started to use Pandora, it’s an open source render farm manager. It’s really nice because of the ease of installation and use, but I think the management of job submission lacks a bit, especially on the kind of functionality that your plugin brings into blender. I understand some kind of integration is a long shot, but I thought I’d just mention this, maybe you’ll find some inspiration :smiley:

Hi Bernardo, I usually render a shot per pc but have considered a batch render function. But lets say we want to render only certain shots in the list, maybe the user could simply tick which shots they want render then hit ‘Batch render’. I have used render farm managers and services for Blender in the past (Flamenco, CrowdRender, Reebus) but have found them to be pretty unreliable and sometimes overly complex to setup. I’m keen to give Pandora a try, if it is simple to setup and is reliable I’ll consider integrating it. However it looks like Prism has a shot system?

Yes I agree that sometimes render farm managers are too complex, at least for my needs. I didn’t even try installing flamenco, I gave up after going through the documentation. On the other hand, sometimes I find that just launching renders via command line is a bit too limitating as I cannot queue renders and in case one frame fails the computer just stop rendering until I manually restart it. On top of that I have a few computers on the network and I need to launch the render manually on each of them.

Pandora is a breeze to install, and it work fine, even if I did have the occasionaly problem (like missing frames or “stucked” render slave). However I already managed to render successfully thousands of frames on it. On the other hand as I mentioned, it’s quite clunky when you have to submit a job as there is no way to use the scene settings as output or frame range, you need to specify them every time you submit a render.

Prims I think might fill the lack of the above mentioned feature, but it’s overly complex for me. It’s definitely interesting and I always try to understand how I could integrate it in my workflow, but I have the feeling that it would add too much complexity.

From my point of view in blender there’s a bit of a hole between the simple command line rendering and the bigger and often too complex solutions like deadlines and stuff like that. Personally, I would gladly pay for such an addon :slight_smile:

So I successfully completed a LAN render using Pandora, despite some initial issues and the obvious ui limitations you mentioned, mostly because its being used generically across various software. But its pretty neat so far, thanks for telling me about it. Can you tell if it is using GPU rendering? and render preferences such as CUDA and Optix? The good news , it is fairly simple to make a custom submitter, so I’ll build one into Shot Manager for those who have Pandora installed. :+1:

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That’s sooooo nice of you, thank you very much, I can’t wait! :slight_smile:

About pandora, yes it does/can use gpu rendering. You can also use custom builds, since you can “force” pandora to use a specific blender version in the settings. As far as I can tell, it uses the saved blender settings in terms of cuda/optix.

Just one warning: I use relative paths, but it looks like pandora doesn’t like them. In my experience to get textures to work, everything as to be absolute. I believe the reason might be for the way blender stores relative paths, which is using slashes instead of backslashes at the beginning of the path. I don’t know much about this stuff, but from what I read it goes against the common practice for paths and it can cause problems, like in this case.
So to use pandora I use absolute path and I mapped all my network drives on the same letter.

If you need testers let me know, I am so excited about this :smiley:

No probs, I think it makes sense to integrate it with with a render farm manager, Pandora being open source is perfect. Thanks for the warning, I’ll make sure to convert all paths to absolute.

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Hi Bernarndo, feel free to test the integration for Pandora, I’ve only tried rendering locally so far. I have it automatically start the coordinator, handler and tray when you submit if not already ‘enabled’ as well as insert the correct scene properties. It can also be used without using ‘shots’. However there seems to be an issue with Pandora’s enable settings not always coincinding with the actual Coordinator and Slave processes, for example if one crashes or is forced to close, the settings will show it to still be enabled, maybe you’ve noticed this? to troubleshoot this, I’ve added a reset button to make them default to ‘disabled’, but all of the Pandora process should also be stopped in the task manager to avoid duplicating tasks. Then there’s no need to open Pandora outside of Blender, the appropriate process will open when you submit. You can also run it without having Pandora open on startup and reset if it says ’ Coordinator’ or ‘Slave’ enabled when you first open Blender. If you could test it that would be great. Download

Pandora

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Hi Pablo! Awesome, thank you so much for your work!
Today here is public holiday, so I don’t know if I will be able to test it with the farm that is at the office. I will download it on my laptop and maybe do a couple of quick tests froms here however!

About the plugin, do I understand correctly that it starts all the 3 pandora’s elements automatically on the computer you’re launching the render from? I still didn’t test the plugin, but if that’s the case, this might be a good option for local renders. However for example, in the case of my render farm, the coordinator is always running on the server and I don’t use my workstation as a slave until the end of the day. For this reason maybe it might be good to have an option about what you want to start in terms of pandora services when you start a render? However, I’ll do tests and let you know when I actually tried it :slight_smile:

About pandora’s issue: for me when a slave crashes, it usually shows correctly as “not responding” on the handler. Did I understand your issue correctly?

I have a different recurring issue however, where I get a warning about the setting json file of a particular slave (the slave change everytime, so it’s not related to a particular computer) being corrupted, and if I would like to delete the file or just ignore it. I don’t believe it is affecting the rendering in anyway, but it is still a bit annoying.

so… did a quick test on my laptop.

It was successfull, with some little hiccups.

When I submit the job I get this error.

After this an empty handler opens. If I close it I get the same error as before.

However, if after I manually open the tray and the handler, the job is actually there, and things work fine. I tried to submit the job from the regular pandora submitter and I didn’t get the same error.

So after this the rendering went smoothly.

Another thing: Pandora has a neat functionality for rendering passes. When you activate some pass for cycles, to render them out you need to activate the compositor and connect them to an output node, as you would do normally. However Pandora automatically sets the render output path based on the main output you set in the submitter, and automatically names the passes based on their name, or on the label of the last node that is connected to the output node for a specific pass. When I tried to output some render passes using the shot manager, the output node behaved as in default blender, where you have to manually set the output and the pass names. This is obviously not a “show stopper”, but it would be nice to maintain the ability to automate the render passes output and naming process based on the root output path and original passes names.

Let me know if this makes sense, I guess the passes explanaition maybe it’s a bit confused :smiley:

Also… do you have a donate button or something? I am proposing all this stuff, but first of all I don’t want to sound as I am pretending something. I think your plugin is great and it has the potential to be a little game changer for my and I am sure many other people workflow! I would gladly pay for this, just so you know :wink:

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Hi, thanks for testing and all the info. Its good to know how you use Pandora, I’m still discovering how it works and what it can do. I probably get the issues because I’m attempting to start Pandora manually. I’ll work out the kinks and test on the network. I think I read about the passes feature called ‘render nodes’ , but I don’t see an option for it? I have ideas to add more features to Shot Manager such as a batch render shots feature as discussed which could potentially become a batch submitter for Pandora. Also I’m contemplating a simplified output node that is similar to what you’ve described for passes but for view Layers Instead that automatically creates directories etc. sometimes .exr files are just too big. BTW Pandora only lets me render to .exr by default which I’ve overridden with this addon so it can render .png files or whatever. If you want to support me you can do so by visiting my CG Trader store at https://www.cgtrader.com/other-realms or simply recommend it to folks. Thanks!

@Bernardo Btw it was public holiday here too, are you Australian?

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haha, that accent is unmistakable mate.

haha yup a bit of a give away

I am Italian but I live in Melbourne at the moment! Listening to your video I thoght you might be from around here! (actually, I was pretty sure:D )
Where are you exacly? If I am not mistaken cup day is just Vic?