OpenCue overview

An introduction to OpenCue

What is OpenCue?

OpenCue is an open source render management system. You can use OpenCue in visual effects and animation production to break down complex jobs into individual tasks. You can submit jobs to a configurable dispatch queue that allocates the necessary computational resources.

Why use OpenCue?

OpenCue provides features to manage rendering jobs at scale:

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks in-house render manager used on hundreds of films.
  • Highly-scalable architecture supporting numerous concurrent machines.
  • Tagging systems allow you to allocate specific jobs to specific machine types.
  • Jobs are processed on a central render farm and don’t rely on the artist’s workstation.
  • Native multithreading that supports Katana, RenderMan, and Arnold.
  • Support for multi facility, on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployments.
  • You can split a host into a large number of procs, each with their own reserved core and memory requirements.
  • Integrated automated booking.
  • No limit on the number of procs a job can have.

OpenCue architecture

OpenCue includes components that run on both an artist’s workstation, as well as central server clusters. The following list provides a brief summary of the main components:

  • Cuebot - a utility that runs in the background on a workstation and performs a variety of important OpenCue management tasks. Cuebot can also run in a server cluster for high availability.

  • CueGUI - a graphical user interface that artists run to monitor and manage jobs.

  • CueSubmit - a graphical user interface for configuring and launching rendering jobs to an OpenCue deployment. Artists typically run CueSubmit as a plug-in for their 3D software on their workstation.

  • RQD - a software daemon that runs on all rendering hosts, which are doing work for an OpenCue deployment.

Figure 1 illustrates how the various components interact in a large-scale deployment of OpenCue.

Overview of OpenCue architecture and components

What’s next?

For information on installing OpenCue components and dependencies, see Getting started.

To learn common terminology used in OpenCue, see the Glossary.

Last modified Thursday, November 7, 2019: OpenCue Sony Pictures Imageworks case study (#111) (7b8ef28)