After a long time Render+ 2 is finally out. I started working on this version on September last year, and went into beta around January until now. But the planning for these changes goes back years. I’m really happy with this release, the code base and the whole system have taken a leap forward in quality. These changes pave the way for many more cool features. And less bugs too (hopefully :))
This is the first version for Blender 2.80. The batch panel now lives in the new output tab, while the render settings stayed in the render tab. The UI also got some updates to fit in with the new style. But this is only skin deep, the real work happened under the hood.
Render+ 2 is a full rewrite of the old 1.x series. Many parts of the code were improved, others modernized. The biggest change has been the batch system, which now uses a server to handle the render jobs. The old system used temporary files to communicate with Blender. It was awkward and error prone. It was also impossible to scale up to a network since both the addon and Blender had to be on the same computer.
The new batch server now takes commands over
http (via a
REST API). It’s possible to implement network rendering now. It’s not done for this version, but I plan on carefully implementing this over the 2.x series. Another win for the new server is that anyone can write a client for it. You can integrate Render+ into any panel, or even write your own with any language that can make
http requests (you can even use Curl in the shell!). The API is fully documented in the manual.
Many little things too
This version also packs some new features, bug fixes and UI improvements.
- Render jobs now have progress bars and other progress info (only Cycles and Eevee supported at the moment)
- You can now cancel individual render jobs
- Quick Batches for Markers, Cameras and Render Layers now set default output paths
- Added a documentation button in the preferences that points to the local copy of the manual, so you don’t need to be online to read it
- Previous Batch mode now includes batch started and finished date, as well as total render time and job statistics (average, fastest, slowest)
- Added an option to print debug messages to the console (instead of a file)
- Added an option to disable overwriting render files in batches
- Render+ can now run custom commands and scripts before and after running a batch, as well as before and after running render jobs
- Power off, notifications and actions for batches are separated from the general settings
- Email notifications now include batch stats: average time, slowest and fastest job
- Global percentage for batches can now be set higher than 100%
- Fixed blank output paths. Now they take the path from the job scene
- Fixed duplicated output paths accumulating
"_00x"at the end of the file
Also, some things were removed as they are no longer useful in Blender 2.80 (RIP):
- The render slots menu. Blender now supports named slots, and you can have as many as you want. Check out the N‑Panel when looking at a Render in the image editor.
- OpenGL rendering is old news. Now we have Eevee and the Workbench render engine.
- Custom CSS for RSS files are gone too. I used these to create a poor-man’s web panel. But now we can have actual web clients.
Render+ 2 is also available on Gumroad now!