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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Contents

  1. 1 Billing Questions
    1. 1.1 Q. Where can I view my bill?
    2. 1.2 Q. How do I convert my account from free trial to a paid account?
    3. 1.3 Q. When I try to log into Zync I get "your site is currently disabled". Why?
    4. 1.4 Q. How do the free trial credits work?
    5. 1.5 Q. How are service credits handled?
    6. 1.6 Q. I created a new Google Cloud Project. How do I connect it to a Zync site I've already created?
    7. 1.7 Q. How is render time billing counted?
    8. 1.8 Q. I haven't run a render in a while but I'm still getting charged for Zync, why?
  2. 2 Installation and Setup Questions
    1. 2.1 Q. I am having problems with the plugin installer, how do I solve this?
    2. 2.2 Q. How can I configure Zync to use a proxy?
    3. 2.3 Q. Where is the Cinema 4D Zync Plug-in?
  3. 3 Project Settings Questions
    1. 3.1 Q. What networking setup do I have to do in order to use Zync?
    2. 3.2 Q. I'm finished with a project and want to delete the files from storage, how do I do this?
    3. 3.3 Q. I submitted a job with 100 nodes but only 50 are running, why?
    4. 3.4 Q. Does Zync have an API?
  4. 4 Job Questions
    1. 4.1 Q. My job seems stuck, how can I get it running?
    2. 4.2 Q. What shall I do if rendering reports missing files?
    3. 4.3 Q. My job fails with complaints about cache files which cannot be written. How can I fix this?
    4. 4.4 Q. Why isn't my job starting?
    5. 4.5 Q. I hit the instances limit, how can I make some of my jobs finish first?
    6. 4.6 Q. My job is a Maya scene, why is Zync uploading & rendering a .vrscene/.ass file?
    7. 4.7 Q. Can I change the specification (e.g. output directory, etc.) of my job while running?
    8. 4.8 Q. How do I run multiple jobs at once?
    9. 4.9 Q. My Maya job failed during preflight with "# RuntimeError: Plug-in, "Mayatomr", was not found on MAYA _PLUG _IN _PATH.". Why?
    10. 4.10 Q. My downloads take too long. How to check progress or make them faster?
    11. 4.11 Q. What kind of characters are supported by Zync (Unicode, special chars)?
  5. 5 Supported Products Questions
    1. 5.1 Q. What application/renderer/plugin versions do you support?
    2. 5.2 Q. Do you support custom shaders & gizmos?
    3. 5.3 Q. Do you support OSL shaders in Arnold 5.0?
    4. 5.4 Q: Does Zync support integration with Shotgun ?
    5. 5.5 Q. What browsers do you support?
    6. 5.6 Q. Do you support Vray Proxies?
    7. 5.7 Q. What is the render workflow when submitting a render job from Houdini?
    8. 5.8 Q. How can I render UDIMs with Houdini?
    9. 5.9 Q. Is Cinema 4D R17 supported?
  6. 6 Preemptible VMs (PVMs) Questions
    1. 6.1 Q. What is a Preemptible VM (PVM)?
    2. 6.2 Q. If a PVM is taken away during a job, will I lose my work on the current task?
    3. 6.3 Q. If a PVM is taken away during a job, will it automatically retry?
    4. 6.4 Q. If a PVM is taken away during a job, will I still be charged?
    5. 6.5 Q. If a PVM is taken away during a task will those completed frames still be downloaded?
    6. 6.6 Q. How can I minimize risk of losing a render with a PVM?
  7. 7 Client Application Questions
    1. 7.1 Q. Why are my uploads so slow?
    2. 7.2 Q. I occasionally receive "500 Internal Server Error" in my Client App's logs. What's wrong?
    3. 7.3 Q. I have a large scene file to upload. Can't I just upload it directly to my storage bucket?
    4. 7.4 Q. After upgrading to the latest Zync Client App version, the Zync Client fails to launch with "The application Zync.app can't be opened." Why?
  8. 8 Assorted Plugin Questions
    1. 8.1 Q. Why is the Zync Shelf not appearing in Maya?
    2. 8.2 Q. How do I fix 'error: # Error: NameError: file <maya console> line 1: name 'zync _maya' is not defined #'?
  9. 9 Distributed Rendering Questions
    1. 9.1 Q. What is distributed rendering useful for?
    2. 9.2 Q. In what setups does Zync support distributed rendering?
    3. 9.3 Q. How can I kick off a Distributed Render job?
  10. 10 Security
    1. 10.1 Q. How does Google use the content I provide to Google via Zync under my Account?


Billing Questions

Q. Where can I view my bill?

A. Zync billing can be seen in the main billing section of your Google Developers Console. It can take up to 24 hours for Zync usage to appear in your Billing section after usage; however, we are working to reduce this delay.

Q. How do I convert my account from free trial to a paid account?

A. Follow standard procedure to upgrade your Google Cloud account to a paid account. Then follow the Zync Project Setup doc to ensure your project is configured correctly for use with Zync.

See this video, which walks you through the process

Q. When I try to log into Zync I get "your site is currently disabled". Why?

A. Your Zync site may have been disabled due to improper billing setup. Follow the steps outlined in Cloud Project Setup Doc . The account should be enabled automatically within minutes. All data will be preserved while this is happening.

Note also that deleting your Google Cloud Project will also disable your Zync site. A project that has been marked for deletion may be restored by following the steps outlined here . Once the project is restored, verify that Billing, and APIs are enabled by following the steps for Cloud Project Setup . If a project has been sitting in the pending delete state for more than 7-days, deletion is no longer reversible.

Please note that even with the $300 free trial credit you receive by signing up for Zync/Google Cloud Platform, you will be unable to start rendering without enabling billing on your credit card (but note you will not be actually charged).

Q. How do the free trial credits work?

A. The free trial credits are added to your account as soon as you create a Google Cloud Project. They last for up to 60 days, or until the credits have been spent (whichever happens first). Note that free trial credits are shared across all Cloud Projects and don't reset. You can read more about how the GCP free trial works by visiting https://cloud.google.com/free-trial/ .

Q. How are service credits handled?

A. Due to the highly complex nature of rendering, before submitting a full job to Zync, please test with a single frame to ensure the render is working properly. Service credits will be given in cases of failed jobs where Zync is the cause of the failure provided you have run a successful test frame prior to launching the full job. Credits (if any) are at the discretion of Google. Google is not obligated to extend a credit to any customer.

Q. I created a new Google Cloud Project. How do I connect it to a Zync site I've already created?

A. There is no way to do this at this time. A single Google Cloud Project may only be mapped to a single Zync site. Follow the steps for Cloud Project Setup to create a new Zync site for the new project.

Q. How is render time billing counted?

A. Billing time is based on both the time the VM is running for the render and the copy of the files back to GCS to prepare them for download back to your local file server.

Q. I haven't run a render in a while but I'm still getting charged for Zync, why?

A. You are charged for storage until you delete your data. If you no longer need to keep a project's data on Zync, you can delete it from the Projects Tab of the "My Account page" in your Zync web console.

Installation and Setup Questions

Q. I am having problems with the plugin installer, how do I solve this?

A. See Known Issues . If this does not help please contact zync-support@google.com .

Q. How can I configure Zync to use a proxy?

A. Both the Client application as well as Zync plugins support connections through an HTTP proxy. See the answer to the networking setup question .

Q. Where is the Cinema 4D Zync Plug-in?

A. As of the release of the Zync Client app in 2017, version 1.2.5 of the Zync plug-in can be found in the Pipeline menu in C4D.

Project Settings Questions

Q. What networking setup do I have to do in order to use Zync?

A. Your network must allow outgoing traffic on TCP ports 80 and 443, either directly, or through an HTTP proxy. No incoming rules (i.e. port forwarding) are necessary. If your organization requires the use of HTTP proxy, then see the Install & Setup page to learn more about how to configure the Zync Client App and host application plugins to use the proxy. The automatic plugin installer does not currently support the use of proxy, see known issues for a workaround.

Q. I'm finished with a project and want to delete the files from storage, how do I do this?

A. If you have admin privileges you can do this in the "Projects" tab of the "My Account" section in the Zync web console.

Q. I submitted a job with 100 nodes but only 50 are running, why?

A. New accounts start with 50 machines, if you need more please contact zync-support@google.com .

Q. Does Zync have an API?

A. Our Python API is available on GitHub .

Job Questions

Q. My job seems stuck, how can I get it running?

A. View the job activity by first selecting the job, then clicking Job -> View Job Log. This will show you what the job is currently working on. Large jobs may simply be taking a long time.

Individual jobs can be kickstarted by clicking Job -> Cancel Job followed by Job -> Resume Job. Tasks which have already been marked as "done" will not be re-rendered, but other tasks will. Warning: This should only be done under extreme circumstances as it a) causes you to lose progress on any tasks which are mid-render and b) causes the job to repeat its startup phase, including file check (though unchanged files will not need to be reuploaded).

If your job(s) still seem stuck or unresponsive, contact zync-support@google.com .

Q. What shall I do if rendering reports missing files?

A. Zync plugin has a mechanism of automatic detection of assets and dependencies. There are situations though in which some files may not get detected. In such case please use the option Select Extra Files in job submission dialog. Selected files or directories are stored in the config separately per each Zync project. They will be automatically included in the rendering whenever Select Extra Files option is selected.

Q. My job fails with complaints about cache files which cannot be written. How can I fix this?

A. This problem occurs when you have configured the cache files to be placed in a directory which is otherwise not used by the job.

An example of this is Global Illumination cache files in Cinema4D. If a custom location is set for GI cache files, the following warning is printed to the task log, and the render fails:

GI Irradiance Cache File cannot be written - please check output path!
Rendering failed: GI cache missing
C4D Stopped
C4D END

To fix this, make sure the "Custom location" is unchecked under "Render > Render Settings > Global Illumination > Cache files > File location".

Q. Why isn't my job starting?

A. Make sure you have the Zync client application installed, you are logged in and it's running on the client machine. Remember - a given user should only be logged in exactly one instance of a Zync client app.

Q. I hit the instances limit, how can I make some of my jobs finish first?

A. Zync supports the concept of job priority. You specify it in the Zync plugin during job submission, or you can alter it via web interface by selecting Job -> Change Job Options. The priority is specified as a number in the range <1, 100>, where higher number means more important job.

Q. My job is a Maya scene, why is Zync uploading & rendering a .vrscene/.ass file?

A. For Maya 2016 you are able to submit a job direct with the Maya scene file. For 2015 and earlier Zync currently supports a standalone-only workflow in which a standalone scene of your job is created on your local workstation, then uploaded to Zync and rendered using the standalone version of your renderer (Vray/Arnold).

Q. Can I change the specification (e.g. output directory, etc.) of my job while running?

A. You may adjust the number of nodes assigned to a job, and the job priority. No other changes to the job's specification may by performed while the job is running.

Q. How do I run multiple jobs at once?

A. You may, but you are limited to 50 machines across all jobs.

Q. My Maya job failed during preflight with "# RuntimeError: Plug-in, "Mayatomr", was not found on MAYA _PLUG _IN _PATH.". Why?

A. This is due to Mental Ray data being present in your scene. Mental Ray is not currently supported on Zync. In most cases this is junk data which is not actually used, and the error can be safely ignored: launch your job with the "Ignore Missing Plugin Errors" option selected. WARNING: If the ignored plugins are important to the scene, this could cause errors during render.

Q. My downloads take too long. How to check progress or make them faster?

A. Look into Transfers tab in Client Application to see progress. If the number of files is large - increase max transfers setting and restart the Client Application to ensure settings take effect immediately.

Q. What kind of characters are supported by Zync (Unicode, special chars)?

A. Currently special characters in file paths are not supported in Zync. Especially there is no Unicode support in Zync, neither for scenes nor for assets. Spaces in filepaths are not supported by Houdini jobs: https://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/render/expressions

Supported Products Questions

Q. What application/renderer/plugin versions do you support?

A. Detailed table of supported software:

  • Maya:
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .ass and rendered with Arnold Standalone (kick) 4.2.13.4
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .ass and rendered with Arnold Standalone (kick) 4.2.2.0
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray 2.x nightly build (latest, no longer updated)
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray 3.x nightly build (typically updated weekly)
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray Standalone, version 2.40.02 for x64
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray Standalone, version 3.05.04 for x64
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray Standalone, version 3.10.01 for x64
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray Standalone, version 3.30.02 for x64
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray Standalone, version 3.40.03 for x64
    • Autodesk Maya 2015 scenes exported locally to .vrscene and rendered with V-Ray Standalone, version 3.52.03 for x64
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with MtoA 1.2.7.3
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with MtoA 1.3.1.1
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with MtoA 1.4.2.2
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with MtoA 2.0.1
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with RenderMan 21.1 @1653204
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with V-Ray 3.x nightly build (typically updated weekly)
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with Vray for Maya 3.10.01
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with Vray for Maya 3.30.02
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with Vray for Maya 3.40.06
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with Vray for Maya 3.52.03
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with prman 19.0 @1497244
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 1 + SP6P09 with prman 20.11 @1645142
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with MtoA 1.2.7.3
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with MtoA 1.3.1.1
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with MtoA 1.4.2.2
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with MtoA 2.0.1
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with RenderMan 21.4 @1747743
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with Vray for Maya 3.40.06
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with Vray for Maya 3.52.03
    • Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2 with prman 20.11 @1645142
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with MtoA 1.3.1.2
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with MtoA 1.4.2.2
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with MtoA 2.0.1
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with RenderMan 21.4 @1747743
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with V-Ray 3.x nightly build (typically updated weekly)
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with Vray for Maya 3.40.06
    • Autodesk Maya 2017 Update 4 with Vray for Maya 3.52.03
    • Autodesk Maya 2018
    • Autodesk Maya 2018 with MtoA 2.0.1
  • Cinema 4D
    • Cinema 4D 18.058, Standard and Physical Renderers
    • Cinema 4D 18.058 with C4DtoA (Cinema 4D to Arnold) 1.7.0
    • Cinema 4D 18.058 with C4DtoA (Cinema 4D to Arnold) 2.0.3.1
  • Houdini
    • Houdini 15.0.459 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.12.1
    • Houdini 15.0.459 with Mantra
    • Houdini 15.5.523 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.12.1
    • Houdini 15.5.523 with Mantra
    • Houdini 15.5.565 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.12.2
    • Houdini 15.5.565 with Mantra
    • Houdini 15.5.632 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.13.0
    • Houdini 15.5.632 with Mantra
    • Houdini 15.5.673 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.14.0
    • Houdini 15.5.673 with Mantra
    • Houdini 15.5.717 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.14.4
    • Houdini 15.5.717 with HtoA (Arnold) 2.0.0
    • Houdini 15.5.717 with Mantra
    • Houdini 16.0.450 with Mantra
    • Houdini 16.0.557 with HtoA (Arnold) 1.14.4
    • Houdini 16.0.557 with HtoA (Arnold) 2.0.1
    • Houdini 16.0.557 with Mantra
    • Houdini 16.0.600 with HtoA (Arnold) 2.0.1
    • Houdini 16.0.600 with Mantra
    • Houdini 16.0.633 with Mantra
  • 3ds Max
    • 3ds Max 2018, Scanline Renderer
    • 3ds Max 2018 with Vray for 3ds Max 3.60.02
    • 3ds Max 2018 with Maxtoa (Max to Arnold) 1.0
  • Nuke
    • Nuke 9.0v9 (build: 2016.0704)
    • Nuke 10.0v4 (build: Aug 18 2016)
    • Nuke 10.5v5 (build: Jun 07 2017) with CaraVR 1.0v5
    • Nuke 11.0v1 (build: Jul 20 2017)

Please note that following Cinema 4D features are not supported on Zync:

  • Substance materials
  • Render into movie formats
  • Sound handling

Q. Do you support custom shaders & gizmos?

A. For Maya, Houdini and Nuke, YES, via the "My Account" page of your Zync site, under the "Site Configuration" section. For Cinema 4D, we do NOT support custom shaders/plugins yet.

For Maya and Arnold Standalone jobs , Arnold custom shaders can be included via the CUSTOM_SHADER_PATH setting.

For Nuke jobs , custom Nuke gizmos and scripts can be included via the NUKE_PLUGIN_PATH setting.

For Houdini jobs , custom shaders can be included via the ENV_ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH setting.

When changing these settings, please keep the following in mind:

  • Specify the full path(s) to custom shaders or gizmos on your local machine, separating multiple paths with a semicolon ( ; ).
  • In the case of compiled shaders ( .dll , .dylib , .so ) ensure you have the Linux version ( .so ) contained in that folder.
  • The path you place shader files in must not be in a root directory (i.e. the path must have at least two components). For example, use Z:/shaders/bin NOT Z:/shaders .

Q. Do you support OSL shaders in Arnold 5.0?

A. OSL shaders are supported like normal custom shaders but with one limitation. *.osl files need to be compiled to *.oso files before the job is submitted to Zync.

The *.osl files are automatically compiled when you open the scene in Maya, and when you render the scene locally. So in most cases it works the same as other custom shaders. You only need to make sure to re-compile the *.osl files when you make changes after the scene is opened.

Q: Does Zync support integration with Shotgun ?

A: Zync does not currently have any built-in integration with Shotgun. However, a developer could do some custom integration by using the Zync Python API. By calling Zync.get _jobs() and/or Zync.get _job _details() one could write a Python script that queries Zync job info, and as jobs finish update some corresponding info in Shotgun using the Shotgun Python API.

Q. What browsers do you support?

A. We support Google Chrome (32.0 or above) and Mozilla Firefox (29.0 or above).

Q. Do you support Vray Proxies?

A. Yes, Vray proxies in your scene will be detected and uploaded at render time along with other file dependencies.

Q. What is the render workflow when submitting a render job from Houdini?

A. Zync will upload a .hip and convert to either a Mantra ( .ifd ) or Arnold ( .ass ) job depending on the renderer you select. This is done during the preflight stage of the render. Once converted, the standalone file will be distributed according to the number of render nodes you have selected.

Q. How can I render UDIMs with Houdini?

A. Right now there is no support for detecting UDIM tokens, but it is possible to add any dependencies, including UDIM textures using select auxiliary files feature in Zync Houdini plugin.

Q. Is Cinema 4D R17 supported?

A. The build Zync is using for rendering is only built upon R18 and therefore that is the only officially supported build. However, R17 backwards compatibility should work in most cases. You may submit R17 jobs on Zync, but for support purposes only R18 is officially supported.

Preemptible VMs (PVMs) Questions

Q. What is a Preemptible VM (PVM)?

A. PVMs are excess capacity machines which are offered at a significant discount over regular on-demand machines. There is a risk they could be pulled from a job if capacity demand requires but are approximately 40% cheaper than using Zync on regular machine types.

Q. If a PVM is taken away during a job, will I lose my work on the current task?

A. At this time, that's correct. We'll automatically retry (see below) but the work done so far on that task is currently lost.

Q. If a PVM is taken away during a job, will it automatically retry?

A. Yes, your Zync job will automatically request a new render node to take its place. If the render node was working on a render task when it was preempted, that task will be put back on the queue so another render node can render it.

Q. If a PVM is taken away during a job, will I still be charged?

A. Yes, you will be charged for the duration the PVM was running.

Q. If a PVM is taken away during a task will those completed frames still be downloaded?

A. No, any frames completed during that task thus far will be lost. Zync renders your job in Chunks. Any chunks that have successfully completed are already transferred back to your local filer and kept on Zync storage. In progress chunks are lost, however. We recommend setting a lower chunk size of 1 frame when submitting a Job using Preemptible VMs to mitigate this risk.

Q. How can I minimize risk of losing a render with a PVM?

A. We recommend using PVMs for individual frames that are shorter in duration ( <3 hours) and setting your chunk size to 1.

Client Application Questions

Q. Why are my uploads so slow?

A. Upload speeds can vary for a variety of reasons. If you suspect Zync uploads to be much slower than normal, verify the following:

  • Are files being uploaded as Maya files, or are they being uploaded as standalone files such as .vrscene or .ass files? Standalone files tend to be much larger, and thus take a much longer time to upload. If you are using Maya 2016 or higher, consider uploading your job as a MayaIO (.mb or .ma) file. These files tend to be much smaller and thus upload much more quickly.
  • Are you behind a special network configuration such as a firewall or proxy? Work with your IT staff, or Internet Service Provider to ensure the Zync upload speeds aren't being impacted by special configurations.
  • Check to see if Google Cloud Storage is experiencing issues by visiting Google Cloud Platform's Cloud Status Dashboard .

Q. I occasionally receive "500 Internal Server Error" in my Client App's logs. What's wrong?

A. Occasional 500's are to be expected. In the event of a 500 error, the task is automatically retried.

Q. I have a large scene file to upload. Can't I just upload it directly to my storage bucket?

A. Not at this time.

Q. After upgrading to the latest Zync Client App version, the Zync Client fails to launch with "The application Zync.app can't be opened." Why?

A. This is a known issue due to an OS X bug. See our Known Issue section about it.

Assorted Plugin Questions

Q. Why is the Zync Shelf not appearing in Maya?

A. The python path defined in your environment variables is conflicting with the python path defined in the Maya.env file. In order to rectify this issue, you can remove the python _path variable from your environment variables or append Zync path from Maya.env to it. Once the changes are made to the environment variable do restart Maya in order for the new values to take effect.

Q. How do I fix 'error: # Error: NameError: file <maya console> line 1: name 'zync _maya' is not defined #'?

A. This indicates an error occurred while installing the plugins. The quickest resolution to this issue is to uninstall the plugins and then reinstall them.

Distributed Rendering Questions

Q. What is distributed rendering useful for?

A. Distributed rendering allows you to split a single high resolution frame across multiple machines.

Q. In what setups does Zync support distributed rendering?

A. Distributed Render is currently only possible for standalone VRay file renders, exported from Maya. Please also note that use of preemptible instances is not recommended for Distributed Render jobs.

Q. How can I kick off a Distributed Render job?

A. Select the "Distributed Rendering" checkbox in the Zync plugin.

Security

Q. How does Google use the content I provide to Google via Zync under my Account?

A. Google uses the content you provide to Zync under your Account only as necessary to provide the Services to you.

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