Q: Is there a quick reference for me to determine minimum machine specifications?
A: Check the Conductor Cheat Sheet. It will also detail supported software, operating systems, maximum number of concurrent cores and more.
Q: How does licensing work for tools like Autodesk Maya or Nuke from the Foundry?
A: One of the biggest benefits of using Conductor Technologies is that all licensing is handled from our end. As a user, you specify the tools you need for success and we take care of the rest.
Q: What Is Conductor?
A: Conductor is a cloud-based task management application and servicing media and entertainment users.
It enables digital artists and studios to have access to large compute and storage resources with minimal configuration, management, and training. From the artist’s point of view, Conductor should be seen as simply an extension of their local resources. It is our job to provide a stable and flexible platform which allows them to use cloud resources without changing the way they work.
By using secure public cloud compute services such as Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure Batch, we can launch hundreds of instances on-demand and make those resources available to a customer when they need them. As soon as all work is complete, those resources can be powered off and billing stops.
Disk usage will continue and render instances have a minimum of 10 minutes. This scalable farm approach allows us to not focus as much on keeping 100% utilization across an entire farm all day, as we always have 100% utilization of the currently running instances.
Q: How much does Conductor cost?
A: You can find information on Conductor pricing and how it works here.
Q: How do I set up a Conductor account?
A: Setting up an account to use Conductor is simple and will only take a few minutes.
- If you don’t already have one, create an account user here. See this article to understand the steps.
- During the signup process, you will establish the name of the account, set up billing methods and establish the first project. Afterward, you can then use the Conductor Web App to:
Adding users (optional)
Setting up payment information
Setting up account and project cost limits (optional)
Once you have finished that process your account will be active and ready for use!
Q: What do we need to download?
A: You will need to download and install the client tools, which include Conductor's in-application submitter plugins and upload/download daemons. Access the latest tools here. If you have any questions whatsoever during this setup process, please contact [email protected]
Q: How does Conductor work?
A: Conductor is designed to feel very much like using a normal local render farm. It automates all of the difficult "cloud stuff" to create a familiar, effortless process. This isn't your average render service: no FTP uploads, no re-pathing your scene's dependencies, no manual downloads and no human intervention necessary! Our goal is for Conductor to live side-by-side with your local farm to provide additional capacity or, if you're starting anew, alleviate the need to ever have a local farm to begin with!
Simply launch the Conductor submitter plugin from within any supported 2D or 3D application, set your render parameters such as frame range and desired machine type, and click "submit!" The submitter will find all dependencies for your scenes - be they models, textures, image sequences, etc. - and securely upload them to the cloud. If you've submitted the scene before, or some of your dependencies were created within Conductor (say, a 3D render going in to a Nuke comp), Conductor detects that it doesn't have to re-upload the things that are already in the cloud. Thanks to sophisticated data de-duplication, even files that have been moved or renamed won't need a re-upload! All file path mappings are handled with Conductor's back end, so no re-pathing of your files is necessary. Once the uploads are finished, your data will automatically synchronize to our high-performance cloud storage system and your render will begin. If no instances are already running, Conductor will create them on-demand. You'll be able to view your job's progress and control its tasks in Conductor's easy-to-use web interface. Once each frame finishes, it will be automatically downloaded back to the local location you'd originally specified at submission time. If the render instances that were started for your job don't have any other tasks to move on to, they're shut down and you're only billed for what you used.
Conductor can manage this process for hundreds or thousands of jobs at the same time, scaling massively to handle the most demanding tasks. If you're a power user, Conductor provides the capacity to upload custom scripts and plugins, replicates your environment variables, and allows you to tag your jobs with arbitrary metadata that you can run reports on later. Its API provides hooks to do all kinds of neat stuff, from cost reporting to job controls.
Our mission is to make Conductor as effective for a beginner as it is to an established company with a large pipeline, and everything in between!
Q: How many machines can I run?
A: When you first sign on and are getting used to Conductor, you'll be limited to 100 concurrently running machines or, as we call them in cloud-speak, instances. We put this limit in place to reduce your risk of accidentally overspending while you're still coming up to speed with how cost limits work, and discovering any unexpected kinks pertaining to how your scenes work in Conductor, given that it's a beta! We'll be happy to increase your instance limit up to 1,000 or more upon request to [email protected]
Q: How much disk space do I start with? How do I get more?
A: Disk space is billed as used, so you'll start with exactly as much as you need and not a MB more! Your own, isolated, high-performance cloud file server that services your personal Conductor render farm increases its capacity in "chunks" of 1TB. We strive to do this behind the scenes for you proactively, although it's currently a manual process on our end. Because of that, we ask that you please give us a heads up if you expect a large influx of data, be it from your Conductor processes or uploads. We'll be automating this process at some point during the beta period, and will notify customers when that functionality is live!
The total amount of disk space you have access to in Conductor is theoretically unlimited.
Q: How much does it cost to use Conductor?
A: Conductor charges are based on how much you use - each instance type and software package has a single easy-to-understand cost which includes the system, I/O, and software licensing. You are billed per minute of use, with a 10 minute minimum on each instance. Storage is billed separately based on how much space you use on average over a month's time period. For specific cost breakdowns, click here.
Q: What kind of instances are available?
A: We offer a wide range of hardware configurations to best suit your needs. Currently, they're the following:
|2 Core||13.0GB RAM|
|4 Core||15.0GB RAM|
|4 Core||26.0GB RAM|
|8 Core||7.20GB RAM|
|8 Core||52.0GB RAM|
|16 Core||14.4GB RAM|
|16 Core||60.0GB RAM|
|16 Core||104GB RAM|
|32 Core||28.8GB RAM|
|32 Core||120GB RAM|
|32 Core||208GB RAM|
|64 Core||57.6GB RAM|
|64 Core||240GB RAM|
|64 Core||416GB RAM|
* a virtual CPU is implemented as a single hardware hyper-thread
Q: How do I suggest a feature?
A: We really value all of the suggestions from our customers, and evaluate each one individually. To make a suggestion on a feature or enhancement to Conductor, please submit a ticket using the Submit a Ticket above.
Q: What Content Creation Applications are supported?
A: Conductor is always working to increase the number of software packages that are supported by the service, so check back frequently for updates! Currently, Conductor supports the following toolsets:
*Standalone submissions currently limited to command line configurations. Renderers running within Maya and Nuke have GUI support.
**Supported plugin’s for Maya. Yeti inquiries should contact [email protected]
***Supported plugin’s for Nuke
Q: What OS platforms are supported?
A: For the client OS, we support Linux and MacOS platforms, and have limited Windows support for select software packages. More details here. The Conductor application seamlessly translates your environment to run on the Linux render systems.
Q: How secure is Conductor?
A: Protection of your data is incredibly important to us, and we are constantly working to ensure that Conductor is secure. We tightly control access to the system, encrypt data during transmission and on-disk, and have engaged with external audit firm Independent Security Evaluators (securityevaluators.com) to perform an objective assessment of the Conductor platform. For more information on Conductor security, click here [insert link].
Q: Is there a user forum where I can talk to other Conductor users?
A: Not yet, but it’s coming! We’ll announce via email and the ConductorTech website when the release date is imminent.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: Get more details here.
Q: How much internet bandwidth do you recommend?
A: The amount of internet bandwidth you'll need is entirely dependent on your workflow. Conductor is very efficient with uploads and downloads, and strives to eliminate any data from being transferred more than once, even if a file changes its name or location. That said, low internet bandwidth and high data footprint can lead to substantial workflow bottlenecks. We recommend at least 30-100mbps for individuals, 100-300mbps for small companies and 1gbps for medium to large organizations.
Q: What happens to my data when I log off of Conductor?
A: Your data is safe with us! Anything that you’ve uploaded in to Conductor stays securely stored until it’s been more than 60 days since it was last accessed, at which point we automatically prune it to keep your storage costs down. Any files that have been created in Conductor get stored there permanently, until your archive or delete your project.