Lifecycle of a Zync Job

Like any other rendering process, Zync jobs follow a standard task pattern or "lifecycle". When monitoring your Zync jobs, it is important to understand what to monitor during each rendering phase.

Job Phases

1. Job Submission

When submitting a job to Zync, you will need to first ensure that your local render settings are correct before configuring your submission settings through the Zync plugin. The plugin checks to ensure your render settings are correct before uploading the project folders and additional files using the Zync API. Additional scene preparation such as cleaning Nuke script node trees or exporting VRay Standalone scenes also occurs during this phase.

What to Expect: When you launch a Zync job from your plugin, you will see a text box stating the job submission was successful. If you receive an error message, check to see if your submission settings are correct, your Client App is running in the background, and your render layers are selected.

TIP: Please read any warning messages thoroughly in order to make sure your settings are correct. Select "Open Web Console" in your Client App window in order to monitor your submitted job on your Zync site.

2. Upload & File Check

Zync transfers project files from your local computer to GCP instances through the Client App. Zync checks all file dependencies to ensure that any relevant data was copied to GCP.

What to Expect: Your Zync site will show the job as "Uploading",or "Checking" when detecting file dependencies. If Zync finds missing file dependencies, it will show them in your job log. If these files are crucial to your scene, you may cancel the job and submit another copy of the scene using "Select Extra Files" to upload any additional dependencies.

3. Job Preflight

The Preflight phase refers to preparing renderable assets for each job and preparing render nodes.

What to Expect: Preflight involves ensuring all necessary file paths can be accessed and spinning up nodes to begin rendering. If an issue is detected during the preflight phase, the job will terminate, and further details will be available in the job and task logs. The logs may notify you to contact Zync Support for additional assistance.

4. Main Render Phase

Frames are grouped into tasks in order of their place in the sequence. Each task is rendered by a the GCP instance assigned to it.

What to Expect: Render instances are created up during job preflight, and others may be created or removed during the Main Render Phase according to the job options you have set and the size of the task queue. Zync launches a pool of instances to be shared among the whole job. Each of those instances complete tasks off the job queue, and the task queue is exhausted, the render instances will shut down.

Task Lifecycle

This is the part of the job where rendering takes place. Jobs are split into tasks, with each task representing a set of frames. Each task follows these steps:

  • Task Handout: Each task is assigned to a specific render node. If tasks outnumber available render nodes, they will remain in the queue until more nodes become available.
  • Render: The task is rendered by the assigned node.
  • Copyback to GCS: The finished tasks are copied back to your Google Cloud Storage.

File Download

The Zync API copies the finished frames back to your computer through the Zync Client App. Users can also download their completed files directly from their Zync site through the "Browse Files" page.

What to Expect: It is important to note that the Zync Client App needs to be running in order to perform this step. If the Client App is not running, the job status will remain in "Downloading" until it is launched again. If the tasks fail to download, you may retrieve your frames by launching the Client App, logging into your Zync web console and from there, you have two options:

  1. Select the checkbox next to each affected task, and select "Redownload Tasks" in the Task dropdown menu. This option is useful for larger tasks.
  2. Navigate to Browse Files > Projects, and locate your desired outpath in the folders. Frames can be downloaded individually from here.