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RPManager Beta - news, updates, downloads - R6/7/8 only at this stage.

Here is where you can find out about the beta version of RPManager.

The beta is the same as the standard FULL RPManager, with a rewritten Object Properties capture/restore system. As such there is no RPManagerLite beta version.

Latest build is here. This is being used in production at a number of locations, but use with caution. History notes at the bottom of this page.

RPManager Beta version 3.478
(Change logs at the bottom of this page)

RPManager Beta version 3.47789
RPManager Beta version 3.47786
RPManager Beta version 3.47784
RPManager Beta version 3.47706
RPManager Beta version 3.47705
RPManager Beta version 3.47703
RPManager Beta version 3.47672
RPManager Beta version 3.47671
RPManager Beta version 3.47661
RPManager Beta version 3.4766
RPManager Beta version 3.4764
RPManager Beta version 3.4763

This uses the same license as an existing RPManager.

While the capture properties interface is identical, this version is not compatible with the older object properties system. Older files will be detected and converted to the new system, but you cannot go back the other way - once a file is in 3.5 land, it cannot go back to 3.2x, so save as a different version.


The major visible change, and change that means a different workflow, is that the material capture is now very different. It is accomplished using a new material - RPMMateral. This new material is akin to a mulit-sub object material in that it holds multiple materials in slots, except that each slot represents the entire material that will be restored for a single pass.

You no longer capture materials by assigning to the object and capturing - when you add an object to a capture set that has the RPMMaterial assigned as a property, the object has the RPMManager material assigned. To control which pass has which material, you edit the slots in the RPMManager materials. Assigning a new material to the object will stop restoration.

The RPMMaterial has a few advantages over the old system, notibly that you can see at a glance what materials are assigned to each pass as they are all visible at once as small thumbnails, and you can instance materials across passes in the same RPMMaterial, and across multiple RPMMaterials, using the standard drag and drop and RC copy/paste material functionality. Assigning materials to multiple objects is no longer as straightforward, but there are scripts to facilitate this with little hassle. The benefits far outweigh the negatives of the system.

The RPMMaterial IS mental ray compatible, if you need this copy this file into your 3dsmaxroot/mentalray/shaders_autoload/include directory and restart 3dsmax. Slaves will need this too.

The major benefit from the rewrite is speed. The system is up to 100x faster on heavy scenes, and even in light scenes it is noticably faster. It uses less memory to restore, and is more stable as a result. Material restoration using the new RPMMaterial is much faster, and property restoration has been moved to a plugin helper so is much faster than the partially scripted solutions in the older version.

The plugin helpers are hidden from the user using the same technique as pflow objects, so they can be seen for merges, but do not appear in the trackview, select by name dialog, etc.

Network slaves will, with this version, require the RPManager plugins be installed.

The capture/restore system is fast enough now that the Auto Capture toggle is on by default.

More information, along with some screenshots to come.



RPM will now auto capture the current passes setup when you create a new pass/duplicate a pass (if only one pass selected): this means that if you tweak your settings on the current pass, you can just create a new pass without having to remember to capture the settings.

Filtered Prefix was not submitting to Backburner with correct filtering for the Command Line Submission.
It was possible to add RPM object property helpers to an RPM object property capture set - which should not have been allowed. Now disallowed.
Preview override indicator (those red lines at top/bottom of a preview) have been replaced with a Render Effect. See here for a description. It uses the default for this plugin (which you can set, uses an .ini file).

Added add/remove object(s) from capture sets to the capture set Right Click menu.
Fusion5 hooked up for building automatic comps. Requires Fusion5.01 or later. Menu items for Fu5 compositing added to the 'External' button in the quickcomp rollout as well as the Output menu.
Enlarged the scripts rollouts text entry areas

I've extended the prefix functionality a bit:
Firstly, in there for a while is the ability to set a default for the 'Prefix' paremeter in the RenderPassManager.ini file in the maxroot/scripts/RPManager/ directory. The key needs to be created, but in the


section add:


Where this is useful, is if you set it to
the string used as the prefix is the max scene name, filtered using "_-.", and the
first 3 bits as well as the last of the filtered resultis used. ie
WE_CC_190_testing_tk101 would end up as a prefix of:
#filteredscenename_2_1 on the same thing is WE_CC_tk101
#filteredscenename_2_0 on the same thing is WE_CC

Render Elements enabled for Vray

Setting QuickComp passes mode to anything would error
Adding an object already assigned to a capture set to a new set didn't always remove the object from the original set.
Working with the Object Properties off via the checkboxes in the global viewport settings could mess up your captured properties when you turned either back on - it now does a property restore immediately if relevant.
If render elements was captured for vray or brazil (could happen despite the UI being disabled) it could crash max after a render.
Preview only exposure was broken (having it on/off in the preview only)
Deadline support: Chunksize was being ignored
New .tif features supported in the output path inspector/editor, removing a script error if 16 bit int used.
An exr output callback was not being removed for R8, could cause problems with exr output.
Setting xref override materials was sometimes broken.
Multipass camera effects could break RPM if not a property of the camera.
Local Extension for auto path generation was resetting the output format setup.
Added 3dsmaxcmd as a submission option for Deadline (for those 8k vray buffers)
The RPMMaterial is now public - ie you can see it in the material list and assign it as you please.
Added option to save out all RPM passes as individual scenes (in the 'Passes' menu). The scenes are setup so that next time they are opened, the RPManager data is deleted (requires RPM to be installed on the machine opening it).
Xrefs now support restoring RPManager properties in the xrefs themselves. A new mapping dialog allows you to map the passes in the xrefs to the passes in the current scene.
If the restore render params checkbox is off, the rollout tabs display red to indicate the mode.
More work done on merging properties from other scenes - on (simple) test scenes it now works fine :) NEED TESTING. Also, you currently need to load the cameras from the xref.
The 'Object Properties Preferences' dialog has been enabled - here you can set whether the RPM sub materials are instanced or copied when new passes are added/duplicated,
whether objects with the same pre-assign material get an instanced RPMMaterial, or enable the 'Remove RPMaterial During Render' option.
Added a 'Remove RPMMaterial during render' option (this is in the globals UI and mirrored in the 'Object Properties Preferences' dialog: what this does is remove the RPMMaterial during a render (swaps the material for the submaterial), and puts them back afterwards (for local and network renders). What this means is that mental ray SSS and photon shaders will work correctly: they have issues being a submaterial. It does not fix the general submaterial
issue with MR shaders, but means that the RPMMaterial no longer will be a problem when combined with these.
Added a quick priority modification spinner to the render alert dialog, next to the 'Use preview overrides' button.
This will submit the passes with the modification added to the priority of all passes (spinner goes to negative). Still clamped at 0/1 and 100.
I often want to modify all my passes priorities, this gives a quick way. You enable it by checking the 'Priority mod' button. Always defaults
to off as with the Use Preview Overrides button.
Remote priority for deadline submits was defaulting to 100 unless it was manually changed during the session.
Bug fix for R7 (didn't affect R8 for some reason) - captured vray property buffer could corrupt on adding/removing properties.
OpenEXR setting with R7 was broken since they changed the type of data the openexr interface expects.
Accidentally (or otherwise) deleted RPMPropertyHelpers no longer error RPManager.
Added the ability to display RPManager propery holder nodes has been added. New submenu in the object properties menu.
##Why is this useful? You can use the UI of the node to reassign what it is capturing for.
So you can duplicate the node, set it to point at a different node, and then use ALT when clicking on the 'Add nodes to capture set' to simply add the property holder into the set without any re-capturing going on. NOTE though that it does no checking (yet) for if the captured
properties are appropriate for the pass. If there are not enough passes (say you merged the helper in from another scene with less passes) then data is not filled in, so use with caution - but should be useful nonetheless.

Work on remote submission for Deadline.
Layer sets editor sorts layer list.
Bug fixes and tweaks to generic submit.
In 3dsmax8, light and light shadow color properties were not being captured at all.
Duplicating a pass would mess up pass color coding.
New checkbox for restore camera view was not hiding when the global groups was collapsed.
Duplicating a pass could completely mess up the RPM material in some cases - bug fix, last fix was over-zealous.
Output Property Inspector was messing up which column was being edited if you scrolled sideways.
- Added checkbox for controlling whether the active viewport is set to the pass camera - always for a preview/render/submission, but optional for general pass restoration.
Deadline support for Max8.
- The new instanced RPMMaterial feature for newly captured objects could incorrectly assign RPMMaterials in certain cases.
- Renaming a pass no longer renames RPMMaterial slot with the global prefix in there too...
- Added task timeout to deadline submission properties
- Fixed loading/saving deadline defaults
- 2 new filters for the output path generation:
"Use First N Parts: Divide into parts using supplied characters, put together with same divider"
"Use Last N Parts: Divide into parts using supplied characters, put together with same divider"
(primarily to cater for shot names that may be either xx_00_000 or xx_000_000)
- Speedup in capturing properties for some scenes.
- EXR for splutterfish and 3dsmax8 plugins have slightly different property and .ini file support, required an RPM fix: RPM will now correctly restore default EXR plugin file format properties.
- Added a display material stamp option to the Object Property Spreadsheet - click a cell reporting a material name to display.
- Added support for MR motion blur offset to the renderer UI, and rapid motion blur preview overrides.
- If the backburner group list has a group name selected, RPM will requery the manager for the group members on submission - this is for studios that change group contents regularly.
- Duplicating a pass could completely mess up the RPM material in some cases.
- Generic submit added to the network rendering managers - should allow submission to just about any commandline driven system.
3.47672 ( - note: this installer includes an updated RPMPropHolder.dlo plugin.
UserPropBuffer (typically used for vray property capture/restore) as a property was incorrectly being inserted into the property list causing loss of captured data.
- Wireframe as a property was not capturing/restoring correctly
- Objects that instanced materials before being converted to an RPMMaterial maintain the instancing - the RPMMaterial itself is instanced across these materials. Previously the sub-materials maintained their instancing, but not the actual RPMMaterial.
- Redundant RPMPropertyHolders are now automatically deleted.
- Holding ALT to move passes to top/bottom of list was failing to reorder RPMMaterials correctly.
- Object Property Spreadsheet now colours true/1 green, false/0 red
- Reordered where the Object Property Spreadsheet appears in the Properties menu (now first item).
- Object Property Spreadsheet now only optionally shows capture set override materials.
- Object Property Spreadsheet now restores immediately (if current pass edited), so leaving the Auto Capture on is fine (workflow was irritating before).
- Reworked the copy/paste buffer of the Object Property Spreadsheet - middle click to copy now.
- Added material handing checkbutton to the Object Property Spreadsheet - you can choose whether materials from Medit or pasted are copies or instances.
- User prop buffer was being captured corruptly if over 255 characters on capture initial props.
- Copy/Paste in Object Property Spreadsheet now supports the UserPropBuffer.
- More effort is made to keep the Object Property Spreadsheet synched with the scene requiring less manual refreshing.
- Rearranged UI of the Object Property Spreadsheet.

- Auto build paths button/menu item was incorrectly showing the auto build .mi file dialog.
- Max 8 compatibility fix for mental ray.
- move pass up/down not reodering materials correctly
move pass up/down not reodering instanced RPMMaterials correctly
- Right Click in the Object Property Spreadsheet modifies the item you have clicked on, rather than what _was_ selected when you clicked.
- Setting the preview temp directory now no longer fails.
- Arrow keys used to change passes should now work - it was likely to mess up captures object properties quite badly.
3.47661 (
- object visibility was not restoring correctly. Change needs testing.
3.4766 (
- Occasional very slow restore (5+ seconds for few objects) fixed
- Object superclass now referenced from top of stack - ie base object splines with renderable set should now capture/restore correctly.
3.4764 (
RPMMaterial slots were not being renamed when passes were being renamed