Sunday, December 13, 2015

3DS Max Backburner error "3dsmax.exe no response" - 3DS Max 2016 SP2

Geeze, what a journey!

So, on submitting a job through backburner after the update to 3DS Max 2016 SP2 (but see later!) I was getting an error from all 3 of my network machines, saying "3dsmax.exe no response" with an error code of -2 unexpected error.

This had me scratching my head. A message would have been something like "Mismatched version" as the update had NOT run on those 3 machines.

Some way of knowing what version was installed would be good (anyone know of one?) 3DS Max only runs direct as an expired trial on the servers, so I have no way to run it there and click on About to see what version is installed.

Anyway, turns out the update program had not run. Not sure why. It ran, then vanished from my remote access screens, and I shut everything done thinking "Success!" So today I deleted the "Autodesk" folder on the C drive of every machine (just installation files, redundant once install is done) as I noticed they were all old and not from the recent run of updates.

Then I re-ran the update... only this time I noticed a "Do you want this program to make changes on this machine?" dialog that I hadn't seen before. Had I not noticed as I'd minimized or closed out the remote access and it had vamoosed down to the task bar? Not sure, can't say how I missed it THREE times, once on every machine.

So this time I confirmed yes, of course I bloody do, that's why I ran the program. Big clue is that it takes about an hour to run the update, and if it finishes pretty quickly, something is wrong!

Documentation on Backburner and it's problems are a bit scant, along with the error messages being unhelpful - "Wrong version" would have told me straight away what was up.

Anyway, this seems to have resolved it - now to see if Scanline and MentalRay are working at normal speeds over the network! UPDATE - they do! Thank goodness!

Friday, December 11, 2015


Now those are a good combination of letters and numbers! The accompanying entry in the 3DS Max 2016 SP2 release notes is "3ds Max 2016 Render from command line adds 9 seconds to a 1 second frame" (I swear that is the wording I used when reporting the problem!)

This was causing me to be unable to use MentalRay or Scanline rendering on the network, as submitting through Backburner is basically the same, and the upshot was it was slower to render using the four machines than to just kick off the render on the one main one!

I am glad that is resolved - I love the Corona Renderer and will be using it in most of my renders still, but, there are times when quick and simple is all I need, no GI etc, and now I have the option back to use the native Max renderers when they are best suited. And the weekend is a good time to get it installed on all four machines, perfect!


I recently relocated, and as it happens all four of my machines are now nicely in one location! My little creative corner where 3D, video and music are all brought into being!


Just wrapped up a video, all done with 3DS Max and the Corona Renderer, explaining the technical features of the Hamar Stealth laser alignment system - check it out on their YouTube channel:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I need more time!

As useful as anti-virus is (sadly - why is it people feel the need to be destructive, or to steal, so that we need this kind of software?), it is irritating when I have 72 hours or so of rendering going on, and the maximum option for "remind me about the update and restart in" is 60 minutes...

This is the machine that controls all the others in the network, I can't go restarting it, and I am still working on it, I don't want to see your dang box pop up and tease me with three digits for 999 minutes, but only let me pick up to 60! And run the risk that I hit "Restart Now" because I am in the middle of doing stuff and pressing keys.

I don't know, no consideration for the 3D artists out there! What do you mean it is only a small minority that has their machine working flat out for days at a time and can't reboot? Nonsense!