This documentation contains information specific to the use of Maxwell Render on the RANCH.
The total time of a project, which determines its cost, includes:
+ the distribution of the project across the network
+ the preparation / voxelization phase
+ the render time itself that you specify in the submit project form
+ and the merging of all the individual MXIs produced by the render nodes into the final MXI
Maxwell Render 2.7 introduced MXI compression. The size of the MXI file produced by a project is smaller, so it will take less time to download the final MXI, even though the compression ratio can vary considerably with each scene, depending on many parameters (number of channels, definition, number of emitters, use of Multilight, etc.). Compressed MXIs typically take a bit more time to merge than their non-compressed equivalent in low/medium definition, but less time in high definition.
The drawback of MXI compression is that it is no longer possible to accurately predict the merging time of a project based on the size of the MXI, since:
So a 500 MB compressed MXI file may be equivalent to a 1 GB uncompressed MXI, or a 4 GB uncompressed one… the merging time will be 4 times longer in the second case, even though the MXI compressed size is about the same. General rule to keep in mind: a complete merging on the RANCH Runner generally takes between 2 and 20 minutes, for typical MXI sizes (from a few MBs up to 2 GB).
Tip: to keep the size of the MXI low, do not use Multilight unless you absolutely need it. If that is the case, avoid Color Multilight as it can produce really _huge_ MXIs.
The RANCH offers specific features for unbiased renderers in general, and Maxwell Render in particular: