With Afanasy (open source renderfarm manager) you can send jobs on your renderfarm directly from Maya. You need for that to use the submission scripts located here : C:\cgru-windows\plugins\maya (cf. previous article).

CGRU proposes in fact a Plug-in which gives you a whole toolkit in a drop-down menu.

CGRU Maya menu

To make the CGRU plugin work on Maya it is necessary to configure its environment variables. You can do it simply by :
  • On Keeper: Right click => Software => Maya
Keeper will launch Maya configuring its environment variables.

Be carreful : this setup is not "permanent"! Meaning that Keeper does not modify your environment variables situated in C:\Users\HOST-NAME\Documents\maya\20xx-x64\Maya.env. If you re-open Maya by your usual link you will not have access to the CGRU plugin.

When Maya is launched by Keeper you can go to "Window => Settings / preferences => Plug-in Manager", you will find CGRU in front line.

CGRU Maya plugin

Once activated CGRU will appear in your menus:

CGRU Maya menu

You have now access to all its options as well as the possibility of sending directly your jobs to Afanasy. CGRU proposes 4 methods, depending on which renderer you use :
  • Afanasy (Maya Batch)
  • VRay
  • MentalRay
  • Arnold

The simplest method : "Afanasy (Maya Batch)..."

Afanasy Maya Batch 

It's the "universal" method because you can use whatever renderer you need with it. However don't forget that in this case you'll have to install Maya, its plugins and your renderer on every clients of your renderfarm.


For VRay users there is another method less licence consuming which is to use the "Standalone". You don't need anymore to install Maya on every client, just select "Standalone only" when you install VRay and that's it !

VRay Standalone

Now you have to setup, on every computers of your renderfarm, workstation and clients, the path of Vray.exe in the Windows environment variables:
  1. "Start => Control panel => System => Advanced parameters => Environment variables..."
  2. Search for "Path", select then "Modify..."
  3.  Add to the end : ;C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\Maya 20XX for x64\bin
  4. Press OK
VRay environment variable

Tip: restart afrender after each editing of environment variables.

You can now send your VRay jobs from Maya with "VRay To Afanasy..."

VRay to Afanasy

There are two steps :
  1. press "Generate .vrscene" to export your animation in Vray format. This will create a folder in your project directory with one .vrscene file by frame of your animation.
  2. then press Submit

Et voila ! 

Tips: if you don't want to use Keeper every time you open Maya:
  • Right click on your Maya shortcut => Properties => Shortcut Tab => replace the target "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya20xx\bin\maya.exe" with "C:\cgru-windows\software_setup\start_maya.cmd", and delete "Start in", then "Apply" then "OK".
  • Or go to "C:\cgru-windows\software_setup\start_maya.cmd" and make a shortcut : Right click => Send towards => Desktop.


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