Prepare the project
The rendered result depends on the correct configuration of the project file. To avoid errors and unnecessary expenses, carefully read the recommendations for each software that you used for your project. Lacrimas Farm is not responsible for the result of the project rendered without appropriate configuration.
C4D
Houdini
Blender
Maya
3d Max
Select the software in which you created your project, and in the list below you will find solutions to the most common errors:
After Effects
1. Naming and project structure
All files and folders of the project must be named in Latin letters, without special characters and without spaces.
As_separator_use
_underscore.

Project_Name_Cam_01.max
Project_Name_Cam_02.max
Project_Name_Cam_03.max

The project folder structure should look like this:
    Check the version of 3Ds MAX installed on the farm. Now it is 3Ds MAX 2021. It is recommended to prepare the scene in the same version, or in lower versions. If the preparation is done on a senior version, then at the end of it, resave the project in a supported version. To do this, execute File - Save As ... and in the Save as type: field, specify 3ds Max 2021 (*.max):
However, it should be remembered that the tools that appeared in older versions may not work in the 21st version. To minimize such problems, adhere to the following recommendation:

Do not leave clutter in the modifier stack - collapse, leaving only the anti-aliasing modifier (Turbosmooth, Meshsmoth, OpenSubdiv).
1. The main folder, which contains all other files and subfolders;
2. One or more scenes to be rendered;
3. Subfolders with assets and the assets themselves in the following variations:

a) all assets (including textures) are added to the project folder;
b) textures are added to the maps folder, the rest into one folder with the project.
c) textures are added to the maps folder, luminaire files (*.IES) to the IES folders, proxy objects (*.rs, *.octprx, *.vrmesh) - to the proxy folder.
2. Project collect
Almost any project uses various assets or external data:
  • bitmap files - textures (*.tiff, *.jpg, *.png, *.psd, *.hdr, *.tga etc.)
  • Proxy objects (*.rs, *.octprx, *.vrmesh etc.)
  • XRefs (*.max)
  • Alembic (*.abc)
  • IES files (*.ies)
  • Cache files
  • Substance files (*.sbsar)
  • Volumetrics (*.vdb)
  • Sound files (*.wav, *.aiff, *.mp3)
All assets are written in the scene in the form of paths to files that are loaded into the scene in the course of work and image rendering: textures in materials, IES in light sources, alembics in corresponding objects, etc.

In order to correctly transfer the scene, it is necessary to collect all the assets used inside the scene into a single directory, including the scene file (*.max).

Getting Started with the Resource Collector
In the Common panel, select the Utilities tab (wrench icon), click the More button and, in the window that appears, select the Resource collector line:
Click OK! In the appeared parameters, select the path where to "collect" our content, check the Include MAX File option and click Begin.
NOTE: The Resource collector ignores proxy ies, vdb, sims (for example Phoenix FD), so if you know what is used in the scene, copy it all manually to the same directory as the main content.
Relative paths
Each asset is written as a path to an external file on the hard drive. If this path is specified incorrectly, then when the scene is opened, this asset will not be loaded. Therefore, paths to assets (textures, proxy objects, etc.) must always (!) Be specified locally. A relative or local file path is a path that indicates the location of the file relative to where the project scene is located.

Example. There is a project scene D:\Project\Render\Test_Scene.max. A texture with a global path is loaded into this project D:\Project\Render\Sample.png. In the material, the local path to this texture will look very simple - Sample.png.

You can check the paths to assets manually, but if there are many of them, it is easier to use the Asset Tracking window, in which you can control all the assets in the scene.

If you put all the assets used in it (without subfolders) into one folder with the scene and specify the paths to these assets simply as the name of these files, then they will all be loaded into the project correctly.

Key requirements for any asset:
  1. All assets used in projects must be uploaded together with the scene (or scenes) to the cloud.
  2. The name of any asset must be in Latin letters without spaces (use underscore as a separator).
  3. In a project, the path to each asset must be local.
Assigning Relative Paths with Asset Tracking

Let's go back to 3Ds MAX and open the file from the folder that we specified as the target for the Resource collector.
Call the Asset Tracking window via File - Reference - Asset Tracking Toggle. Or by holding down the Ctrl + T keys.
Name - asset name.
Full Patch - full path to the asset on disk.
Status - asset state.
File Missing - no asset found in the given path.
Found - the asset is found and ready for work.

Our task is to ensure that each asset has the Found status, and the Full Patch is empty! To do this, select all (and if there are many assets, it is better to select one by one, in groups) assets and by right-clicking on them, select Strip path from the menu:
What does it mean to "take" a file from the directory shared with the scene!
If a file with this name is present in the same directory with the scene, then the path is overwritten, and the status will change to Found:
Also, Asset Tracking displays links to Proxy IES, if they are present in the scene:
For these files, you also need to reset the paths. To do this, select all of them and click on them with RMB and select Strip path from the menu. If these files were copied to the shared folder with the scene, then the status from OK should change to Found. (It doesn't matter if the files are located next to the project, or in subfolders, they must be loaded).
If the scene uses simulations such as explosions, liquids, windows, which were simulated, for example, in Phoenix FD, or RealFlow - these simulations have a cache: a sequence of special files loaded from the hard disk, calculated in advance.

Such sequences of files are saved in a separate folder in Phoenix FD, usually called: "Scene_name.max_Phoenix_frames". Such a folder must be copied to the shared folder with the project, and in the scene on the Phoenix FD object, the relative path must be specified in the tab Input: $(scene_path),
For other simulations, for example RealFlow, the cache must also be copied to the shared folder with the project and the path to it must be relative. How to do this correctly should be indicated in the user manual.
Assigning relative paths to the cache
The goal is to reset the paths of all assets so that everyone remains in the Found state

If in the process the asset was manually copied to the shared folder, the path was reset, and the status remained File Missing, click the Refresh button

If some assets are not found and you are sure that they are not needed, you can delete them using the Remove Missing Assets tool.
3. Animation baking
A wide variety of animation tools can be used in any animation project. Some of them are procedural and involve some variation in playback. This applies to almost any dynamics, Cloth modifier, animation controllers (such as spline movement of an object), and some Space Warps warps. In order for the render result to be correct, all this must be translated into animation keys on the timeline, or into Point Ccache, before sending it to the render farm.

If there is a simulation with the Cloth modifier, you must go through all the objects in the scene to which it is applied and in the Objects rollout Click Create Keys:
(To Max's warning that the action cannot be canceled, we answer yes).
Keyframes will appear on the timeline, and the Cloth modifier will disappear from the stack.
To "bake" other animations, you can use scripts: Total Animation Baker - Take here, and World-Space to Local Animation - Take here. The latter creates a * .xml file - a cache of points and connects it through the Point Cache Binding (WSM) modifier. However, you need to check that the file was created in the directory shared with the scene, otherwise copy it there, and reset the path through Asset Tracking.
4. Render settings
Format selection
Animation calculation is carried out in the form of sequences. It is forbidden to use video formats *.mp4, *.mov, *.avi.
The most commonly used formats are *.png, *.exr, *, in some cases *.jpg.
EXR is one of the most common formats. In this format, there are several compression options, each of which is advisable to use in different cases. The most common are ZIP (lossless) and DWA (lossy)
For a deeper understanding of compression options, we recommend reading this article.

https://duduf.com/understanding-openexr-image-compression-methods/

NOTE: check the correctness of saving on the test frame to make sure that the saved picture does not differ from the picture in the IPR window!

For example, there may be a case when the saved image is strongly lightened, this happens because the rendering takes place in the gamma 2.2, and when saving, 3ds max changes the gamma again, in such cases we use the command: "fileOutGamma = 1.0" (enter in the MAXScript line in the lower left corner programs as above).
Or there may be a case when post-effects are incorrectly applied to the saved file. In this case, it is better to perform all corrections in third-party programs, and remove all used post-effects.
Render Elements (Passes)
If Render Elements (Passes) are used in the scene, then they must be listed and enabled:
If you don't need Render Elements, but only need a boutique, make sure the list is empty! You can delete unnecessary passes by selecting passes and pressing the Delete button (not a key!).

Sometimes it happens that in animated scenes the Cryptomate pass slows down the rendering a little, or behaves unpredictably - it changes masks in the middle of a shot. It will not be superfluous to use passes instead: MultiMatteElement (VRay), PuzzleMatte (Redshift), Object ID and Material ID (Octane). MultiMatteElement (VRay), and PuzzleMatte (Redshift) - work in a similar way, creating a mask by Object ID and Material ID. Object ID - set via Object Properties (RMB on the object):
Material ID - set via Material Editor and limited to 15:
Denoise
In animation projects, it is better to disable the denoise algorithm - artifacts are possible in the output. In the folder with Virey there is vdenoise.exe (standard file location: C: \ Program Files \ Chaos Group \ V-Ray \ 3ds Max 2021 \ bin \ vdenoise.exe), which allows you to denoise already rendered images. In other cases, it is better to deny rendered images using Neat Video (https://www.neatvideo.com).
5. Optimization
- When using XRef objects in the scene, it is desirable to "freeze" them into the scene, this is done for high-quality display of textures during rendering.

- For faster loading of geometry into memory, optimize polygon: the most "heavy" objects are highly recommended to be converted to a proxy: VrayProxy, RS Proxy, Octane Proxy.

- For minor objects in the scene, you can reduce the polygon using the Optimize, Multires and ProOptimizer modifiers. In the version 3Ds MAX 2022.2, the Retopology modifier has appeared, which allows you to make a flat mesh with more optimal polygons.

- Pay close attention to Displacement - quite resource-demanding and slowing down rendering. Use it where you really need it.

- Choose the size of textures deliberately: do not leave high-resolution textures on small objects that do not play the main role in the scene. Reduce their size to the optimum.
Converting to Proxy
The render time consists of two components: the compilation of the geometry into the internal render format + the calculation of the pixels itself using the video card. If our geometry does not change, or if the geometry compilation takes a long time, then it makes sense to perform this procedure separately, manually saving the geometry to the internal render format, in other words, to make a proxy. For most renders, the actions are similar.

You should select an object, right-click on it and select the conversion function, each render has its own:
For Redshift - Redshift Proxy Export…
For Octane- Export to Octane Proxy…
For V-Ray - V-Ray mesh export

The dialogs of all converters +/- are similar, for more details see the user manual for the renderer, but a couple of parameters are worth mentioning:
Path - The path to the folder on the hard drive where the proxy file will be created - specify the folder into which we are building the project
Automatically create proxy, or Replace original - When the options are enabled, the original Mesh is removed, a proxy is created in its place.
6. Plugins
When using third-party plugins, they must be placed next to the project in the plugins folder. If this is not possible, please inform the manager of its name.