Network-located Plugin.ini - Can Pulze detect?


Looking for advice from either the dev team or other users.

Our network & render farm is expanding, and I am looking into the ability to store 3ds Max plugin files (DLO, DLL, DLT) on a shared network drive and configuring all machines to load Max plugins from the network drive instead of locally - so each node would load the same version of tyFlow, Anima, flooring generator, etc… The advantage here is that I will only need to update one folder & .ini file instead of manually copying DLO files to each render node and workstation. It would save a ton of time.

The setup process is straightforward, but Max requires that the plugin DLO files are only loaded once, so the plugins are first uninstalled from the local machines, and the local version of plugin.ini would be modified to tell Max where to look for additional plugin files.

Autodesk has documentation on this, and it’s been a supported feature for Max for a few years now. However, Pulze only scans the local Max installation directory for plugins, and would be unaware of the network location for shared plugin files. And thus, Pulze will assume that any given workstation or node does not have tyFlow, Anima, etc., and disallow those nodes from joining a job with specific requirements like that.

One workaround is to remove the requirements from Pulze (which is a very handy feature), but I am wondering: is it possible to either disable specific requirements from being checked at all, or somehow tell Pulze where to look on the network for shared plugin files?

And beyond this… is there a better solution for optimizing shared plugin files on a large network with many machines?

Thank you for any advice!

Hi @bs1

Thanks for the question. Yes you are right we don’t read ini files in the plugin.ini files. These days I believe a much better and more straightforward way is to use environment variables introduced in 3ds Max 2023. You can read more about it here: 3dsMax 2023 Pipeline Integration v2 – Changsoo Eun

I know many large studios are using this technic and Render Manager supports it. Let me know if this works for you.

Awesome! That is a much better approach. Editing the ini file did feel a little deprecated for some reason. I’m glad there is a different solution. Thanks!