Pixar's Tractor

Job Distribution for Network Rendering

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The Mandalorian © Lucasfilm.

Tractor 2

Managing the Toughest Renders

Tractor is a modern and robust solution for network rendering, capable of scaling up to the largest render farms.

For the Largest Jobs

Tractor is currently deployed at some of the biggest VFX studios in the industry including the Moving Picture Company, Double Negative, Cinesite, and Blizzard.

Outstanding Features, Performance, and Price - It's a great time to see what Tractor can do for your creative vision.

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Production Ready

Tractor is production tested and specifically engineered to address the extreme scalability and performance requirements of today's multi-core networks.

Stability You Can Depend On

Derived from years of experience in managing the demands of the worlds largest render farms, Tractor's stability has been fined tuned for the toughest jobs.

Tractor's queuing engine is capable of dispatching over 500 tasks per second and utilizes proven, open web standards which make Tractor highly customizable. Systems administrators can easily add Python extension modules to Tractor-Blades and customize the specifics of how various tasks are executed.

Cross Platform and Web Based

Tractor is packaged for each operating system, containing all of the Tractor components you will need, though each machine may only use a subset

Tractor Components

The heart of it all

Tractor-Engine maintains the central job queue and dispatches tasks.

For Render blades

Tractor-Blade is aPython based execution server running on each remote node.

The Control Center

Tractor-Dashboard is a customizable web browser user interface providing centralized control of all render jobs.


  • Powerful scripting interfaces
  • Native Maya Integration
  • Flexible resource-sharing controls
  • Python module extensions
  • Minimal computational footprint
  • Streamlined installation
  • Directory Mapping across Different OS
  • Major user interface enhancements
  • Open web standards
  • HTML 5 support
  • Can bridge to any application
  • For more see the Tractor Overview

Inside Out 2 © Disney/Pixar

Native Maya Integration

RenderMan® for Maya includes a Tractor License, coupled with out-of-the-box support. Which means native job submissions directly from your Maya session.


New Features

  • Updated to Python 3 –Tractor is now compliant with the 2023 VFX Reference Platform.
  • New Tractor Product Layout –Tractor in now easier to install, maintain, and upgrade.
  • Query Tools – Introducing "tq" the tractor query command line tool. Based on proven Pixar studio tools, query live Tractor data from your terminal shell, from your Python scripts, or from the Dashboard.
  • Adaptive Farm Allocations – Dynamically allocate resources between people or projects using flexible limits.
  • Dispatching Tiers – Organize broad sets of jobs into site-defined priority groups. Create your own!
  • Custom Menu Actions - Create custom dashboard items to invoke centralized scripts.
  • Job Authoring API – Now easily create Job, Task, and Command objects linked together according to your dependency requirements, with Python scripts.
  • Simple Engine Discovery – Setting up Tractor is much simpler, with a new mode that doesn't require manual nameserver (DNS/LDAP) configuration.
  • Blade Auto-Update – A new tractor-blade patch management system can automatically push out new versions to the entire farm.
  • Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) support – A simplified system for password support.
  • Privilege Insulation – Allows Tractor's normal day-after-day operations to assume the appropriate permissions associated with the specific users.
  • Dynamic Service Key Advertisement – Advanced usage cases can now take advantage of "Profiles." For example, blades can offer a selection of capabilities depending on previously launched commands.
  • Resource Usage Tracking – Improved tracking of launched commands with the ability to record CPU, RSS, and VSZ metrics.
  • Configuration File Loading – A streamlined override system can help to clarify which files have been modified from their original "factory settings."
  • Task Concurrency Throttle – Constrain the maximum number of tasks
  • that may run concurrently for any job.
  • Automatic Blade Error Throttle – Prevent blades from picking up new work
  • if they encounter too many errors within a given time interval.
  • Job Spooling Improvements– The many upgrades include faster
  • processing, better error checking, and bundling of required subsystems.
  • For more see the Release Notes

System Requirements


Central job queue, installed on one host only. C++, Python, Postgresql (bundled). Linux 64-bit (gcc4.4), MacOS (12.x+).


Task execution server for render farm hosts. Pure Python (2.7 / 3.x). Linux-64, MacOS 12.x+, and Windows 7+.


Web-based user interface, job browsing, and control. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. No platform-specific plug-ins required.

Job Author/Query

Job submission, advanced scripting API, and command line tools. Pure Python (2.7 / 3.x). Linux-64, MacOS 12.x+, and Windows 7+.

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