Output locations are configured in RenderMan for Maya's RMSWorkspace.ini initialization file. You can preview the output locations for the current scene under the Workspace tab in the Render Settings. These locations are below the current maya project directory. Note, the time stamp doesn't appear in the preview of the output locations. However, these are the exact locations used for spooled preview renders of the scene.
LocalQueue is used to run a local queue of render jobs. It reads job scripts that are generated by RenderMan for Maya, and then runs the commands from the scripts to render your scene on the local computer.
Once a render job is loaded in LocalQueue, you should see it listed in the Jobs table. You can right-click a job to bring up a menu with various options for managing the job. Once you select a job, its commands will be displayed in the Job Commands table.
In the RenderMan Preferences an Environment Key can be specified to cause a particular set of environment variables to be used for your render job. This setting has a default value which causes canonical locations of RenderMan and RenderMan for Maya installations to be used. If it is left blank LocalQueue runs commands in the same environment that it was started in.
By default checkpointing is enabled for batch renders. Images are updated on disk every five minutes. The checkpoint interval is configurable in the batch preferences. Incremental mode is enabled by default, under the Sampling tab in the Render Settings. This is necessary for checkpointing to work.
Prman Rendering from the Command Line (Advanced)
When doing a maya batch render, RenderMan for Maya generates RIB files and then prman (executable) is launched for those rib files. However, you may already have RIB files on disk and just want to run prman on them.
The XML file is generated during rendering. It contains diagnostic information about the render.
The file called deformingGeoCache.0001.zip contains rib files for deforming pieces of geometry. The rib file for a pass, like perspShape_Final.0001.rib references geometry from cache files, either the frame specific cache of deforming objects or the job cache for static objects.
You may want to distill a render pass down to a single file. For example, if you want to give it to another person, without having to package up a directory. Here are some steps for generating a flattened RIB file using RenderMan for Maya.
Textures will still be referenced externally. RIB files are also still generated per pass.
To generate the flattened RIB, kick off a render from Maya as you normally would.There is also a mel command that will just generate rib, as if for a batch render: rman genrib;