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Tractor can drive all of the computational tools used in modern VFX and animation pipelines. It is used to run everything from rendering and compositing to simulation, transcoding, archiving, database updates, code builds, online asset delivery and notifications. Tractor can launch almost any executable available on your Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X macOS systems.

A tractor Job describes what needs to get done. Jobs are comprised of Tasks, which represent the steps required to complete the job. A job definition describes the resources that are required for each task, and whether the task will run serially or in parallel with other tasks in the job. Jobs can be created by hand, by scripts, by the supplied Python API, or by plug-in job generators in content-creation applications.


Tractor was developed with efficient large studio environments in mind, and as a result it is intentionally light-weight and single purpose. For example, Tractor does not undertake asset management roles, though asset management tasks can be added to Tractor jobs. Typically Tractor jobs are authored assuming that input files for tasks are located on shared file servers at the studio, and that administrators have configured the network to allow commands launched by each Tractor Blade to have access to those shared files.