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mYthprod
Network rendering
on Jun 30, 2005 at 4:53:44 pm

I know this is a tired subject but I'm not finding what I'm looking for. I have 8-10 machines at my disposal, dual-proc systems on gigabit that runs great - I'm assuming I'll need a copy of maya complete on each system to help me render. I guess I'm just looking for a piece of software that will manage my network renders. I've tried smedge but it seems a bit strange and wants me to set everything up for the project again, unless I was using it wrong? I manage my render settings within the render globals of maya and once I save the project I'd like to be able to push it to the network renderer so I can get on with my life while it's rendering.

Anyone have any favorites they'd like to share? I think I would have about 1k-2.5k to spend on the render managing software.

TIA!

- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
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Chad Briggs
Re: Network rendering
on Jun 30, 2005 at 5:04:00 pm

I evaulated a bunch of them a while back, renderpal, smedge, and muster, and muster seemed to work the best. It's easy to install, clients install painlessly, and the interface is top notch. I'm not sure if you can launch a network render via maya, but it's easy enough for me just using the muster explorer. If you want to net render out of maya and use MR, just install mental ray satilite on the machines and you can render straight from maya. I think your limited to 4 extra processors on complete and 8 on unlimited. We were looking for something that was cross platform and custom scriptable, and muster fit that bill.


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jun 30, 2005 at 7:51:46 pm

Thanks, Chad. I'll have a look straight-away.



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 6, 2005 at 7:33:25 pm

Hi, Chad. I'm trying out muster right now. I have 2 systems, one an win2k machine with maya 6 on it and a second copy of maya 6 on an XP machine. I'm using the win2k machine as the host and the xp machine as a client. Due to restrictions to the demo, I'm limited to 2 procs from the demo. To make sure my xp machine would take the render over, I tried killing my win2k machine but the xp machine didn't pick up, it just sat there. It does appear in the management console but it doesn't seem to do anything, it just sits idle. When I scan machines in the network it sees the correct machine (my xp box) but it doesn't let it render anything. Do you know if this is a demo limitation or do I have something else messed up?

I tried posting on the forums over on their homepage but no reply yet.



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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Chad Briggs
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 6, 2005 at 7:53:25 pm

First off, if you email the nice folks at virtual vertex, they can set you up with a 30 day trail for more than 2 nodes. But yah, i think the ones on the website are fairly limited.
Well, couple of things in general about network rendering in general:
The machine that acts as the host for the renderfarm server software should not be rendering as well as serving other machines. That can cause bottlenecks in the process and cause machines to drop. I know you don't have much to work with in this case, but it's still problematic. You can have a fileserver and a renderserver on the same box, (although in the ideal world, those are seperated too) but don't actually try to render on it.
Also, in order to work right, they have to have access to the exact same directory structure, which means mounting a network drive (I map a drive called R: on our setup and all the machines access that to render).
I just mention these in case you haven't gotten them setup already, cause they are pretty important.
When you say you "kill" the one on 2k, what do you mean? Also, which render engine are you using and how are you breaking up the frames? (if it all). I usually use packets of 4 frames. Is your xp station set on pause in the muster explorer?
-chad


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 7, 2005 at 3:16:17 am

Good idea on mailing them directly, I'll do that.

Also good idea on the machine acting as a server only, I think tomorrow I'll try uninstalling and reinstalling the demo with host only and then client only on the other machine and see if I can make something happen.

I've been using UNC paths instead of mapped drives, I'll give that a shot and see if it improves anything.

I'll give those things a shot and see what happens. I'm guessing I'll be looking at the unlimited site license.

Btw, have you tried its success with any compositors? I use after effects and digital fusion and it would be an easier sell to management if I could tell them it works -well- with AE. :-)



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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Chad Briggs
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 7, 2005 at 3:22:44 am

UNC paths and network rendering do not work very well, so i bet thats where your biggest prob is.
As for AE renders, i've fiddled around with the settings but i haven't gotten to try it yet. The biggest pain in the arse seems to be it requires a lot more "manual" input with the compositors than the 3d packages do, at least with AE anyway. (you have to spec what exact render template you want to use, etc, etc) But again, thats supposed to be the big kicker, is you can make custom scripts for whatever app you want.
-chad


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 7, 2005 at 9:18:25 pm

I think I may've figured it out. I was trying to render from the server instead of initiating it from a client. So once I go into muster explorer and submit a job, any other client listening will pick it up and help also, right? Does each client have to manually "connect" to the server before they pick up and help out with the render? Sorry if this is obvious, just trying to wrap my head around it.



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 18, 2005 at 1:56:02 am

Hey Chad, thought I'd pop back in and tell you I had a chance for muster to work right on my system once. It really kicked ass the one time it worked. The other times I've been plagued by this timeout / render too fast error message that the author has attributed to a bug with 6.0 only. with 6.5 there are no bugs. Making me want to upgrade Maya even more. :-P



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 19, 2005 at 3:49:46 pm

Just a follow up, using Maya 6.0 with Muster needed Muster version 4.32 instead of the latest 4.43. 4.32 works perfectly and my renders are coming in much faster now! :-P For some reason muster version 4.43 and Maya 6.0 didn't like each other, but muster 4.32 does. Muster 4.43 and Maya 6.5 works well together I'm told so I'll probably upgrade both at the same time.





- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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Sean Fennell
Re: Network rendering
on Jun 30, 2005 at 8:30:10 pm

I use smedge regularly and it never forces you to reset all your project settings again. At a very minimum you give it the path to the scene and the project(which its pretty good at figuring out automatically most times) and start and end frames. If you give it nothing else, then it will render through maya based on whatever your render globals settings are. If you choose to override anything in your render globals then you can specify extra information.

But if you don't like it you don't like it. I tried muster and always had machines dropping out or not being recognized properly, while rendering with smedge always worked perfectly for me.


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Chad Briggs
Re: Network rendering
on Jun 30, 2005 at 9:52:17 pm

Sean-
What version of muster did you use? I tried version 3 and I had the exact same problems you did. Several months later when 4 came out I tried that version and it has worked like a champ. I've rendered out 4000 frame animations on it and it never skipped a beat.
-Chad


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Sean Fennell
Re: Network rendering
on Jun 30, 2005 at 11:46:40 pm

yeah it was probably version 3. ever since I've stuck with smedge and its been great. Plus its super cheap and simple, which fits my needs. They have a new version of smedge coming out that is very customizable and I'm trying to beta test when i can, its looking very cool. Actually works a bit more like muster.


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mYthprod
Re: Network rendering
on Jul 1, 2005 at 1:14:31 am

[Sean Fennell] "I use smedge regularly and it never forces you to reset all your project settings again."

I'm sure it's user error. :-) It seemed straight-forward otherwise.

Muster seemed to work and most of it was very understandable. Something weird however is that it kept re-rendering frames that were already done, I think it was the last "cluster" of 4 because it kept cycling through 17-20 frames (out of a 20 frame test animation). The log kept coming up with some sort of message like the render timed out / render too fast or something like that. I don't know if that was related. Otherwise it seemed to work ... Again, I'm betting user error is causing it. I'll have a closer look at the manual tomorrow. I did like the interface better than smedge though, it seemed more polished and professional.

- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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pyromanu
Re: Network rendering
on Aug 1, 2005 at 10:05:55 pm

Hi.I'm working whith maya6.5 from some time and my scenes are improving and takink more and more time to render them.I found Muster for 2 clients,but i have some problems whith seting him.i receive eroor message regarding a scene that is not in the default project,about the same file that is not in a share folder and about some image pack that could be opened(the last one in render time)And now to be all much harder for me i can't connect the 2 pc(a desc and a laptop)Someone could help me pls.
P.S- sorry for my english

romania


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