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Network render progress

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Jeff Hinkle
Network render progress
on Jul 16, 2015 at 9:44:46 pm

Potentially stupid but hopefully simple question:

Just starting to experiment with network rendering. Seem to have the broad strokes figured out and have been happy with the results, but can't figure out how to check the render progress. The HTML and text files seem to only indicate when the render started on each machine (and ultimately when it completed), not what frame anyone is currently working on, no estimation of how long the frame or complete render might take, simply "render begun." Comforting, I suppose, but not entirely helpful.

Is there a way to better check the render progress? The render queues on each machine give different estimated times, but Engineering here is talking about setting up some old machines without monitors that we'd set to a watch folder and simply leave on, so that won't work as a solution for long. Feel like there's something obvious I'm overlooking.

---
It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Network render progress
on Jul 17, 2015 at 10:05:26 am

I don't love the watch folder network renderer. It's completely naive, with no central control over the render nodes, as you have discovered. The nodes do not report back to any server, they just plug away on their own, trying not to step on each others' toes. Your best indicator of progress is the output folder filling up with frames.

We're looking to expand our "render garden" next quarter, and we're thinking maybe Deadline or Tractor. You might give one of these a try.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jeff Hinkle
Re: Network render progress
on Jul 17, 2015 at 1:56:57 pm

I was afraid of that. We don't do nearly enough heavy lifting (most of our renders are short form, completed in just a few minutes) that they'd go for that just for the additional control. Here's how the conversation would go:

"Got the After Effects network render to work."
"Did it save time?"
"Yes. But it lacks control. There are other options that offer more."
"Are they free?"
"No."
"... And this way saved time, you say?"

---
It is easier to destroy than to create.
More fun, too.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Network render progress
on Jul 18, 2015 at 11:06:55 am

[Jeff Hinkle's associates] ""Are they free?""

Maybe one of these open-source render managers would work?

https://code.google.com/p/arsenalsuite/

http://cgru.info/afanasy/afanasy

http://www.drqueue.org/cwebsite/

Sorry, no personal experience with any of them...

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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