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Cross platform network render with watch folder

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Steve NieldCross platform network render with watch folder
by on Aug 11, 2010 at 1:25:44 pm

So I have a 16 node i3 Dell render farm with two custom built i7 work stations all running CS4 and it all works very well. My question is that if I want to add a pair of the new 12 core mac pro work stations to the network and assuming that they are also running CS4, will they be able to participate in a watch folder render or are there likely to be issues with having macs creating the project files and pc's trying to render them?


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Walter SoykaRe: Cross platform network render with watch folder
by on Aug 11, 2010 at 5:44:54 pm

[Steve Nield] "My question is that if I want to add a pair of the new 12 core mac pro work stations to the network and assuming that they are also running CS4, will they be able to participate in a watch folder render or are there likely to be issues with having macs creating the project files and pc's trying to render them?"

All render engines must interpret footage and output paths the same way, so cross-platform network rendering can be tricky.

Also, network rendering with watch folders is really network and disk-intensive. You might want consider using a render manager instead of watch folders.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Steve NieldRe: Cross platform network render with watch folder
by on Aug 12, 2010 at 3:32:30 am

Thanks, can you suggest a good render manager that supports both Mac and pc ? I have only ever used the watch folder method.


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Walter SoykaRe: Cross platform network render with watch folder
by on Aug 12, 2010 at 6:23:48 pm

[Steve Nield] "Thanks, can you suggest a good render manager that supports both Mac and pc ? "

No personal experience, but the major players include Pipeline FX Cube, Prime Focus Deadline, and Axceleon EnFuzion. I would contact sales from each of these developers and see if they have any experience with a setup similar to yours, or see if demos are available. I'd love to hear back about your findings.

If you're handy with the command line, you could automate rendering yourself with aerender. I've used aerender before to assign groups of frames to specific render nodes and eliminate a good amount of the network and disk overhead of a traditional watch folder render.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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