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mnkysp6353
09-21-2001, 10:08 AM
Do any teams out there who are major 3dmax teams use parallel processing over a network . My team is going to set one up and would like to talk to teams about it. We will have about 160 ghz- 220 ghz processing power after were finished. And also if anybody know if i can get extra drill motors from small parts and how to order them .

Adrian Wong
09-21-2001, 01:17 PM
Our team is interested in that information as well. I've read several web pages about network rendering, but I am still confused. Any help on how to set up a network rendered animation would be appreciated.

Kyle Fenton
09-21-2001, 01:44 PM
The only program I know that does that automatically is Bryce 5

http://www3.corel.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=Corel/Product/Details&id=CC1M72VRBAC

3dMax I don't think can do this automatically. What you need to do is to transfer the file to other computers on your network and spilt the frame rate evenly through the whole animation. In your Network Rendering option box, you have the option of how many frames you wish to render.

We will have about 160 ghz- 220 ghz processing power after were finished.

That is an incorrect statement. I think that you are trying to imply that if you combine your computer processors through your network it would make one big processor. What Network rendering does is that it sends the file to all of the available computers and distribute the work evenly. The rendering process will take the same amount of time, but overall it will be a shorter time because instead of one computer doing one big job, it is multiple computers doing little jobs.

Jay Lundy
09-21-2001, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by Kyle Fenton
That is an incorrect statement. I think that you are trying to imply that if you combine your computer processors through your network it would make one big processor. What Network rendering does is that it sends the file to all of the available computers and distribute the work evenly. The rendering process will take the same amount of time, but overall it will be a shorter time because instead of one computer doing one big job, it is multiple computers doing little jobs.
No, I think that they said they have the equivalent of a 160 ghz - 220 ghz processor. If their network can render an animation in the same amount of time as a single 160 ghz chip (if there were such a thing), then I don't see why it couldn't be considered 160 ghz (how else are you supposed to measure the speed of a network in a situation like this?)

As for the network rendering, the problem with doing it with 3dsmax is it can't be used to render animations, only each individual frame. It still is extremely useful if you have a program like Adobe Premiere that can connect all these frames together because in a typical 30 second animation there are 900 frames (@30 fps), and if each frame takes 5 minutes to render on a 1 ghz comp (if you're lucky!) then thats 4500 minutes or 75 hours! If you have 200 1 ghz machines, then it only takes about 23 minutes. Add about an hour onto that for combining the frames and I think the advantages of server rendering are obvious.

We haven't ever used network rendering (we don't have enough computers to make the effort worth it) but I bet you could find some tutorials on it on the web with some searching. 3dsmax makes it fairly simple to do network rendering, you just need to know how to set it up. My 3dsmax 4 Bible has a whole chapter on it so if you really need help, I could try but I don't think it would easy to pass on the information without scanning it or something which would be illegal...

Oh and by the way, I did a quick search on how to do network rendering on google and found several companies that will render your animations on their own render farms (for a price, of course.) However, if you look at some of their network specifications, they don't come any where near 160 ghz. How did you get so many computers and from who?

Madison
09-22-2001, 11:02 AM
I don't really too much about all of this, but I'd just thought I'd mention something I remember. . .

I do believe that any kind of network rendering on 3DSMAX needs to be done through Windows NT. That may have changed with R4, though. We had considered commandeering a computer lab at school a few years ago, but we didn't have NT installed.

Don
09-22-2001, 11:07 AM
Actually, just the other day we tried to install 3DS Max 4 on an NT system and it was incompatible. Something to do with the C-Dilla software lock I think. It works on Windows 2000.

Jay Lundy
09-22-2001, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Michael Krass
I do believe that any kind of network rendering on 3DSMAX needs to be done through Windows NT.
I was just skimming through my 3dsmax 4 book and it says here "Remember that there are differences between Win2k and Win 98. These steps were written for win2k." So apparently it can be done on win98 too.

mnkysp6353
09-23-2001, 06:04 PM
We got all these computers through a grant with the state jay . The network rendering will only work on Windows 2000. Jay if you would like us to render your animation we would be happy to. I read alot about network rendering and you can render across different networks. We got a t1 for our school so it will be very fast if you want to render over our network. I will be working on this over the next couple of months, it takes alot of work to set it up and test the network. Jay say hi to THe "EJ" for me and see you at Socal regional.
GO CHEESY POOFS!

Robby O
09-24-2001, 02:17 AM
Hey, Hey! Mwuhuhuhahaha! Okay, sorry, I missed the simpsons tonight, so I needed that. Ah yes, network rendering. Confusion for those who havent spent many a countless night (sometimes a months worth!) trying to figger out how to make the darn thing work. If you think it's bad with 4.0, try it with 1.2. Back in my day... err... wait. Back on track...

Anyways, the deal with network rendering is that yes, you must render individual frames. Basically it works like this.

One computer is set up as the manager, and sometimes a server as well. Both of these programs have icons labeled as such in the discreet/max4 folder. Even if you have only have 3 computers with which to render on, it is still worth it. One computer is used as the manager while the other two are used as servers. The servers do the actual rendering while the manager just sends each sever information, mainly which frame to render next. The more computers you have the better, as it will drastically cut down on render time. But if at all possible, try to get 4 computers - 2 to act as servers, 1 to act as a manager, and 1 to work on while other scenes render.

All of the frames are labeled sequentially, as in movie0001.tif, and so on, until you have all 900 frames (assuming it's for the 30 second animation, at 30 frames/second.) All machines, the manager and servers, must have the same version of max with the same plugins, and access to all textures, as well as a folder where all of the images will be stored. Usually what I do is set up a shared folder on the managing computer, as well as a basic account that can use that folder. I put all of my textures there and make sure that they are linked to properly. A warning message usually pops up if the textures cannot be found, then all you have to do is select the folder where they are from a button on the error message.

Make sure that you set up the manager first by launching the program and setting any settings you need. You may need to restart the program after any setting modifications. Then once the manager is running, simply load up the server application on each machine to be used as a server and enter the IP address or PC name of the manager. These applications will needed to be restarted as well for the settings to take effect. Upon restarting they should register within a short time with the manager. Should they not, please have your network administrator check the network connections of PC's that fail to register with the manager. Also make sure that the IP of the manager is correct.
There are also timeout settings for connecting with the manager, and other options which I cannot remember at the top of my head at the moment. My suggestion would be to read through the MAX manuals about network rendering for details with this as a basic guide until I get around (or IF I get around... lazy punk...B^) to writing a detailed tutorial.

Now on the managing computer (which by the way, the managing computer WILL need a hardware or software lock, depending on the version of MAX you have, the servers will not.) load up the scene that you want to render in MAX. When you click on render, and the render window comes up, make sure that NETWORK RENDERING is checked. Set your file output to the shared directory, and click on render. This should bring you to another window, the network rendering window, which will ask you to select the servers you want to render with. Select the servers you wish to use, then hit okay, or whatever button renders from this point (doh! faulty memory banks...). This should now launch your server's copies of MAX and begin rendering the individual files. I usually render to TIFs because of thier high quality. But low compression means you will need from 1.5 to 2 gigs of space to store the images.

When the rendering is over with, you can use a magical tool called an IFL file. These things seriously rule, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to have thier points un-welded the hard way. If you go to the utility (or tools, the one with the hammer)panel in MAX, and click more, there should be a utility called IFL MANAGER. This will allow you to create IFLs, which are Image File Lists. MAX can use these in video post to create the full avi - So you can be faithful to discreet and never use an adobe product! Yay!

Okay, this is just a really simple run through of how to do this. It's right off the top of my head, and I havent touched MAX in a while, but I've done it every year since version 1.2, so I know it's quirks and ins n outs pretty well. I will do my best to write a more detailed tutorial, and I will also post the IFL/Video post one from FIRSTanimators here shortly. Which also reminds me that if you are interested in being a part of that community, email me or join it over at yahoo!Groups. firstanimators@yahoogroups.com. Yay. Shameless plugging. There's also a great resource-sharing webpage set up by a member of that group, which will debut soon (I hope) as we have more material to paste up on the site. If you have a tutorial you would like to share, please email me, and I will contact him.

This tutorial (or more accurately crashcourse) is written assuming that windows NT or 2000 is being used, as I know that MAX has trouble network rendering in 98 or below. But the best advice I have to give is to plan and experiment EARLY! Do not leave finding any problems out until 3 days before the animation is due! Believe me, I've been there. The stories I could tell.

Okey dokey, that's it for my weekly (kinda) 3:25 AM rant about animation or other stuff. Any other questions about MAX I'll do my best to tackle them like a weeble wobble. My only problem is getting those darn things to fall down...

-Robby O ---> oshortwan@hotmail.com
FIRSTanimators Moderator
firstanimators@yahoogroups.com

Pat McCarthy
05-06-2004, 09:26 AM
Bringing back a really old thread, can the same type of process be used for rendering video with Ulead VideoStudio verson 7 on a bunch of computers running Windows XP pro? And if so, how? :)
Thanks.