Setting up a render farm

How do you do it?? The computers in our lab are all connected on the same network, but where do I go from there? I have no idea how to set up a render farm, but I really need to find out because one computer takes an unacceptable amount of time to render… So, if someone has done this before, what are the steps to setting up a render farm?

I am also wondering… i think it involves a software other than 3dsmax…its called backburner or something???.. it comes with alot of discreet products…

any info is appreciated…i also really want to know how to do this

Backburner is correct.

Here’s how we tried to do it last year, but we ran out of time to do the required steps to make it work.



All files, all maps, all images, all models, all plugins, all updates, EVERYTHING must be on all the computers. This is not a true requirement so don’t make a post correcting me about this step BUT it will eliminate all problems with files being incorrect. So just have everything in the same location on your comp. (My computer -> My documents -> Robotics) It just makes everything easier.

Next this will be a problem for some networks so its best if you follow this step too. Put everyone in the same workgroup and make sure that they can find each other. Some networks may not require this, but if you’re having porblems this would be why.

Delegate 1 comp as your Manager and everything else a server. Fastest comp should be server. On the manager make sure that the port numbers are the same for all comps. Just open it up, you’ll see what I mean. WIth the server its the same thing. When they match the manager will detect the server and the server wil detect the manager.

There is a box in the Rendering dialog (In mAX) On the manager comp, check net render (its below the save files dropdown). Then render away. They tasks will be assigned, provided that the computers are detecting themselves and the files will be saved on the manager.

Thats a basic overview of the process. If you need specific help for specif errors. There is a section in the manual all about NET RENDERING. Just look for it.

Please post only specific questions or valuable information after this, because it will just confuse teams if they have to look over useless posts. Net rendering is tricky and the less details there are involved the easier it will be.

You are going to have to render a sequence of images rather than your standard AVI file. Make a network share on your manager computer and have a network drive referenced WITH IDENTICAL DRIVE LETTERS on each “slave.” What happens is the backburner is sent a job and it renders it exactly as if it was on the computer that the render job is created from. So unless all your textures are on identical network shares, you will run into errors too. Here’s a setup

Runs manager.exe, server.exe, monitor.exe
Network Share e:\Renders\ as Renders

Runs server.exe
Network Drive r:\ \server\renders

Runs (optionally) server.exe, monitor.exe
Network Drive r:\ \server\renders
Sets output to a spot on R:\ and net render is checked.

Any other questions, I’d be glad to help.