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Old 12th Feb 2016, 03:15 AM   #1
mrscott
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Default LightWave - Network rendering

I've never attempted network rendering but I am interestead to try it out. First off, I have a spare old core 2 quad machine. Would using just one extra pc make much of a speed increase on rendering, is it worth trying?
Secondly what do I need hardware wise to connect the 2 pc's together?
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 09:25 AM   #2
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It's been late 1990's since I last worked with ScreamerNet (Lightwave's network renderer). If I recall, what it did was split a scene in half and told machine #1 to render from from 1 to 100 and machine #2 to render from frame 101 to 200. It was NOT having 2 machines work on one frame. They rendered different frames.

So yes, using more than one machine will speed up your render time. But if it takes 25 minutes to render a frame, each machine will still need 25 minutes to render a frame. But now you get 2 frames every 25 minutes instead of one. So you cut your total render time in half.

Back when I had Lightwave version 5.6 and 8, I had to install it on both machines, but one functioned in discovery mode because I only had one dongle. But ScreamerNet allowed that second copy to render and save images without the watermark. That was the advantage of using it. Without ScreamerNet, the images on the second machine had watermarks. I can't recall, but I think ScreamerNet would also deliver all of the frames to one folder on one machine and may have been able to produce the final animation too. But I'm not sure about that.

I also assume it functions differently now then it did back then. The other thing I just thought of is this; I have no idea how machines ScreamerNet can handle.
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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Fabio made a great tutorial on Screamer Net several years back.

At one time I had about 6 computers of various ages networked as a farm.

Most useful in cutting down the animation rendering time, but not for a single frame at the time. That could be different now.

Most important thing back then was to have properly mapped shared drives for the output directory, for the content directory, and the application directory, etc All machines would use those drive mappings the same.

The other thing was that you only needed Lightwave on one machine, and the others would have a batch file that called sessions of the LW app from that machine. In the batch file you would set things specific to that node and then run it to set the machine ready to listen for the call from the original LW app when it is called from the shared app drive mapping.

It would be nice to know if these days we can use screamer net on one frame, perhaps as one machine doing a specific region and another on the other region sort of thing...

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Old 13th Feb 2016, 05:35 PM   #4
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Thanks all...great info. I had read about another app that runs LW better than screamer net, I think there are a few alternatives. As you say it would be interesting to find out if its possible for 2 machines to work on a single frame. Will have to look into it more. Would be great if they brought out a new gpu based renderer for LW, that would also speed things up.
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