[CentOS] Rendering farm?

mark m.roth at 5-cent.us
Mon Oct 12 14:00:58 UTC 2009


    It's not anything I had ever looked into, or needed, but thanks for the 
view into the heavy duty rendering field.

Warren Young wrote:
> Scott Ehrlich wrote:
>> I received at least one email suggesting a Windows-based rendering
>> farm - likely to consist of a few rack systems all running 64-bit
>> Windows.  I read an article on Tomshardware which gave some decent
>> insight.   What can list participants offer on this concept?
> Well, since you've asked in a Linux forum, let's discuss Linux-based 
> render farms instead, okay?
> (If not okay, kindly take your question somewhere else. Thank you. :) )
> It comes down to whether the rendering app has a Linux version.
> This is more common than you (or those emailing you) might think.  Many 
> companies with Windows or Mac-only GUI tools offer command-line Linux 
> versions specifically for use in render farms.  Such versions are not 
> always advertised; it may only be available to select customers, on request.
> If your client is a VFX studio with many seats of the GUI version of the 
> VFX tool in question, it'll be a lot easier to get access to such tools 
> than if you're a lone gun.
>> I don't care _how_ the resource is implemented - virtual machine,
>> cluster, etc.  
> Generally you let the tool itself tell you how the implement the farm. 
> Often such programs are built with a proprietary networking protocol 
> that distributes the work for you, and has certain assumptions about the 
> system architecture built into it.
> Sometimes it's possible to buy third-party farm management software that 
> works better than the first-party offering.
> Either way, you don't decide on the architecture before studying the 
> existing tools.
>> Just provide links/resources to
>> help me get better educated.  
> Ask the vendors of the tools in question.  They will have documentation.
>> If it makes most sense to migrate the money from a single desktop to a
>> transparently available farm that does the same job the desktop could
>> have done, and considering the farm is expandable, then I'm all for
>> it, as would be the money people!
> In my limited VFX experience, render farms are never transparent.  At 
> bare minimum, expect the "render on farm" command in the program to be 
> different from the "render locally" command, and for it to work 
> differently in key ways.  You're not likely to get the same visual 
> progress indications when rendering to the farm as when you render locally.
> It's not uncommon for the entire render setup process to be up to the 
> individual artist, at least with the in-box render farm support.  This 
> is one big reason why the third-party farm management software market 
> exists.
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