Does Carrara Pro do it all?

13

Comments

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    It's probably a lack of knowledge on how to achieve the effect he wants.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    Carrara's renderer is completely CPU based, but if you render through the batch queue, you can pause your render quite easily, even still images. Carrara Pro also comes with render nodes which you can install on other computers you have on-site, and set up a small render farm.

    Evil, do you have any experience with the network render feature? I'm curious about attaching my other server and having 36 render threads chewing away...


    I don't know what the limit for threads is. There is a limit for physical machines, which increased in C8 I believe. There were also other enhancements to the network render functions. The four biggest things to remember in my experience, are that you need to make sure the machines are on a hardwired network, the network render option needs to be enabled in the render room, you need to render through the batch queue and the nodes need to be launched before Carrara.


    I haven't really messed with the underlying network settings. I've left everything at it's default and it's worked just fine.


    If you're doing a scene with customized leaves, such as a Howie Farkes scene (or your own), you'll need to make sure it's installed to the node machines as well.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    If you're doing a scene with customized leaves, such as a Howie Farkes scene (or your own), you'll need to make sure it's installed to the node machines as well.

    That was one of my (unspoken) concerns...does the partner machine need access to the runtime library material or does the primary box simply feed it work. :)

    Maybe one day, I'll get brave and try it out...

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 2012

    Garstor said:
    If you're doing a scene with customized leaves, such as a Howie Farkes scene (or your own), you'll need to make sure it's installed to the node machines as well.

    That was one of my (unspoken) concerns...does the partner machine need access to the runtime library material or does the primary box simply feed it work. :)

    Maybe one day, I'll get brave and try it out...


    The runtime file structure is for Poser type content. The leaves aren't in the runtime. The leaves and presets are saved in an internal directory. I don't know what you need to do with Windows, but on a Mac, you would right click or Control click the Carrara icon and a contextual menu opens giving you the option to display Package contents. You would select that, then navigate to your presets of choice.


    If you do a render with an object or figure from your runtime, it seems to work fine if the scene file is saved with either Local Settings or Internally checked. I haven't tried the External option. The scene, image maps and other data is copied to the temp file on the client machine.


    What I see looking at my activity monitor, is Carrara completely loads the scene locally, then sends the data to the client machines. The data appears to be completely sent, then the node loads the scene and begins to render. There is no progress bar except when loading the scene, filling the grid or calculating hairs. There is little indication that the node is doing anything on the client machine except just sitting there. The host will show the render buckets for your clients as well as for your host. The network buckets will have an "N".

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  • Kevin SandersonKevin Sanderson Posts: 654
    edited December 1969

    Seems to me all plugins being used have to be on all machines as well.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    Seems to me all plugins being used have to be on all machines as well.


    Sounds plausible. I don't have any plugins.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    A (now apparently missing) Carrara forum pal was kicking around the idea of render farming for people - and offered free services to me in trade for the experience of rendering out animations for a client.
    It was his machine to which I based my new computer spec on, but by that time I was able to go with eight cores on one machine. His was undoubtedly still faster, being server/pro designed computers, plus he has access to many cores at his office, if I remember correctly.

    I sent him some files, remembering to save them all internally, and he would have the rendered animations ready on the download server faster than I could hope to render them. I don't think he ever got a chance to try more than two machines at a time... but he had no trouble farming.

    Really sucks though. Last I heard from him he and his family got attacked by a storm (tornado ?) and he had to try to come up with a plan to fix everything and find means to support his family. I hope he's doing okay. I really miss our relations together.

    I believe that we were both using C8 Pro at the time. I never had to send him any runtime info, etc., though.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    A (now apparently missing) Carrara forum pal was kicking around the idea of render farming for people - and offered free services to me in trade for the experience of rendering out animations for a client.

    That is a shame about your friend being MIA.

    Honestly, the thought of servicing out a render farm had tickled my neurons when I got these two servers. Now though, I am just about to finally start using them for work.

    I guess that means I need to start saving to build two more monster boxes... :coolsmirk:

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    You know, that whole "farm out renders to a third party" thing was working really well, as the experiment that it was. The only downside was that I was still in the process of 'defining the look', as it were, of my animations, so we did a lot of render, re-render, etc.,

    NASSOS used this method on a professional level to make his animated short, "Human Nature", which is where the whole idea came from, I think.

    I really like having my own Monster in a Box, though! Maybe... if I'm a good boy, I'll be able to build a second one for a Carrara render node box! Oh no... why did I say that? I am far too compulsive to be getting ideas like THAT into my head!

    Hmmm, but if I clean my room, do all of my chores... :)

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Hmmm, but if I clean my room, do all of my chores... :)

    Don't forget to beg! :)

    If you do get a second machine that will escalate me into getting a third machine...a rendering Cold War if you will...Do you dare risk MAD (mutually assured displacement-mapping)?

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    Hmmm, but if I clean my room, do all of my chores... :)

    Don't forget to beg! :)

    If you do get a second machine that will escalate me into getting a third machine...a rendering Cold War if you will...Do you dare risk MAD (mutually assured displacement-mapping)?


    Awesome! So... If I beg... YOU, the Garstor, Genius of all things Monster Box, will send me a new Rendering Monster?
    Let's get started!

    Please, Garstor... I'll do ANYTHING!!! :ahhh:

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Awesome! So... If I beg... YOU, the Garstor, Genius of all things Monster Box, will send me a new Rendering Monster? Let's get started!

    Please, Garstor... I'll do ANYTHING!!! :ahhh:

    Goodness know I practically owe you that for all the assistance you provided with my runtime library. Oh damn...this means I just conceeded ground in our Cold War... :lol: Obviously I didn't learn anything from Kennedy or Kruschev...

  • FenricFenric Posts: 304
    edited December 1969

    It's really hard to get Rendernodes to be worth the trouble, honestly.

    I'm going to go out on a limb, and agree with JoeMamma: PLEASE learn about lighting and scene setup. I rarely have a picture take over an hour anymore, on an i7 920, 2.66 GHz machine. I have dismantled my renderfarm and save myself the electricity and headache.

    Tip #1: Forget Golbal Illumination. Yeah, it's a nice shortcut - but Carrara's implementation quite simply sucks. You can get very similar results without it. (Really want it? Go buy Poser 9 or Pro 2012. Render a full GI scene in under a minute that will take Carrara an entire day)

    Want Ambient Occlusion? Get Carrara Pro, TURN AMBIENT TO 0% and then render with "Ambient Occlusion Only" to "best" quality to another layer. It hardly slows down at all, and gives you as close to perfect an AO layer as you could want. Multiply it back in yourself in postwork. Evilproducer gave a gem of a tip: use an Anything Glows on your Camera to provide fill-light instead of the scene ambient setting!

    Carrara is a weird beast: it doesn't mind lights. Scatter them around: little bulbs with a high fall-off and low intensity, spots just where you need them. Negative lights if you get places lit too much. 100 lights in a scene is faster to render than checking "Full Indirect Lighting".

    Save yourself the money: spend some time learning about the settings.

    A bit more: If your farm is powerful enough to be worth the time... it's probably not worth the electricity. My farm of 3 Dell PowerEdge rackmounts at full tilt cost about $21 a day to run. Sounds fine until you actually use it for a week and realize you just spent $150 - and that's not counting the cost to cool off the small furnace worth of heat that makes! Fun in the winter, perhaps - sucks to no end in the summer.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,589
    edited December 1969

    Fenric said:
    I'm going to go out on a limb, and agree with JoeMamma:

    That's not going out on a limb, that's finally seeing the light... :)

    And yes, renderfarms, especially Carrara's implementation, are rarely of real use to hobbyists, especially if they have really investigated the alternatives for speeding up render times while improving quality. Some of which you've mentioned.

    Although this forum being what it is, what's probably of more importance is their use as cool playthings, and reasons to buy more and more super high powered equipment. In that case, the more the better. :)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    I don't know, I've had good luck with render nodes overall. I don't have any monster machines, but for animations, the nodes can shave off hours. I've been working on an animation, and even with my ancient G5 i had it down to 35 sec. a frame without any nodes. Rendering with the nodes took each frame down to 18 sec.


    As with anything, your mileage may vary. If I had had fits getting my nodes to work, then maybe I would feel they weren't worth it, but getting them to see each using the defaults has not been a problem.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,589
    edited December 2012

    I don't know, I've had good luck with render nodes overall. I don't have any monster machines, but for animations, the nodes can shave off hours. I've been working on an animation, and even with my ancient G5 i had it down to 35 sec. a frame without any nodes. Rendering with the nodes took each frame down to 18 sec..

    And that's fine. If you get some benefit from shaving hours off rendering, other than being impressed at how much time you saved, then that's good.

    But I think that most hobbyists don't REALLY have much need to shave time off their renders, because, let's face it, they're usually not under the pressure of a client's deadline. And does it really matter if you save 3 hours when you're rendering while you sleep anyway?

    Add that to the fact that most hobbyists would get far more benefit from learning how to do high quality, 3 minute renders instead of similar quality, 6 hour renders.

    And, BTW, that doesn't even consider things from a cost/benefit aspect. Justifying buying and running all that equipment? I think it all comes down to what you want to do, because it's fun. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not something that's easily justifiable from a practical perspective.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    ...Add that to the fact that most hobbyists would get far more benefit from learning how to do high quality, 3 minute renders instead of similar quality, 6 hour renders.

    Great point!
    EProducer should really write a book on that - along with all of his techniques for coming to his end result renders... they're really good.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    EProducer should really write a book on that - along with all of his techniques for coming to his end result renders... they're really good.

    I'd pay him for that book! :coolsmile:

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    I don't know, I've had good luck with render nodes overall. I don't have any monster machines, but for animations, the nodes can shave off hours. I've been working on an animation, and even with my ancient G5 i had it down to 35 sec. a frame without any nodes. Rendering with the nodes took each frame down to 18 sec..

    And that's fine. If you get some benefit from shaving hours off rendering, other than being impressed at how much time you saved, then that's good.

    But I think that most hobbyists don't REALLY have much need to shave time off their renders, because, let's face it, they're usually not under the pressure of a client's deadline. And does it really matter if you save 3 hours when you're rendering while you sleep anyway?

    Add that to the fact that most hobbyists would get far more benefit from learning how to do high quality, 3 minute renders instead of similar quality, 6 hour renders.

    And, BTW, that doesn't even consider things from a cost/benefit aspect. Justifying buying and running all that equipment? I think it all comes down to what you want to do, because it's fun. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not something that's easily justifiable from a practical perspective.

    Try reading the whole post. I did say, "your mileage may vary."


    Unless all hobbyists are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, then time is a big factor. I actually work during the week. I may or may not have a lot of time and/or energy in the evening once I'm done with my other obligations. I have a bit more time on the weekends, especially in the winter months, so shaving hours off my renders is very valuable to me, and not just for the gee whiz factor. The less time my machine is tied up rendering, the more time I have to do other things with my computer.


    You don't find your statement that "hobbyists" don't need to worry about render times because they don't have deadlines, at best presumptuous, and at the worst arrogant and derisive?

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    EProducer should really write a book on that - along with all of his techniques for coming to his end result renders... they're really good.

    I'd pay him for that book! :coolsmile:


    Thanks guys! I've learned a lot from these forums, and if I can give back just a 1/10 of what I've been given I will be happy.


    Dartanbeck, we're still waiting on that epic. I sure am glad that time isn't a factor since you're a hobbyist and all! ;-)

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    You don't find your statement that "hobbyists" don't need to worry about render times because they don't have deadlines, at best presumptuous, and at the worst arrogant and derisive?

    Thanks evilproducer! I needed that laugh! :cheese:

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    You don't find your statement that "hobbyists" don't need to worry about render times because they don't have deadlines, at best presumptuous, and at the worst arrogant and derisive?

    Thanks evilproducer! I needed that laugh! :cheese:


    You want a laugh? Wait for the response! I can almost quote it now! :cheese:

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,589
    edited December 1969

    You don't find your statement that "hobbyists" don't need to worry about render times because they don't have deadlines, at best presumptuous, and at the worst arrogant and derisive?

    Geez, is there anything you don't take as arrogant and derisive? Apparently you despise when someone uses the term hobbyist. Okay, well pick another term.

    And my point about worrying about render times was more factual than anything. Isn't it? Is there something about that statement that is in error? Is there something that angers you about that? Why?

    Dude, if it doesn't apply to you, then let it go. And if it does, then fine. If I'm wrong, and most or all hobbyists are deeply concerned about shaving a few hours off their renders, and their time is precious, and it's worth the expenditure, then fine, I'm wrong.

    I presumed that most people who do this do it for fun, and do it because the like playing with software, and many like tinkering with hardware. And they also seem perfectly happy waiting for 6 hour renders. That's what just about everything I've read in this forum for the last 5 years or whatever points to.

    If that's wrong, then I deeply apologize for saying the word "hobbyists" and for implying that your time isn't precious.

    Geez. Get over it.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    And my point about worrying about render times was more factual than anything.

    Ah, there it is! Joe's favourite tactic. Describing his opinion as "fact" in order to be sore-assed when someone disagrees.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 2012

    Yep. knew that was coming. I'm the one with the problem...


    What is the main purpose of tinkering with a car? I have two friends that restore cars. They love it, but if you think they don't have deadlines, you're nuts. Part of the appeal is showing off the car. Around here, that's late spring, summer, and early fall, so if they want a car ready for show, then they need to bust ass all winter. I'll bet it's the same with people here. I enjoy creating in 3D and Carrara, that doesn't mean I enjoy watching render buckets.


    As an example, I have very little time in the summer. There are more things that need doing outside, as well as it's the busy season where I work. The more I can do over the winter months the better. I think you'll find that's the case with most people here. Their busy times will be different of course, but it's the same principal. You can enjoy something and still have to watch the clock.


    To think hobbyists don't have time constraints is not very realistic.

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,589
    edited December 1969

    Okay, then I was wrong. And, as I said, I deeply apologize for my incorrect assumption.

    I incorrectly assumed people could render as they slept, pause when they needed the computer, continue when they didn't, and if the animation was finished on Tuesday morning or Thursday night really wasn't that big a deal. But I was wrong.

    And, again, I apologize.

    But in spite of what you think, I was NOT trying to denigrate anyone. I was merely thinking in business terms, dollars and cents and cost justification.

    Personally, I have a hard time cost justifying my sailboat. It's a hobby, but there's no way I could justify the expenditure. But I also don't take it as an insult when someone says I don't REALLY need it. Because I don't. I just want it. And you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 2012

    Not a problem. As I said, your mileage may vary. That goes for everything, including sailboats and farmland (my metaphorical sailboat).

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Living amidst one of the world's largest bodies of fresh water and the whole arsenal of lakes and rivers here, in Wisconsin, I wish I had a boat. Come to realize years ago, however, that my crazy necessity for chiseling stone means I'd have to sail in the dark as I slept. One day I hope to let go of my manual labor tendencies, get a nice sailboat and spend some time with the water and my lovely wife - just the two of us. Someday.
    Good for you, Joe.

    Garstor said:
    EProducer should really write a book on that - along with all of his techniques for coming to his end result renders... they're really good.

    I'd pay him for that book! :coolsmile:


    Thanks guys! I've learned a lot from these forums, and if I can give back just a 1/10 of what I've been given I will be happy.


    Dartanbeck, we're still waiting on that epic. I sure am glad that time isn't a factor since you're a hobbyist and all! ;-)


    You're always giving back EP, and we value your excellent renders, experience-filled advice and hearty sense of humor! Thanks!

    My Epic is actually moving along pretty well - for a hobbyist effort! Kidding. I have full intentions of going pro with this series - hence the gobs of time spent before rendering a single, official frame. This is why I've been so active against all of this anti-Carrara talk these days. What can a person NOT do in Carrara is the limited topic - not the other way around.
    Granted, I'm using my piano, guitars, and drums to aid me with the score - which I hope to one day engrave using Finale music scoring software. Paper and pencil have been my scripting devices and Sony Vegas will be my editing choice. Everything else is Carrara with a little support from the DS > Hex bridge - but only for making a slight change to the figure file itself. No actual others edits are made with that - which is simply hilarious to me, but it works! Daz3d and their published artists along with everyone at these forums have been truly instrumental in the whole thing. And you, EP, have straightened me out on many things - which I truly appreciate. Thanks!

    Now if I could get Garstor to finish building me that Monster Box... oh yeah...
    Please!!!!
    (kidding brah, of course!)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,709
    edited December 1969

    Not to far from lakes myself, and of course cold Superior and Michigan are a couple hours drive. Sailboating is fun, but getting in a canoe and seeing where the water takes me is more my speed. Bit cheaper and less skill could also be a reason I prefer it to sail boats. ;-)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Many kayak builders in Wisconsin too ;)
    I used to snorkel the edge of Lake Michigan here, along Death's Door, just to admire what the forces of water can do to stone over several millennia - and as an added bonus, I'd get to mix and mingle with all sorts of fish. Couldn't believe how they'd welcome me...
    I sure love living here! :)

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