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Network Rendering with Bryce 7 Pro - Anyone Tried it?
Posted: 12 November 2012 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi all,

Has anyone successfully set up Bryce to render to multiple machines over a network?  I see that the Bryce 7 Pro supports network rendering, but can’t find any detailed information that explains how to setup the hardware, and configurations? 

I was wondering if you need to buy any kind of licenses or do you just install Bryce on any machine that you want to use as a render node?  What is the maximum number of machines you can use for the render farm?

Any information would be gratefully accepted grin

Thanks!

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Posted: 12 November 2012 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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mtrappett - 12 November 2012 08:28 PM

Hi all,

Has anyone successfully set up Bryce to render to multiple machines over a network?  I see that the Bryce 7 Pro supports network rendering, but can’t find any detailed information that explains how to setup the hardware, and configurations? 

I was wondering if you need to buy any kind of licenses or do you just install Bryce on any machine that you want to use as a render node?  What is the maximum number of machines you can use for the render farm?

Any information would be gratefully accepted grin

Thanks!

When you downloaded Bryce 7 Pro you should have also gotten a file called Bryce 7 Pro Lightning or something to that effect. Lightning is the program for running Bryce on multiple machines over a network. You should not need any additional licenses or anything. Now I’ve never really had a network available to me worth setting that up so I myself have never tried it and can’t tell you much more then what I have already said. I can tell you though that there have been a number of people who have reported here that they have and it worked as expected. I’m sure someone will be along soon that can give you more detailed info.

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Posted: 13 November 2012 01:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You have to install and run Lighting on all machine you want to use. You have the license to run Lighting on as many machines as you can. You can also run Lighting on the machine you do the actual render - in fact, if you don’t, that machine won’t participate in the render job. You can also run Lightning just on the rendering machine to get the hang of Lightning.

You can mix Mac and PC in a limited manner. If your render machine is a Mac, PC clients can be used. If the render machine is a PC, no Mac clients can be used, just PC.

The Priority setting on the rendering machine determines the CPU usage for all clients in the network. If set to high priority, all clients will render at full throttle,

If you render pictures, enable Use Tile Optimization, if you render an animation, do not, because each frame can be considered as a tile. Tiles are 100 by 100 pixels, the rendering machine distributes the tiles to the clients running Lightning, gets them from the clients and builds up the picture.

The source file is sent over the network to each client - one after the other. This may take a while, depending on the size of the br7 file and the speed of your home network. Once the render starts, Lightning is quite stable. You can pull out the LAN cable on clients and put them back after a while. Bryce is aware that a tile was lost and will resend it to another client. Bryce also senses when the disconnected client joins again and starts sending tiles (or frames in an animation) to that client again.

Since there is some overhead sending and receiving tiles, you better not use network rendering if your machine can finish the job in an hour or two. If it takes longer, it makes sense to render on the network. Be aware that you’ll finally have to wait for your slowest machine to send back the last tile. I’m using network rendering on Win 2000, XP and Win 7; laptop, netbook and desktop.

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Posted: 13 November 2012 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I have used lightning to render on both my wife’s desktop and my desktop together before and it works great.  Btw, thanks Horo for that tip about using tile optimization for stills I didn’t know about that one.  I tried to include my notebook but it doesn’t have enough cooling and overheats within a few minutes of starting a render and then just shuts off.  I need to find some way of cooling it before that one will be useful.

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Posted: 13 November 2012 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Another limitation for the clients may be memory. If the scene to be network rendered needs more memory than a client has, it may either not render at all or you get a very unexpected result.

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Posted: 13 November 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Nice write up! One issue I ran into has been opening the proper ports on your firewall. In the past I havn’t been able to get lightening to use much CPU power. Also I’m having trouble getting it running on windows server 2008 64 bit. Whens Daz going to build 64 bit versions of all this software?? seems like it would be a good performance boost.

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Posted: 13 November 2012 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Ah the ports, yes, the firewall, right. Bryce assigns ephemeric port numbers, a new one for each Lightning client. It usually starts at TCP and UDP port 28257 counting up by one for each additional client. Then, there are TCP ports 3416 and counting up used by Bryce. Best practice would probably be to open UDP and TCP ports 28250 to 28300 and TCP ports 3400 to 3450 or something like that.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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tile optimization - I think that’s for rendering single frames cause it doesn’t seem to help when rendering an animation on my system. maybe for back in the day when a single frame would take a few minutes…

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Posted: 14 November 2012 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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captaingeek - 14 November 2012 02:07 PM

tile optimization - I think that’s for rendering single frames cause it doesn’t seem to help when rendering an animation on my system. maybe for back in the day when a single frame would take a few minutes…

Consider a frame as a tile. Tile optimization makes only sense for stills. If it is enabled for animations, it will slow down the render.

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Posted: 30 January 2013 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The other night I rendered a 1-second animation as a test on 3 older machines. The render completed in about 35 seconds!

Bryce found the other nodes automatically, immediately - no issues there. A far cry from trying to configure Vue’s RenderCows (still haven’t gotten them to work right)

Machines are:

Dell Inspiron 560 / 64-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate / Pentium Dual-Core E5400 @2.7Ghz / 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD / NVIDIA GT240 1GB
Dell Inspiron 620 / 64-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate / Core i3 Dual-Core @3.3Ghz / 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD / NVIDIA 550Ti 1GB
Dell Inspiron 570 / 64-bit, Windows 7 Home Premium / AMD Athlon X2 / 4GB RAM / 500GB HDD / NVIDIA GT610 2GB

I started the render from the AMD machine (Dell 570). Render specs were:

640x360
Quality Mode: Regular (Normal Antialiasing)
Optimizations: Uniform / Minimal
48-bit Dithering - checked
Maximum Ray Depth: 3

Just left the other settings at default. Granted, it’s a simple scene and simple settings, but to render even just a test clip at that speed is incredibly useful. I can’t wait to test it out in HD size with 2 or 3 more nodes.

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