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.