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Does Carrara Pro do it all?
Posted: 29 December 2012 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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It’s probably a lack of knowledge on how to achieve the effect he wants.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Garstor - 29 December 2012 09:33 AM
evilproducer - 29 December 2012 09:25 AM

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.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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evilproducer - 29 December 2012 10:26 AM

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. smile

Maybe one day, I’ll get brave and try it out…

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- Garstor
Australian-Canadian currently trapped in Texas (maintaining sanity with doses of Carrara, LightWave and PhotoShop)

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Posted: 29 December 2012 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Garstor - 29 December 2012 10:55 AM
evilproducer - 29 December 2012 10:26 AM

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. smile

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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Posted: 29 December 2012 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Seems to me all plugins being used have to be on all machines as well.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 29 December 2012 12:52 PM

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


Sounds plausible. I don’t have any plugins.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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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.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Dartanbeck - 29 December 2012 01:22 PM

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… cool smirk

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- Garstor
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Posted: 29 December 2012 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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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…    smile

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Posted: 29 December 2012 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Dartanbeck - 29 December 2012 01:41 PM

Hmmm, but if I clean my room, do all of my chores…    smile

Don’t forget to beg!  smile

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)?

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- Garstor
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Posted: 29 December 2012 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Garstor - 29 December 2012 02:09 PM
Dartanbeck - 29 December 2012 01:41 PM

Hmmm, but if I clean my room, do all of my chores…    smile

Don’t forget to beg!  smile

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!!! shock

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Posted: 29 December 2012 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Dartanbeck - 29 December 2012 02:13 PM

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!!! shock

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…

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Posted: 29 December 2012 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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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.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Fenric - 29 December 2012 06:39 PM

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…  smile

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.  smile

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Posted: 29 December 2012 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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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.

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