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vectormodeling
02-01-2005, 10:40 PM
I'm having serious trouble getting mental ray satellites to work for OS X. MR finds and reads my maya.rayhosts file, but can never connect the hosts. I've read all of the help files, and i'm still stuck. If anybody has got this working please help em out, it could be that I am just ignorant of some OS X networking procedures.

tharrell
02-03-2005, 02:27 AM
A few things:

- Make sure that any software firewalls you have are off (temporarily) while you're testing -- ie Sharing prefpane, Windows networking, ipfw, etc. You can poke holes in the appropriate ports once you've got stuff running properly.
- Do a plain 'ol install of the satellite software on each of your slave Macs
- Don't manually run any of the setup scripts, etc that are installed -- I made this mistake the first time. The init scripts are run during install with the proper (ie not-standalone) settings.
- On your master machine, add a maya.rayhosts file in one of the following places:

(Mac OS X)

/users/<you>/Library/Preferences/Alias/maya/6.5./Prefs/maya.rayhosts

(Windows)

My Documents\Maya\maya.rayhosts

(Linux)

$home/maya/6.5/prefs/

Make certain that you call the macs by their IP address and add the port number to the end, ie:

192.168.100.102:7103

- Now reboot all machines in question (just to be on the safe side), and fire up a test render. It's helpful to turn on 'progress' messages in the render globals translation section -- then you can look at the input window and figure out which machines are connecting and which aren't.


I made the mistake of initially editing the maya.rayhosts in C:\Program Files\Alias\Maya\6.5\mentalray\ and was pulling my hair out trying to figure out why it wasn't even *trying* to connect.

I've now got one of my XP boxes using two of my Macs as slaves for MR -- pretty cool ;-) I've noticed that on simpler scenes you actually take a bit of a performance hit on single-frame renders, however, because of network bottlenecks. I'm running a few tests on scary complex scenes to see what differences the slaves are making time-wise.

Hope this helps!

[edit: clarified disabling *software* firewall]

vectormodeling
02-03-2005, 04:28 AM
thanks, i'll give it a try. i've got too render out my student film pretty soon, and I'm not sure whether I should get three computers rendering independently of each other, or have on as a master and two as MR satellites. i guess some tests are in order.

tharrell
02-03-2005, 04:49 AM
Based on my initial tests, I'd say go with dividing up frames on multiple render jobs.

First off, all of the satellite tests that I've run so far show that I'm really only getting a benefit on incredibly complicated stills with all the bells & whistles.

Most importantly, though, dividing up the job allows you to preview and rerender chunks of your work at a time. It's been the most efficient workflow for me so far... example follows:

-Divide up render chores between three machines, 100 frames on each.
-Being the fcheck-while-rendering junkie I am, I catch a flicker, jump or texture problem on frame 107.
-I take note of all the botched frames & sections. You'll always have something go wrong, so plan time to redo everything at least once!
-I have one machine on my mini-farm (4-5 machines total) pulled off to the side after the halfway point of rendering any given project and turn it to the task of re-rendering 'short jobs' -- in this case, a batch render script containing my botched frames.

Splitting the work up on multiple machines also allows you to do neat things like have a low-quality render going on one machine to produce fast, editable footage while the high quality 'final' footage is rendering on the rest of the farm. This way I can get a rough cut made during the days/weeks that my footage is rendering out, and I can whittle down to the bare minimum amount of frames I need -- which I just add to batch scripts in sections.

Once upon a time, I used Muster for all my net rendering, but once I started writing batch files, I've never looked back.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others out there have wildly different advice -- this is just what works for me!

alexentremont
02-05-2005, 04:40 PM
Vectormodeling, did you solve your Satellite problem on OS X?

vectormodeling
02-05-2005, 07:12 PM
No, and for now I think i'm giving up. I've tried everything and MR still just says it can't connect, or the connection is refused, or something. It's probably because my network (4 computers) is running on a D-Link 604 router and I don't really know anything about networking. Still hopeful though, and from what everyone has been posting maybe satellites aren't that much help anyway.

tharrell
02-05-2005, 07:25 PM
Strange. I've got the *exact* same DI-604 router, although I have my machines locally configured to static IP addresses (this shouldn't make a difference). If your computers are on the same subnet (which they are if they're all online), there's nothing the router should (could?) be doing to interfere.

I wouldn't burn too much effort on trying to get it working properly though... I've had awful results on all of the tests I've run speed-wise. I'll stand by my comment that you're better off sending different frames to different machines at the moment.

Nathan03
03-18-2005, 02:36 PM
Hey Vector -

I was unable to get the satellite set up on OSX either for a while, but then I figured out a work-around. Check out this post (http://www.cgtalk.com/showpost.php?p=2052555&postcount=24) in another thread and let me know if it helps.

- Nathan

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