View Full Version : Lord of the Renderfarm: Piovra

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 07:21 AM
Hi , I wrote a rendefarm script in python, is better than Nitrox and the other couse it provides a lot of features and it is easyler to use!

Here's the script:
Here's the original discussion thread:

With Piovra you can:
- have complete control by the master node
- recive rendered frame
- purge the slave-repository
- connect a new slave during the rendering'
- disconnect a slave during the rendering (with a simple command, without problem for the output!)
- launch from the manster a command on a slave and read the console output on the master.
- add /use/modify scripts (called module) that can be launched on the slaves
- shutdown a slave
- stop the renderfarm in any moment
- have a auto option that will launch the rendering on al lthe renderfarm, then recives the output, then purge the slaves, then shutdown the renderfarm!

All these options are avaible to be launched on a single slave or on all the renderfarm and are avaible in any moment also during the rendering .



06 June 2004, 08:16 AM
:eek: :applause: :bounce:

06 June 2004, 08:36 AM
Hey, that's great!
One question though, are you restricted to one type of OS/Computer?

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 10:41 AM
there aren't known restriction.You only need python installed (I use 2.3 but maybe also the 2.2 will work!).I tested piovra on Linux and windows and it works perfectly. I suppose it will work also under Mac OSX but i never tested!
It wil works also if your renderfarm has different OS, for example my renderfarm is built by 3 or 4 linux boxes, and 2 win xp (hey the matter are my parents! ;P )



06 June 2004, 05:07 PM
a little tut would be good, or at least a step by step example

the original thread at
no posso capire que vole dire :shrug:

it did not work for me:banghead:

06 June 2004, 06:01 PM
Pier, the file isn't openning in Winzip for Windows, but it does open on Filer for Linux.

And speaking of that, inside the file, the Mac and Windows modules are missing. Only the linux module is present.

bbirras, there is an Engish How-to enclosed in the file. (Wich, funny enough, is written for Windows users) :D

06 June 2004, 08:58 PM
how to........yeah allright :deal:

this is written like a man page
as in man = me "a"nderstand nothing

i was refering to an idiot proof step by step guide :hmm:

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 10:24 PM for the unzip.. sorry but the packet is gzipped!

At the moment I've got no modules for windows or mac couse I have only linux boxes! Maybe you can write python modules or windows modules... :P

A tut ... in italian tuto is not a compliment! :D
But I still write a tuto if you think it can be usefull... tomorrow at 12 o'clok I wil update the piovra package with little-little-little improvments, a tuto collection, a zipped package so also windows user can use it!

BBirras wate a little bit more, don't hurt your self against that wall!

I will post tomorrow after the upgrade!

06 June 2004, 10:30 PM
What about the poor of us that don't speak Italian (although I can understand a little bit)... are we going to be left out of the "tuto" ??? :curious:


06 June 2004, 03:35 AM
molto bene :applause:

thanks a lot pier, my head already hurts

anyway its propably better to work with linux boxes as they tend to render much faster then win (I donīt know about osX, but this is based on unix/darwin so it should ...blablabla)

well as for my rendershrug (to call it a farm would deffinately be exagerated) hopefully one day I will succesfully use it in a network. for the moment I just distribute renderjobs to this or that computer and let it do the rendering of that file or I just do it by hand in form of a medisquette ;) , just in order to avoid problems and sad surprises (I could tell you SAD, SAD storys

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 11:54 AM
I uploaded the new piovra package:

there's a tut for beginner, I write only how-to install piovra, and a collection of example... But is not piovra very simple to use? Maybe I must modify the commands...

For the italian I don'know what to do, but on this forum I'll answer at all your english questions!
At the question "better linux than windows?and what about mac?" i will answer with my personal opinion that has nott to be true at all:
-Linux renders 2.5 time faster than windows, i tested it in my renderfarm where there were 2 identical pc, one with debian the other with winXP; Linux = 1420 frame, windows 580 frame...
-Mac is of course better than windows but the problem is not the Os but the hardware: infact it has lower frequency and a 64 bit address is more difficult to calcutale than a 32bit address... so the classic IaX86 32bit is the faster solution for the rendering at the moment. I also think that in 2 years 64 bit solutions will offer faster rendering times, but at the moment I prefer my 3 dual athlon (3700 Euro) than a single dual Opteron (5000 Euro) or a single dual G5 that's the slower! I think that the 64bit structure is the beast if you want to use your pc for the game or to develop runtime ...

- Have fun with Piovra ant tellme if there's anything that won't work!


PS: I forgot the little faces like this :D in my message composer!!!

06 June 2004, 02:57 PM
ah! this is great! must try it out soon! thanks a lot!


06 June 2004, 03:09 PM
Very interesting, i will try it later, it seem to be a long preparation for configuring. Very nice job, the help file is great

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 05:36 PM
Thankyou! The next improvment, if there are not problem with Piovra, will be an installer collection for Linux/Windows/Mac/BSD...
but before I need to study Windows and also a little-bit of BSD and Mac bootsystem.
with the installers will be modified also the modules managment to make them more easy to use...

I want to see your comments!!! Tel me what is not as you would like to have in a renderfarm!


Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 09:18 AM
it seem to be a long preparation for configuring If you want to use piovra you dont need to make a big configuration. The tut installation section is only if you want to run piovraserver on the slave at the boot!

06 June 2004, 11:50 AM
ok ok, so i had a question, that Ton Rosendaal ask me about piovra ... that I could not answer him.

Piovra work on Internet ??
because this question is frequently asked in forum and irc channels

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 05:58 PM
Piovra don't needs a big speed over the connection(excuse my english) but the problem are the size of the blenderfile and the size of the output!
Off course it will run also over the internet but ... how do you think to recive all rendered files?
The master node must have a fiber-channel-line!
Piovra works on the intranet, you can comparate him to a cluster, untill we haven't very fast connection (the myth of the GRID!) i suppose that' s not a good solution!
But Piovra will run.
Maybe this can be a good solution if you have to render very "strong" frames full of reflection, ray, trasparency, AO, GI, but with a .blend file small, and a small output size!

I used Piorva for a test over a phone-line connection between two 56K modem.
By my side there are 3 dual athlon in switched lan and the master of the renderfarm is here with the first modem. On the other side there are an Intel Pentium 166 (connected toi the modem)in switched lan with an Athlon AMD2400+. The configuration of the renderfarm is:
2 dual athlon slaves in local lan
1 dual athlon slave+master in local lan
1 athlon in remothe lan
1 p 166 in remothe lan

Piovra works good but I wait about 40-50 minutes to see the remothe lan to start rendering couse the bend file is about 5 Mb, and the remothe lan needs to download it!
After the download (the first 45 minutes) the renderfarm seems to work as in a normal lan!
Then I run piovrautilityclient -execall ./enco2 and i compressed the output into divx format. The I wate other 40 minutes to recive the output from the remothe slaves!
As you can see it depends from the internet connection speed!

06 June 2004, 05:52 AM
this is impressive stuff!!

with internet-connections getting faster and faster (1mbps and more) this will open up endless posibilties.(Iīm still at 56kbps:hmm:but connectionspeed average is 25kbps )

Iīm impressed!!
..and by the way:
thanks for the little intro/guide added to the second zip :)

btw. donīt worry about your english skills, we donīt!!!!!
(but we do wory about your python skills, hehehe) ;)

Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 07:36 AM
OK I don't care about my english skills,:)but if you want to give me a feedback about skills i'm here to learn!

At the moment I'm working about a little, little frontend for the site at, and about an installer script for linux, mac and windows... in a few days I'll prbably will be ready to update all.

In the site I wanto to write a FAQ section, at the moment there are not many question about Piovra but all the question I reding here and in the other forum will be answered also at site.



Pier from Italy
06 June 2004, 11:39 PM
I wrote 3 pseudo installer scripts, i cannot' test the windows one but I think it will work!
I also wrote a mini/orrible site (in 60 minutes!), but I hope it can be usefull also for you...

Piovra is a little bit edited from the last time, but the revolution :rolleyes: are the installers. Now they seems to work, but I've got to work a lot about to make real good installer scripts. Now Piovra is mutch more simple to use, and configure!

I wate for your opinion!:bounce:

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