View Full Version : Renderfarm

06 June 2003, 05:31 PM
I would like to set up a renderfarm for lightwave. I currently have one dual 2200+ system and am wanting to get another 2/3 new dual systems of speeds around 2600+. Can anyone tell me what is required to do this. I'm decent with networking so I don't see that as a problem. However I am more worried about the licensing of the software. When doing it for lightwave or 3dsmax do I have to buy the software for each computer or can I buy it for one and then just run clients on the others? I wouldn't mind charging some of the other college students to use them on the side for their projects. Some of them already want to use my one machine, I just have no idea how to set it all up.
Also (1)would I have to run linux on the other box's or is that not really a factor? (2) how do people ususally go about setting them up on-line? (3)would one dual 2200+ system and 2 2600+ systems, each with a gig of ram, be any kind of force for people to use to render? PM me if your tired of seeing this kind of post. I did some searching and really didn't see any. Thanks in advance for helping out.

06 June 2003, 07:01 PM
You can setup a renderfarm with only one liscece. you use a program called screamer net (lwsn.exe i think) . It can be ran locally on each machine, or they can all access it on a host computer. This prgram can render without lightwave being installed on the other computers (in fact, with only one liscence, lightwave should NOT be on more than one computer).

For in depth and great instructions on how to setup a screamernet network consult the Lightwave Manual/user guide. Theres pages of info there.
Look in the index under "screamernet"


Triple G
06 June 2003, 07:04 PM
With Lightwave, you buy one license and you can render on as many different machines (with as many CPUs) as you want. Actually, I think there's a limit of something like 999 or something ridiculous like that, but that should hardly be an issue for anyone.

There are different variations on the way to do it, but the way I usually see is that you would set it up so that one machine is your host (this is the machine with the full seat of LW installed). Then, you just set up the other machines to be nodes. You set up your network so that they all have access to the same shared drive(s) which contain your config files as well as scenes, objects, textures, and any plugins you're using (and also they need to all be able to see where to render to...obviously).

As for the rest of your questions...

1) As of the latest release, Newtek did include a Linux installer for Screamernet (LW's network rendering app), though I'm not sure how well implemented it is. Maybe someone who's successfully set it up can comment. Most render farms that I've seen tend to be one platform or the other (Windows or Mac), though it is possible to have a mixed OS farm with certain 3rd-party render controllers.

2) If by online you mean that you want to render remotely through HTTP or FTP, I don't think you can do that with Screamernet, but I believe there are 3rd-party render controllers which will allow you to. Try doing a search on to see what you can find.

3) Well, you'd have a total of 4 pretty speedy processors. Not the biggest render farm in the world, but it'd definitely save you a ton of time as opposed to rendering everything on one machine, that's for sure!

06 June 2003, 07:50 PM
The linux version of lwsn that shipped with 7.5c works quite well, but it is still not 100% yet.

There are a lot of network rendering systems available which can making set-up easier.

Amleto (see my sig) makes the setup very easy for you by automating the entire process and it does not require the mapping of network drives. There's even a linux client available.

Try out the 14 day trial version.

06 June 2003, 08:14 PM
For good looking animations that most college students make as their final project, what kind of rendering times are you looking at per frame. I read on a book that some renders for movies can last 15 hrs. I don't know how true that is. I'd like to find out what the University students are learning, program wise, then set up a small render business to render their projects with. I know it might be a long shot but it is something I'd like to look into. Just something small time.

06 June 2003, 08:24 PM
The rendering times will depend mainly on the scene. If you're rendering using radiosity that will greatly increase your render time.

With movies, they usually are more detailed than what you would find in a student movie, plus they are rendering at film resolution which i think is around 2k.

The machines you described should be fine for rendering most of what you want.

06 June 2003, 12:28 AM
Is there a way for me to set the computers up and then just allow access for other's to use them like over an ftp? Don't most companies when they lease out a renderfarm just get access to them and then do everything over the internet?

06 June 2003, 12:34 AM
The only one i know of for lightwave is respower ( .

A feature that we are planning to implement in Amleto is the ability to upload a zipped scene via the web interface then select that scene to render. The only issue then would be downloading the rendered file, which you could do with ftp.

If you visit the new forum we've set up for Amleto support we have a thread for feature requests. If enough people want this then we'll add it. The forum can be found here: (

06 June 2003, 12:38 AM
I'm looking at and am wondering if there is any advantage to having a 64 bit CPU like the operton. I mean is it mhz that matters most? Would like a 2600+ mp beat a 1.4ghz operton at rendering?

06 June 2003, 12:45 AM
64 bit processors are faster, but they only get the speed benefit if the software is developed for them.

I'm not even sure if 32 bit compiled code will run on them. Does anyone have experience of them?

06 June 2003, 01:00 AM
is there some kind of benchmark that I can run so that i can compare my computer rendering power to others? I would like to be able to just have some sort of stats.

06 June 2003, 01:04 AM
Check out this website:

It has benchmark for a lot of different systems.

Triple G
06 June 2003, 01:55 AM
You could also try Cinebench ( It's based on Cinema 4D technology, but it's still a pretty good indicator of your computer's 3D performance capabilities.

06 June 2003, 04:48 AM
If I do set up a render farm. And lets say that I want others to be able to use it. Can I just get the main software or do I have to purchase each one of the plugins that they want to use as well?

06 June 2003, 05:53 PM <---any idea what they would use to allow people to access their comp on-line to render?

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