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Old 07 July 2013   #46
Originally Posted by JoelOtron: +1 to your +1
From my last query I believe it was about 1K USD. Best to talk to Maxon though.


It looks like its way cheaper than that. Check toolfarm

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Bonsak
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Old 07 July 2013   #47
Originally Posted by bonsak: It looks like its way cheaper than that. Check toolfarm


I had checked out the command line renderer some time ago, and the issue here is that it runs only with the license server. The license server will add quite some cost to your basic setup and your MSA AND it will, as I understood it, force you to run all your C4D installations under this license server (not that it really makes a difference). So the hidden cost is in the license server, not the command line renderer.

The command line renderer is something Maxon has silently strangled - this was a free add-on some time ago and did not need a license server at all.

The license Server is free once you pass a certain number of C4D installations, but quite expensive for less than 5 seats - somehow counterintuitively if you just need it to run a render node standalone for some remote rendering that won't work properly with NET (had that discussion about a setup of V-Ray render nodes plus C4D shaders some months ago). Especially if you have Studio which includes unlimited render nodes already (but ONLY for NET render or now Team Render, not for render standalones... go figure).
 
Old 07 July 2013   #48
Originally Posted by Cairyn: The command line renderer is something Maxon has silently strangled - this was a free add-on some time ago and did not need a license server at all.

I beg to differ. Before the command line rendering became available as an own product that is coupled with the license server, it was an alternative use of a full CINEMA 4D version/license installed on a machine, which is hardly less expensive than the current setup.
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Old 07 July 2013   #49
Originally Posted by fluffouille: Now for the bad news: if the server crashes, all clients will stop their renders, so these partial renders will be lost.


This is indeed unfortunate. During work time, it's a hassle... my C4D crashes while I am working, which definitely happens more often than it would to a server that runs on its own, unmolested by the imponderables of actual work. Then I need to go back to the RenderQueue which inconveniently crashes with it, and restart all elements in the queue? D'oh. (At least I will see then that it crashed.)

During nighttime, it's less likely that the server crashes (I do acknowledge the stability of C4D) but if it does, the render farm is practically dead? What would happen if there is more than one server in the network; would a job from the un-crashed server take over and utilize the clients?

It seemed to me that a standalone version of the render queue, issued timely by Maxon, would resolve most of the workflow issues that have been mentioned here (provided it could run in parallel to the same-serial full version, just as Net Server currently does), but the loss of the render client continuity wouldn't be addressed by that.

Has anybody yet tried to set up some scripting that would regularly check the servers for both the machine and C4D, and restart it if necessary?
 
Old 07 July 2013   #50
Originally Posted by fluffouille: If a client was in the list of active nodes at the start of a render, it will connect back and resume its tasks automatically.
Now for the bad news: if the server crashes, all clients will stop their renders, so these partial renders will be lost.
Any finished frames should be taken into account, though, and the render resumed normally when the server comes back online and the queue is resumed by the admin.



thank you fluffy, glad to hear something about it.

good news about the TR clients staying in the list and coming back online if they go down - i was concerned that maybe they would have to be re-added each time (just could be time consuming with this a lot of clients)

not so good news about if the TR Server goes down, but sort of expected i suppose and not the end of the world i suppose...

though for example of what if? - say you work with three other C4D users and your job is running now - if YOUR C4D/TR Server goes down (crash) - your running job stops as you indicate - and there are multiple users sharing the TR Clients in your office - the TR Clients would stop running your job and move onto the next project from the next different user right?

so do you have to sit and wait for your job to get it's turn again? (which with multiple users or many large renders being queued up could be a while - and how exactly do the TR Clients know who is next in turn with multiple users to keep things fair?)

do you just kinda sit and suffer watching for your job to resume, unknowing what the other users have in queue ahead of yours (or walk around asking other users what they have running?) waiting for your 90% progress crashed job to start again (since there is no central job list like now with NET Server?) - where now in most multiple users cases it would be agreed to bump that 90% nearly finished project back up to run and complete first?)

sorry for the run-on questions - just trying to work out TR logic in my head, kinda unsure how multiple users scenario really work with this TR (based on the TEAM part of the Team Viewer name i'm unsure how it works beyond a single solo user)

i hope that is clear of a question? like to quick summary - if you three other guys shared an office and were all three were set up with your "farm" of TR render clients. so your project was running and at 90%, your C4D/TR crashes - all render clients stop running your job - but the other guys each had a massive render project in his TR queue - so now one of those two begin rendering while your computer restarts, then you restart your TR Server and your job resubmits and goes back into line... now you sit at 90% unknowing how long it may be (could be days depending on the other render projects) and wait while the other two users get their turn? (is that right?)

i have another partial question sort of - the largest C4D scene file alone i've had to work with was 7GB and then add in textures which were probably another couple GB so lets say 9GB total... here with my current setup it was technically 9GB x 32 render clients for i guess about 288GB of data needing to be sent out from the NET Server. it DID work although i had to temporarily increase the timeout in my NET Clients to like 4x what i normally keep it out to stop them from dropping offline as having timed out.

have big projects like that been tested with TR? granted that was what i consider really big, but i routinely see project folders (scene and tex etc) in the 2-5GB total range which is still a lot of data x so many clients - have things like that been run with TR to see what how it h handles it?

thanks very much!

dann
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Old 07 July 2013   #51
Originally Posted by dann_stubbs: i have another partial question sort of - the largest C4D scene file alone i've had to work with was 7GB and then add in textures which were probably another couple GB so lets say 9GB total... here with my current setup it was technically 9GB x 32 render clients for i guess about 288GB of data needing to be sent out from the NET Server. it DID work although i had to temporarily increase the timeout in my NET Clients to like 4x what i normally keep it out to stop them from dropping offline as having timed out.

have big projects like that been tested with TR? granted that was what i consider really big, but i routinely see project folders (scene and tex etc) in the 2-5GB total range which is still a lot of data x so many clients - have things like that been run with TR to see what how it h handles it?

We tried pretty beafy scenes, the P2P functionality does help a lot here, provided you have a switched GBit network environment. I seriously don't recommend to use many clients or large projects via WLAN, it will just come to a grinding halt.
Cheers
Björn
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Old 07 July 2013   #52
Originally Posted by Srek: I beg to differ. Before the command line rendering became available as an own product that is coupled with the license server, it was an alternative use of a full CINEMA 4D version/license installed on a machine, which is hardly less expensive than the current setup.


Really, you needed a full license to run the command line renderer even if you had the "unlimited net render client module"? I apologize then, I believed to remember that the standalone was originally meant to be the connection point for 3rd party render queue manager (and you could start any number of them in a network, up to what your license allowed), but it's been close to a decade and my memory must fail me - I cannot find the discussion thread from back then any more. Good thing I never went through with scripting a render manager, I would totally have violated my license.

So, the standalone could in fact never be used as (competitive) alternative for NET render.

I wonder what the future optimal render farm setups will be, at different scales (from homegrown to studio to commercial render farm). The new render process which restricts the preparation passes to single images (if I understand the announcement correctly) seems to support the arbitrary distribution of renders better (with the usual caveats like baking, floating point precision, and the likes), which would open up new strategies for 3rd party render managers that would overcome the limitations of the Team Render "server". But they'd need to connect either to a Team Render client (is that even possible?), or to standalones set up in a license manager environment which adds cost. Quite a conundrum for small-time users.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #53
Originally Posted by dann_stubbs: like to quick summary - if you three other guys shared an office and were all three were set up with your "farm" of TR render clients. so your project was running and at 90%, your C4D/TR crashes - all render clients stop running your job - but the other guys each had a massive render project in his TR queue - so now one of those two begin rendering while your computer restarts, then you restart your TR Server and your job resubmits and goes back into line... now you sit at 90% unknowing how long it may be (could be days depending on the other render projects) and wait while the other two users get their turn? (is that right?)


Good question. Not worked with TR yet obviously, but I would believe that you'd need to coordinate the use of the clients on some higher level, outside of C4D. A render job that gobbles up all the resources should perhaps not be given the run of all clients, but leave some clients for other tasks. In the scenario above, you'd probably be restricted to your own C4D installation to finish the job, by taking your machine out of the client list. Or you'd need to talk to your colleagues so they stop their jobs temporarily for yours to finish...

It would be nice if there was some central overview, though, and the option to change priorities and add/remove clients to a job on the fly. I can see that a "round robin by frame" is not a feasible strategy if you need to hurl around huge scene data, but dynamic reaction to queue changes that are executed manually would be a welcome option.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #54
What about pausing and resuming? If a client is 20 minutes into a 30 minute/frame render and you pause and resume the animation, does it start rendering that frame all over again or does it pick up rendering that frame at the 20 minute mark?
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Old 07 July 2013   #55
Single frames can't be paused.
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Old 07 July 2013   #56
Originally Posted by Srek: Single frames can't be paused.


To be able to pause and resume a rendering in the middle of a frame is incredibly useful and have been in other packages for decades. Is this impossible to implement in the render code as its been written? Is there a downside to this feature?
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Old 07 July 2013   #57
Originally Posted by dann_stubbs: i hope that is clear of a question? like to quick summary - if you three other guys shared an office and were all three were set up with your "farm" of TR render clients. so your project was running and at 90%, your C4D/TR crashes - all render clients stop running your job - but the other guys each had a massive render project in his TR queue - so now one of those two begin rendering while your computer restarts, then you restart your TR Server and your job resubmits and goes back into line... now you sit at 90% unknowing how long it may be (could be days depending on the other render projects) and wait while the other two users get their turn? (is that right?)

I've not had the opportunity to try this sort of setup, but my guess is that indeed you go at the back of the queue if the server crashes and you restart your run (or at least the next user will grab the clients in the meantime).

I'd need to ask for a second license to test this.
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Old 07 July 2013   #58
Originally Posted by Troyan: To be able to pause and resume a rendering in the middle of a frame is incredibly useful and have been in other packages for decades. Is this impossible to implement in the render code as its been written? Is there a downside to this feature?

It's just that the core of CINEMA 4D is not supporting this. Implementing it would require an extraordinary amount of development time and testing. So it's not impossible, but impractical.
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Old 07 July 2013   #59
Originally Posted by Troyan: What about pausing and resuming? If a client is 20 minutes into a 30 minute/frame render and you pause and resume the animation, does it start rendering that frame all over again or does it pick up rendering that frame at the 20 minute mark?



so animations can essentially be paused, no doubt not much different then stopping a job or bumping it down in NET Server, good to know that can still be done.

for single frames DR renders then i am not so worried about the pausing so much as with DR i think a single frame render should process fairly fast given this newfound DR ability

but in this new example say you are running a single frame DR - you've got any number of render clients on it, say 10 for a nice round number - so lets say 8 cores each for a total of 80 buckets running in the DR on this one single image

say timeout of the TR render client is set at 20 minutes. by default

one of the 10 TR render clients goes down (crash) not quit, an ungraceful no notice crash - say the power supply died and BAM! it's down hard in an instant.

how does the TR Server handle this? it had no feedback from the client about it's disappearance now - so as far as the TS Server is concerned does it think the render client is still processing it's assigned buckets?

does the TR Server DR image essentially finish the other 72 assigned cores (from the still working 9 render clients) while these last 8 buckets are held in limbo by the down render client?

does it wait for the 20 minute timeout before it drops the render client and reassigns the buckets?

the issue i'm looking at is say the buckets were only taking 2 minutes per bucket to complete - 8 buckets were assigned out but now MIA, do you now have a partial DR image being held at the mercy of the timeout setting?

the reason i am thinking of is due to the massive project files i deal with my timeout setting is very high - like could be 180 minutes to allow for huge files time to transfer data before the NET Server times them out from the render - and net clients do crash (or power supplies burn out stuff like that...

how does the TR Server deal with this? would my DR image be stuck waiting an hour and a half for buckets that should have completed in 2 minutes?

does TR Client/Server have a heartbeat type function that determines a client is down? or as i am thinking does the timeout determine how long it goes before the TR Server would let go and reassign those missing buckets to another render client?

sorry to sound like such a pessimist, but crashes are too real in my world so first thing i start thinking about is how to work with them to minimize potential disruptions.

thanks! looking forward to the answer on this one too : )

dann
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Old 07 July 2013   #60
Originally Posted by fluffouille: I've not had the opportunity to try this sort of setup, but my guess is that indeed you go at the back of the queue if the server crashes and you restart your run (or at least the next user will grab the clients in the meantime).

I'd need to ask for a second license to test this.



thank you fluffy.

sooooo..... i guess the delicate question is has Team Render been tested by anything other then single individual users on the beta team? any out there run it with more then one person submitting jobs to the render queue?

the irony being Team Render seems to be lacking the TEAM part of render management. (maybe this will be a future upgrade, but there are many who will be working with multiple users right off the bat and need it now, or need to know)

thanks again!

dann
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