Some PCs don't render anisotropic + blurry reflections (MR)

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  02 February 2013
Some PCs don't render anisotropic + blurry reflections (MR)

It seems that some computers on my company's renderfarm can't render anisotropic blurry reflections in arch & design (at least), as in just the reflections but not the specular. Instead they render the reflections with a straight 1.0 anisotropy but with the iconic elongated specular shine that it causes.

This is how it should look:

But this is how some of the computers end up rendering it:

The scene has no animation or anything, this is from the same render job which has 100 still standing frames.

Anyone got a clue what to test? Any help is much appreciated.
  02 February 2013
That does look odd.

Are there any image maps special shaders being used that some machines can 'see' on the network - that others cannot see due to network paths. (It doesn't look the case)

Do you have the same Service packs across the network machines ?

What is the difference in the machines that are causing the artifacts..CPU's all the same.
Years ago there was a rumour that AMD's would produce slightly different results to Intel but not sure how substantiated that was.
Renderfarm hire available @
  02 February 2013
There are no maps on anything except the ground, which has a completely standard brushed metal preset.

The hardware is mostly the same across the farm, although it looks like hardware doesn't make much of a difference since more or less identical computers hardware-wise render differently.

The software (max version, windows version, windows service packs) are different between all the PCs rendering, but that doesn't seem to be it either. I will try installing service packs and other updates for max on one of the computers to see if it fixes it later.
  02 February 2013
I've had the odd computer output with completely wrong PNG setting from time to time, it just kept what ever the last user set the output setting to.

is it possible to open the file on those systems to see if they're maybe using some odd setting or something?

then again, i've generally had issues with arch & design materials. they tend to flicker and mess up reflections on network render.
Can you switch to a regular material with a mental ray metal shader?
[Invivo Animation Reel]
  02 February 2013
I remember that in one version of 3ds Max there was a service pack, or hotfix, or whatever it was called, that was addressing a specific problem with relation of anisotropy value and glossiness value in MentalRay. I would make sure that all of the computers run same version of service pack with identical hotfixes.
  02 February 2013
Yeah, it looks like it might be something software related even though the farm PCs should be more or less identical to each other, so it's peculiar...

I found two other threads regarding the same issue:

Will investigate further when I have the time.
  02 February 2013
Am almost sure this is due to a lack of service updates on some of your max versions. We had similar problems on our renderfarm. Some computers were only applying anisotropic blurring to specular highlights, others were blurring both specular and reflections. Updating to identical service packs solved the issue.

Unfortunately I can't remember which service pack caused the discrepancies. As far as I can remember it was some service pack that had something to do with Iray implementation.
  02 February 2013
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