Vray distributed rendering - PC + MAC

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  09 September 2012
Vray distributed rendering - PC + MAC


I recently built a PC workstation and still use my Mac Pro for post work.
I'm aware that I can run bootcamp and use the macpro as a renderslave this way without issues.

However, as I'm using the Mac OS on a daily basis, I would like to use Vray Distributed Rendering as a slave natively on the mac.

I ran some test, so far so good. Created a test file in Maya/Vray on my Windows 7 PC and hit render with distributed rendering configured with the correct Mac Pro IP address. To my surprise, it does work perfectly.

The problem is that this only worked because my scene didn't have any textures or light maps. I am able to render using images stored on a Time Capsule (server) from the Mac or from the PC so I know they can both access the textures independently.

As Windows works with letter drives C:/ or Z:/ and Mac works with /Volume, wow can I set up the folders so both the Mac and PC can access the file textures from the server and work with the light cache and irradiance maps?
With symlinks?
A renderfarm manager would probably help but they are costly and can take time to setup. I love how simple distributed rendering is with vray and would like to take advantage of it with a hybrid OS setup. I'm really close to have it working properly, just need a way to handle the textures and maps...

Any tips?
  09 September 2012
since you only got to computers i would recommend deadline render for you.

However you still need a way to store you textures and maps to a location wich both the mac and pc can access.

I had some very strange issues at work when setting it up. getting different results in the renders depending if it was done on mac or pc. this was not distr rendering but 1 frame for each computer.

there is a path swap option in deadline that should work for you but i would reccommend getting a nas disk to get a clean filepath and also get a connection that is always there.
Voxels for dinner.
http://esvfx.wordpress.com/ maya vfx blog
  09 September 2012
I mix Linux and Mac OS X V-Ray machines in distributed rendering and it's worked in the past because I've mapped the identical paths with symlinks (you can read about that here: http://polygonspixelsandpaint.tumbl...ost/25437127142 ) BUT the latest nighty builds of V-Ray have a "transfer missing assets" feature that effectively eliminates the need for this workflow - it just works now, with no SAMBA sharing or anything. It might work with Windows too. I haven't tried it. Get in touch with vlado if you don't have access to the nightly build list - it was added and fixed only recently.

Don't bother with Deadline unless you can't get it working with newer nightlies. It adds slight CPU overhead that is not much but it's CPU cycles better spent rendering.

Last edited by cgbeige : 09 September 2012 at 11:04 PM.
  09 September 2012
Thanks for the suggestion Schempp but I'm trying to avoid render managers altogether.

cgbeige, I was certain I read about this on your blog a while ago and before inquiring on the forum, I used the search feature on your website with "distributed rendering" but it didn't show any result? Glad to see that the vray updates allow this new feature. Does it re-transfer all the assets every single time you hit render though? Could take a while if you have gigs of textures...

The technique on your blog seems like it works fine with Linux and Mac, but I can't find the equivalent for windows...

Last edited by viktore : 09 September 2012 at 05:21 AM.
  09 September 2012
the symlink technique won't work with Windows because you can't just make symlinks to the same absolute paths. There's no way to make /Volumes/ and not C:\Volumes\ in Windows. Drive letters are a pain in the ass in general and this is a perfect example of why they suck so badly. If someone's was mixing two systems and wanted to store assets on D: but the textures were on C: in the master machine, they'd be just as screwed.


I suggest you try the nightlies.

As for the asset transfer, I think it caches what it can. Chaos Group is very good with efficiency so I'd be surprised if they hadn't thought of some sort of asset checksum scheme to avoid this type of thing.
  09 September 2012
I just tried it on my Win 7 gaming rig with a Mac host and it worked fine with the nightly builds and "transfer missing assets". No latency issues or anything and renders are perfect, with IBLs and everything transferring fine.
  09 September 2012
Thanks for sharing this info. Glad to see it works! I'll look the Vray nightly builds and hopefully this decade old nightmare is finally over!
  09 September 2012
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