Render farm with Mac minis

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Old 02 February 2013   #1
Render farm with Mac minis

Hi guys,

I was considering buying a few a mac minis to setup a render farm for Maya C4d and 3dsmax.

Does anybody know if this is possible and sensible.

I'm hoping that this will be cheaper than upgrading the spec of a new mac pro (when they are finally released!) and also allow me to get this going before the new mac pros are available.

I'm guessing that a render farm is possible but how is this impacted by Maya licensing since I will only own one (being a freelancer)?

Can maya be configured to distribute fluid simulations?

Would I remotely be able to setup a render using dropbox and remote access to the render manager in mental ray/backburner so I could be working in a studio anywhere with a decent connection and copy the entire maya project to it and then start the render...?

Does anybody know if this could also be extended to include max and c4d batch renders?

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Spencer
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Old 02 February 2013   #2
Originally Posted by Snape: Can maya be configured to distribute fluid simulations?


nope .. one computer per simulation
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Old 02 February 2013   #3
Thought as much, thanks.

Any views on the other questions?
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Old 02 February 2013   #4
Originally Posted by Snape: Any views on the other questions?


According to the internet mentalray for maya comes with 5 batch rendering licenses but I couldn't verify this via the autodesk website and I'd need to know what version of maya you are using.

As long as you can transfer files and remotely control the desktop of your master machine then you should beable to use your mini farm remotely. Although the throughput for uploading and downloading files will become an issue at some point. There were times when I have done this that I found that the actual renders took less time than transferring them... but that probably is the norm.
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Old 02 February 2013   #5
I wouldn't use minis or other small form-factor machines for extended rendering. They aren't meant for this kind of heat. It would work but it would probably overheat eventually.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #6
Mental ray for maya just have 5 network licenses if your maya license is floating, if you have a static license, then you don't have anything to render on a renderfarm with mental ray in maya :P
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Old 02 February 2013   #7
Originally Posted by CerberusC: Mental ray for maya just have 5 network licenses if your maya license is floating, if you have a static license, then you don't have anything to render on a renderfarm with mental ray in maya :P


I'm not sure that is correct. I have node locked license and am able to render with networked machines no problem.
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Old 02 February 2013   #8
Originally Posted by CerberusC: Mental ray for maya just have 5 network licenses if your maya license is floating, if you have a static license, then you don't have anything to render on a renderfarm with mental ray in maya :P


With a node locked license you will only be able to render with mr satellite, up to 4 full machines. If you have a floating license, you can render individual frames on 5 different machines.
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Old 02 February 2013   #9
How many nodes are you using?

I have this info directly from Autodesk, and you can check it in the maya documentation.

It is the main reason because maya is not my main package right now.

If this is not true I want to know it!



Cheers.
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Old 02 February 2013   #10
Originally Posted by CerberusC: How many nodes are you using?

I have this info directly from Autodesk, and you can check it in the maya documentation.

It is the main reason because maya is not my main package right now.

If this is not true I want to know it!



Cheers.


Not sure if you're asking me or VanDerGoes, but I was using about 2 satellite nodes in my own personal network. Worked rather well.

AD Maya 2013 Manual

"The mental ray for Maya plug-in that is integrated in Maya always lets you render on an unlimited number of local CPUs. mental ray satellite rendering can take place on four additional remote machines, with up to four processors each and an unlimited number of cores."
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Old 02 February 2013   #11
I was answering you hehe

You are talking about satellite, but you can't render with backburner at all, that's the type of license you don't have.

Cheers.
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Old 02 February 2013   #12
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