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Old 09-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
alawrence
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Team Render Performance

Today has been the first chance I have had to experiment with team render. Unfortunately my experience so far is not encouraging. I have installed the software and updated to the latest versions on my Dual x 6 core 3.33 Ghz Mac Pro and MacBook Pro 2.66 Ghz i7.

The setup of team render went very well, adding the laptop to the machine list and using the verification code.

I have been testing with a few of my current files and a few contained in the content browser.

Using just the Mac Pro, all 12 cores are used at 100%, with 24 threads and 24 render buckets ripping through the renders. Great.

Now to hook up the laptop. They are connected together by an ethernet cable, with a network created by the Mac Pro. Yes I know it will only add 4 more threads, maybe only 10-15% in performance, but every little helps. Fingers crossed.

So I set everything up and Team Render to Picture viewer. The assets are quickly downloaded to the laptop and rendering proceeds, but something is wrong.

I was expecting 24 buckets + 4 more buckets from the laptop. A clever feature makes the bucket edges a different colour so you can see which machine is contributing each bucket.

However I am only getting 3 or 4 buckets from the mac pro and 2 buckets from the MacBook Pro. The buckets are bigger than before. The Mac Pro processors are all active, but only at around 30 - 40%.

Team render on a single image took 2 to 2.5 times longer to render much to my dismay!!!

When doing an animation both machines are working at the maximum performance, getting the full benefit of Team render. Unfortunately most of my work is decent sized stills and rarely animations.

I have tried various settings for custom number of threads, bucket size and adapt thread priority. Am I missing something. Is there a setting I have missed. If anyone knows the optimal settings I would love to hear from you. At the moment I am feeling a little underwhelmed.

Cheers

A
 
Old 09-05-2013, 08:11 PM   #2
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strange, I found the team render to divide the time to render almost perfectly.

i run a macbook pro retina, and have 3 6core PCs as a small farm. once i had eveything setup, i created a simple scene with blurry reflections/ refractions , area lights, and the kitchen sink. I got about 2:45 on my MacBookPro per frame. when i through in the other systems that dropped to :33 sec a frame. i have not crunched the numbers but that seamed like a werth while increase. I am running gigabit for my network.

I have been spoiled using vray in maya for the last year that had this feature Distributed Rendering, same thing rendering buckets over the network. Later this month Vray For C4D should be updated with this as well. Seeing how we never had this capability in C4D. i think its a HUGE addition, it REALY changes your workflow.

I would look at your network. do some speed test to be sure both systems are running at 1000mbps.
 
Old 09-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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As a Thumb of Rule you can say only with Rendertimes above 2 Minutes Teamrender (for Still images) does make a difference. Any Stills that Render below 2 Minutes will not benefit or will even take longer with Teamrender because of the Network-Traffic.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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Holger is right. As soon as a single bucket takes only seconds or less to render, the network and management overhead becomes unproportionally large. This can result in longer rendertimes.
TR can realy only speed up single images that need a certain time to render.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:41 AM   #5
alawrence
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Thank you Holger and Srek

Perhaps it would be a good idea to put some recommendations and limitations of team render in the help manual. None of the prerelease information mentioned the best time to use team render, or not as the case might be.

I watched a few videos and these limits were never mentioned.

So just a new bevel tool and some Gi improvements.
 
Old 09-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Srek
Holger is right. As soon as a single bucket takes only seconds or less to render, the network and management overhead becomes unproportionally large. This can result in longer rendertimes.
TR can realy only speed up single images that need a certain time to render.
Cheers
Björn

Just to confirm, as I'm getting some conflicting reports: Is this true of animations as well? Is it really only useful if each frame of your animation takes a certain amount of time?

Last edited by LukeLetellier : 09-06-2013 at 02:52 PM.
 
Old 09-06-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
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No for animations it works like it used to be in Netrender. The animation is divided in frames, not buckets. So each machine will render a sequence of frames. Well of course a 10 frame movie in which each frame takes onle one second to render will be faster on one machine than 10 machines doing one frame each.
 
Old 09-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
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Good to know. Thanks!
 
Old 09-07-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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here's a silly question, but i'm not sure

has anybody used TR from a mac to a PC render node?

i mean TR is pretty darn easy to set up, and i can see it in my mac TR list (i have turned off my local rendering as i wanted to just test on PC farm client)

and i keep getting this error

"download of asset failed"

i mean it's a gigabit network and i made a 377K test file of just a bunch of spheres...

and i kinda of got thinking in all the test i've seen users mention it was always mac to mac or pc to pc

not mac to pc or vice versa - so before i get digging around further i just thought i'd ask

thanks

dann
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:44 PM   #10
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anybody else try TR with custom ports?

or port forwarding?

so far i can use my choice of port, it works fine on PC test TR client, but on my mac i change it to my desired port and it works (and then quit C4D)

then next time i launch my C4D (on mac) it complains the port cannot be used and will not run TR

i have to set TR back to default 5300 port quit and relaunch. then i can go back and change port back to my choice and it works again

port forwarding works, so far - but the TR client complains endlessly about it - i guess some internal checking - so not sure about that either...

also i set up a TR client on my mac so i could mess with a TR client assigned to my C4D and it works strange too - complains about ports not being available (it wants a different port then the C4D app) and similar quit and relaunch port complaints from it too.

i was thinking it may be nice to set up a TR client app on my mac so i could launch it and have it join in a TR render if i wanted, and keep the C4D app local private so i can test render there without the TR getting a part of it.

weird thing too as one other user mentioned with my local TR client set up - my test job did run but it did only have two buckets running despite it being an 8 core (where if run with local it shows all 8 buckets) not sure what is up with that...

thanks for any input

dann
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alawrence
Thank you Holger and Srek

Perhaps it would be a good idea to put some recommendations and limitations of team render in the help manual. None of the prerelease information mentioned the best time to use team render, or not as the case might be.

I watched a few videos and these limits were never mentioned.

So just a new bevel tool and some Gi improvements.


Hard to specify but simple logic. How many computers how fast is your network, how much regular traffic is there on your network before trying to add on the bandwidth needed by TR, how fast are the other computers. I mean to say event hat a 2 minute render is pointless is not necessarily so if you have a slow laptop you are working on, and a super fast desktop you are networked two, and you are using a gigabit network and the speed hit is mainly detailed raytracing or shaders, something that isn't a cached type of data. Reason This would be okay is because your are sending very little data across a fast network to a Fast Desktop computer that will render it much faster than your laptop.

Sending a scene from that same desktop to the shitty laptop, over wireless, a scene that still renders in two minutes but is primarily a dense mesh with a GI cache however would be useless even though both files average two minutes on the same single computer. (remember in terms of judging the speed of a file it's have to be the speed of both files on the same test system before testing which distributions make sense.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucentDreams
Hard to specify but simple logic. How many computers how fast is your network, how much regular traffic is there on your network before trying to add on the bandwidth needed by TR, how fast are the other computers. I mean to say event hat a 2 minute render is pointless is not necessarily so if you have a slow laptop you are working on, and a super fast desktop you are networked two, and you are using a gigabit network and the speed hit is mainly detailed raytracing or shaders, something that isn't a cached type of data. Reason This would be okay is because your are sending very little data across a fast network to a Fast Desktop computer that will render it much faster than your laptop.

Sending a scene from that same desktop to the shitty laptop, over wireless, a scene that still renders in two minutes but is primarily a dense mesh with a GI cache however would be useless even though both files average two minutes on the same single computer. (remember in terms of judging the speed of a file it's have to be the speed of both files on the same test system before testing which distributions make sense.



yes kai is right, it's really hard to put requirements on TR as for some 1 computer is fine and for others 20 is not enough.

wi-fi can be fast or slow depending on interference, what type of wi-fi (b or the latest n+ etc)

it's kind of like that question of how long is a piece of string. different answer for everyone

dann
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:53 AM   #13
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Hi Dann, yes, I've been using TR sending from my PC at work to the MAC workstations. I also, the same day, did it the other way round, sending from one of the MACS & it worked. We have about 8 macs & 2 PCs (mine & a dedicated 6 core rendermachine).
Everything just worked with no setup (except that I installed bonjour on both the PCs).
I'm afraid I can't say any more technical than that, I'm someone that was only just competent to get a small NET render setup going & it took me a bit of figuring out. I mean, I had to google how to setup a static IP address and use the default 'public' folder to get the permissions working.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dann_stubbs
how long is a piece of string.


dann

String Length... ...ish
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:05 AM   #15
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from the online help about Team Render

"Note also that render clients running under Windows can only load CMYK images if QuickTime is installed."


now is this a typo? should it say "if QT is NOT installed"?

seems strange that having QT would mean you can only load CMYK images (and that would be really bad in video and graphics where most are RGB)

dann
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