NET render noob questions


#1

Hi,

I couldn’t find a NET-render faq so I try it here.
I’m considering setting up a renderclient (a Macmini (or 2) probably so I can use it for other stuff too).

Questions regarding netrender:

1 Can I render from my main workstation to the client, so only the client is rendering?
2 Can I render a stereoscopic picture where both channels are on a different machine?
3 When rendering a large still, how is the final image put together again, automatic?
4 What do I need to install on the client? Also the complete project, or is everything managed from the main workstation?

Thanks in advance!!

odo


#2

You need to send your entire project folder to a computer running Net server (which itself can also run Net client). Net server then parcels out the job to as many other computers that you have running Net client. If you don’t install, or dont launch Net client on your main workstation, then Net Server will not activate your main computer as a render node.

There is a tiled camera preset for C4d (which splits your large image into frames that can be rendered on Net) and a tiled render script for photoshop.

I am running the exact set up your are asking about. The minis make great render boxes for mac users. Sorry I have no experience with stereo.


#3

Thanks for your reply Andrew. I think this already answers a lot of my questions.
One more question. What about plugins. Do they need to be installed on the client too?

Thanks again!

odo


#4

All plugins need to be installed on the net clients. So you’ll need to check on each developer’s license requirements, as not all provide free Net installs and you might need a separate license for Net. Also only C4d Studio will allow unlimited Net clients.


#5

Thanx again. I have Studio so that’s no problem. Plugin’s I have quite a lot, but not all of them are needed for rendering. I’ll have to check.

odo


#6

So I finally installed Net on my MacPro and one MacMini. I put the server on the MacPro aswell as a client. And the MacMini as a second client. All on a local network (Wireless).

When I want to use both clients one of them will not connect because of a TCP/IP problem: port may be in use. So that happens dependent on the client that is activated last. I found several threads on this issue but no real answer for me. Guess it got something to do with the router (Airport). I also tried with different ports instead of 8080 and disabled firewall and to use the Firewire networkconnection, but that gave the same error all the time.

I’m on a tight deadline, so I switched back to classic rendering now, but hope to solve this for a next project. Any clues?

R14 Studio

Thanks, odo


#7

Have you setup the router (AirPort) to assign static IP addresses to the Mac Pro and Mac mini on the AirPort Utility Network > DHCP Reservations?


#8

Thanks for that. I’ll check that out.
Network connections and settings make me always a bit nervous. Too many options and unknown territory for me.
Thanks again!

Odo


#9

My C4d Net Server is installed on a mac mini server(2.0Ghz Quad i7, 8GB RAM) that has a static IP. All other mac minis (2.6Ghz Quad i7, 16GB RAM) have Net Client installed and are on DHCP. I’m also running Net Client on my main Mac which is a Quad i7 2.6Ghz MBP (also DHCP). I have no issues at all with this setup. And with a static IP, I can even access NET away from the studio. It’s really cool to be able to manage and monitor jobs on NET remotely.

I’m no networking expert, but I’d hazard a guess that your server is on dynamic IP?


#10

Thanks for that too!

I already dived a bit deeper. My main Mac has a wired internetconncetion (connected to an Airport Extreme) and the ISP modem seems to give it a static IP. But the MacMini and other mac’s are all wireless connected through the Airport Router. That one is indeed working with dynamic IP’s (bridge mode).

So i changed the settings on my airport to static IP. Problem is that my main Mac is now not connected to the intenet anymore. I want to keep that connection wired because of speed and reliability. So now I have to figure out how to solve that. I also will try to put all clients on a wired network.

If everything works out, I plan to buy one or two more mini’s to expand the farm.

odo


#11

All my Macs are on wifi through an Airport Extreme. I’m not sure if my setup works largely due to the OS X Server app running on the Net Server…?

What do I know anyway, I’m just a Mac-user! :blush:


#12

Maybe you dived a little too deep!

I’m assuming that you have the following setup:
The internet connection is to the modem, which in turn is connected to the AirPort Extreme. The Mac Pro and Mac mini are then connected to the AirPort Extreme using WiFi.

You only need to worry about the setup inside your local network, so in AirPort Utility you DON’T want to change the setting Internet > Connect Using, this should be setup as per instructions from your ISP.

However, on the AirPort Utility > Network > DHCP Reservations you do need to make some changes, because NET Render Server must be setup on a computer with a Static IP address. To reserve a static IP address for a particular computer you can simply use AirPort Utility to create a DHCP Reservation. If you use “Reserve Address by MAC Address” you can have separate IP Addresses for Wireless and Ethernet (recommended). Each Network adapter has a unique MAC address, which in OS X you can find in System Preferences > Internet & Wireless > Network > Advanced (LMB Click the button!) > Hardware.

You will probably need to shut everything down and restart everything to get it all working.

I suspect that it would make more sense to have the NET Render Server on the Mac mini.
Having one (or both) computers using ethernet rather than WiFi would be better from a network bandwidth and connection reliability perspective.


#13

I may be misunderstanding some of the explanations here but from my experience the server does not need to be on a machine with a static IP. My network is several machines on a local DHCP network and several machines coming in from the outside through a cable modem that has a static IP, then through a router that assigns the internal machines dynamic IP’s. It’s all working great. I did have an issue when I first connected everything where the outside nodes could not connect or were connecting but wouldn’t render, giving a weird error that the server was not a C4D server. The entire problem turned out to be ports through the router both internally and the router that the outside nodes were going out through. I’m going to take a shot at explaining what I did and hope it makes sense :). I’m sure there is something I could do to make it better (like give everything static ip’s somehow), but it’s working and the dynamic IP’s rarely change, so I’m not going to fix what isn’t broken. The server resides on my workstation along with a client. My machine uses a dynamic IP given by the router. I have a Mac mini internally and several imacs and mac Pro’s externally connecting flawlessly to my internal network through a static IP on the cable modem. What I had to do was port juggling. Internally, in the Net Render server settings, the default 8080 server port was not working for the server so I changed that to 8000. I also had to change the client port on each client. Each internal client uses the client port 2080 connecting to whatever IP my machine has. Each outside client connects to the static IP of the cable modem who then port forwards 8000 to the internal wireless router who then forwards everything going through port 8000 to the server on my machine. Each outside client needed a unique client port number along with a coinciding port forward on their router. So the client port on machine one uses 2080, machine 2 uses 2081 and so on. On their router I had to port forward each client’s dynamic IP to their respective port chosen on the client. That’s about it. Everything has been working great for a few months now. Hopefully this helps on some level. :slight_smile:


#14

Thanks again guys!

I will try your suggestions when I have some time tomorrow.
When it all works I’ll let you know!

odo


#15

From the CINEMA 4D documentation, Configuring the C4DN Server.

“This computer must have a static TCP/IP address. Some computers, especially those that access the Internet through a modem, use dynamic TCP/IP allocation; in this case we recommend that you install the C4DN server on a different computer.”


#16

The manual goes for the safe option here. Net Render does work with dynamic IPs, but since the clients need to have the IP entered by hand you do have to change this setting in all clients if the server gets a different dynamic IP. If you do use DHCP in your network you can prevent this situation by making the IP of the server a reserved IP that is assigned to this system only.
Also Net will work with names if you have a working DNS in your network. In this case even dynamicaly changing IPs don’t pose a problem since you can easily enter the name of the serve in all clients.

Cheers
Björn


#17

Yeah. Mine doesn’t and it works just fine. Don’t know what to tell you.


#18

That’s good to know. Since my server IP rarely changes it hasn’t really been an issue. Yet.


#19

Oh man, this is driving me nuts

I installed Net server now on the mini and connect it through an ethernetcable. The iP-adress (DHCP) will not work. TCP/iP problem: Port may be in use. I tried all kind of different ports, a DHCP with manual iP etc. Nothing seems to work. Net Server on my main MacPro was no problem but refused to conncet more than one Client, but now it just won’t connect to anything.
I wish there was a magic button…

Odo

EDIT:

I switched back to a fresh Net Server on my MacPro and one client on same MacPro and one Client on MacMini.
And finally after several reinstalls, restarts and port juggling I have two working clients. Now lets render!

:beer:


#20

Congrats! It feels like voodoo sometimes, and I think it is. It’s a nice feeling when you actually get it working. Problem is you’re never 100% sure why :). Now, if they are on a wireless network and you have connection spikes, get ready for things like random .b3d files among your renders and random client drop offs. If you get .b3d files, just delete them when the project is done. We’re in a building with several other businesses all with wireless networks and they tend to interfere with each other and cause spikes. We’ve had to try various channels until we’ve gotten one that seems to be a lot more stable and we’re getting less of that.