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johnnyh66
10-28-2003, 09:20 AM
At work we're trying to get Screamer Net up and running. About the closest we've got is it rendering and saveing blank (black) frames. Can anyone help?

Red_Oddity
10-29-2003, 05:09 AM
Not to be rude, but, just do a search on the forum...bound to come up with about a thousand hits....

Matt
10-29-2003, 05:23 AM
Have a read of this . . .

ScreamerNet Tutorial (http://www.newtek-europe.com/Stuff/LightWave/Misc/MattGorner_ScreamerNet_Tutorial.pdf)

10-29-2003, 05:44 AM
Given how often this comes up, it's about time Newtek put some more usefull instructions in for new users doing their first LW install.

IMHO, for what it's worth.
If you are going to do any network rendering, you need to do an initial install of LW with that in mind.
All nodes and setup machines must see LW, content directory and config files in 'the same place', that 'same place' should be one or more shared directories, and all instalations and connections should be to the share - particulaly if from the machine with the share on it.
If you try to share an already installed LW, unless you are a real network techie, you will end up in deep do-do, - as many threads show, you will spend far longer screaming at non loading scenes, blank renders or renders saved to mid air than the time it would have taken to do it properly.
So read the threads.
Take a deep breath, send out for coffee and cookies.
Do a new LW setup,
Create the share first, and within it a folder for config files.
Install LW to the new share.
Use the parameters of the shortcut you start LW with to force it to use cfg files in the share.
Start LW using the shortcut and then set your 'content directory' and go through the 'scanfor plugins' etc.
Delete any config files for LW in your local settings.

Matt
10-29-2003, 07:01 AM
Or read the PDF it's 25 pages long! Includes lots of diagrams, took me a while to write it!

Also explains batch rendering on one machine and rendering using multi-processor machines.

:)

Tom Wood
10-29-2003, 07:55 AM
Awesome Screamernet tutorial Matt. Thank you for writing it! :D

TW

EDIT: Regarding batch processing on a single machine with dual processors - With Xeons and their 'virtual' processor, do you know if there is an advantage to hyperthreading and telling Screamernet to use those virtual processors as render nodes? The reason I ask, is that when I opened multiple instances of LW and sent rendering jobs to those virtual processors, it slowed down the render times on the real processors so much that it wasn't worth it.

10-29-2003, 08:43 AM
Definitely a great & clear exposition of setting up ScreamerNet.

The latter 2/3rds of it reminds my why I use Lightnet instead!

A thought regarding UNC naming, sharing etc:
For anyone with a small to medium sized office and a server running Windows server (Nt4, 2k, whatever) it is pretty normal to run a logon script that makes sure every machine on the system sees the same mappings at logon. Very usefull for LWSN.

Matt
10-29-2003, 09:09 AM
I've not done any tests with hyper-threading and ScreamerNet, unless you know it helps I'd stick to using one node per _real_ processor.

Saying that I do have my threads set to 8 in LightWave because I tested it once on a scene and it was faster with 8 then any other.

I'm not sure whether SN actually utilises hyper-threading, maybe someone who knows can chip in here!

:)

Tom Wood
11-06-2003, 03:53 PM
Hey Matt,

I had asked about VT Lightwave, but I found the Start menu location to launch and set up multiple versions of Layout. But on a single machine, with dual processors, is it really necessary to set up a normal version of LW and a Screamernet version? What's the downside to not doing so?

Thanks,

TW

PS: I just got it up and running on all four processors, the two real ones and the two virtual ones.

Red_Oddity
11-07-2003, 02:19 AM
You need atleast LW running as a scene distributor, a render server as it where...

If you don't have LW running (or another Screamernet compliant Render Manager) it doesn't do jack on your LWSN scenes (in mode -2/client offcourse)

Matt
11-07-2003, 03:29 AM
Tom - you're only setting up two sets of config files, the two LW shortcuts are just 'pointers' to them.

You _could_ use the Screamernet configs all the time because it has 'network-aware' paths to everything, having a local copy just means plugins etc. aren't loaded through the network during normal LW use, also if the network was down for some reason having a local config setup means you are un-affected.

Matt

Tom Wood
11-07-2003, 07:31 AM
Okay, got it, thanks. It's a single machine.

Part of the reason I asked is that the CFG files were originally in the 'Documents and Settings' folder, and SN didn't like that name because of the spaces, it wanted to process 'and'. But Windows won't let you change the name of that folder. Sigh. So I moved them to their own folder and added the pointer. This makes dumping them easier anyway when LW gets all confused.

I'm doing animation of simple scenes so the render time per frame is in the 3 seconds range when not using Screamernet and not hyper-threading the Xeons. With Screamernet on and all four processors working, the time per frame to render jumps up to a reported 4 seconds per frame per processor, plus the wait time between frames. Overall it's still faster than not using them, and now I can render during off time and at night.

Thanks again for the help.

TW

Cageman
11-07-2003, 08:08 AM
Matt:

Great work on the screamernet tutorial! It should be bundled with future versions of Lightwave!

BeeVee
11-07-2003, 08:44 AM
It's often possible to replace spaces in references to files that would otherwise not work by using the %20 label:

docs and set

becomes

docs%20and%20set

B
PS. Still don't recommend using spaces in filenames... :)

ravantra
11-07-2003, 02:10 PM
You can also write the path in quotes:
example:
"c:\documents and settings\user\the big tuna\lw3.cfg"

I always write the path in quotes "........" to avoid command line errors with old windows versions.

Tom Wood
11-07-2003, 02:19 PM
Great tips, thanks.

One oddity that came up - I have the version of LW 7.5c that came with VT3. If I launch LW by itself from the Start button, it loads with the pointer to the new location of the CFG files. If I load VT3 and then launch LW from that window, it creates new CFG files in 'Documents and Settings' which have none of the information I'd like it to keep. So I may go back to the D & S location but use the tricks ya'll mentioned.

Thanx!

TW