View Full Version : Screamer net help!

03-24-2004, 08:06 AM
Here is our set up.

We have 2 licenses of LW one for me and one for my co-worker. We have four computers in the farm.

As far as I know there can be just one SN controller so how can both my co-worker and myself send jobs to the farm when the licensed copies are our own copies? Do we have to get another copy just for the farm?

If I install the software in a computer in the farm and make that the master LW will not be able to save the preferences because there is no dongle attached to the master.

And if we make either one of our personal copies the master then we will have to bother each other for sending jobs to the farm...

Do I make sense?

Any help, suggestions etc. will be welcomed.

BTW I have read Matt's tutorial but the tutorial is based on his computer as the master... so how do you make this work in a production environment?

03-24-2004, 08:16 AM
Your render nodes each use a copy of the LWSN.exe. You are licensed to copy this to as many machines as needed without paying for additional seats.

You don't even really need a copy of Lightwave on the master machine to get it running, because LWSN can be controlled by command line. Layout Screamernet is just used as a controller, although there are third party controllers out there.

If more than one person is sending a job to the farm, then the jobs will be queued up, so there shouldn't be any problems on that score (assuming you aren't trying to access the same files, or rendering to the same filename).

Before you start tho - you really need to be familiar with setting things up. The manual is a useful start, and also explains the batch rendering process, which can be useful if you don't want to run up Layout.

03-24-2004, 08:48 AM
thanks for the reply. Popping the manual up right now. We gave spider a try a while back; we were unsuccessful but I'm sure it was user error.

What other controllers are out there that you would recommend?

03-24-2004, 10:55 AM
mk... is it possible to set up my machine as the master but spit out the frames somewhere else in the network?

03-24-2004, 11:39 AM
you should be able to do that as long as all the nodes have access to the same destination. Just save the destination path in the lws file before you load it into screamernet.

03-29-2004, 08:13 PM
guys, I appreciate your help, I have been able to set up sn for the most part. Right now the nodes launch and the controller can see them but during loading a scene which I used sliders in I get a bunch of errors one is about a global error one is about interface and the other one is sliders failed to initialize or something like that. Now I had to go the drive mapping route cause UNC wasn't working for some reason, When I re-scan the plugins should I use the network drive path or the local path?

I have tried both ways and doesn't seem to work. Is like it can not find the LWEXT3.cfg file but I know the nodes can see it because it is in the same shared folder as the programs themselves.

Ahhh if I cann't get this to work my boss is going to kill me. deadlines!!!!!!!!

03-30-2004, 01:25 AM
Sounds like a plugin problem to me, you should try and use a network path is possible, rather than local, unless you copy all your plugins to each node as well as the Programs folder.

I just find it a lot easier to have everything in one place and point the nodes there.

BTW: The tutorial I wrote does mention that I'm using my network names but you should substitute them with yours! All the theory isn't machine specific though.

03-30-2004, 01:35 AM
Oh, in case you haven't seen this tutorial, here's an OSX specific tutorial that might help:


03-30-2004, 06:56 AM
hey Matt!

Yeah I have been using your awesome tutorial. I gave it a rest last night. This morning I got the blue screen of death! maybe that's a reason it couldn't load any plugins. I don't know... now I'll have to send the day re-installing crappy windows and every piece of software. I'm about to loose it and flip out!

03-30-2004, 01:31 PM
hello, me again, just finished rebuilding the PC and installing 2 more screamers in the network, rechecked everything and re-mapped everything. I still get the same errors... a bunch of Global errors and a bunch of "instance creation failed" errors and then the "sliders plug in failed to start" error then continued to render the scene.... maybe is the simple rigger plug in causing havoc... but sliders isn't attached to that plug in any form... Sliders is attached to a Master channel to be able to control several morphs with one slider.... any other suggestions

what is the worst case scenario? copy all plug ins to each node?
how do I go by making that work?

03-30-2004, 05:07 PM
I opened a scene and it had spreadsheet references all over the place... does LWSN have spreadsheet issues in 7.5?
maybe that was the problem all along.

I left work with a scene rendering... hopefully it'll be fine...

03-31-2004, 01:25 AM
DEFINATELY remove all Spreadsheet references!!! They hang Screamernet, hopefully this will be fixed in the new version.

Have you tried one of the standard LightWave scenes? Just to check that everything works. If you know it works then it narrows the problem down to something in your scene, e.g. plugin that doesn't work with SN.

I've never even used sliders so I can't say whether they work over SN or not, but obviously something isn't right with them hence the error.

Keep us posted!!!


03-31-2004, 01:39 AM
Oh, to use plugins locally, copy the plugins and lscripts folders the LightWave folder on each node.

Then make sure the LWEXT3.cfg that you're using for the nodes is pointing to the same place (for each computer) basically all the entries should be pointing to:

{ Entry
Class "AnimLoaderHandler"
Name "AVI(.avi)"
Module "C:\\LightWave\\Plugins\\Input-output\\Avi.p"

and not

{ Entry
Class "AnimLoaderHandler"
Name "AVI(.avi)"
Module "\\\\your_computer\\Screamernet\\Plugins\\Input-output\\Avi.p"

Then in the batch files point the nodes to the location of the LWEXT3.cfg that points to the local pathnames:

LWSN -2 -c\\your_computer\screamernet\your_configs_files

Hopefully that makes sense!


03-31-2004, 06:24 AM
Thanks Matt! I think it was the spreadsheet but I'll keep testing...

I'll do the local plugins workaround as the very last option

03-31-2004, 11:35 AM
For anyone following this thread.... The Render Global error and sliders failing error according to my tests is caused by you guessed! Sliders. HOWEVER, my scenes using sliders so far have been rendering properly.

I still have to test the scenes using the simple follower plug in included in the simple rigger plug. I'll keep posting as I test and hopefully some ppl. will benefit from my findings.

BTW Thanks everybody for helping me get SN educated!;)

04-07-2004, 06:14 PM
First off, my thanks to Matt for the excellent tutorial. I've been working for this company for a couple of weeks now, and my boss had no idea that we could set up a render farm, especially one for free. I scored some major goodwill (necessary as a newbie) when I set this up and showed her.

I am having one odd problem though.

The rendering works fine. My problem is that my shortcuts don't seem do be working like they should. I mean, I've got my regular layout shortcut target set to:

C:\LightWave\Programs\LightWav.exe -cc:\LlightWave\config

and my network rendering shortcut set to:

C:\LightWave\programs\lightwav.exe -c\\Slnt02\TechData\Artwork\network_rendering\sn_co nfig

but for some reason, both of them open using the last content directory setting I've set, no matter which shortcut I use to launch Layout. I've tried editing the lw3.cfg file that's located here:

04-07-2004, 06:16 PM
*** sorry for that I posted before I was finished writing***

\\Slnt02\TechData\Artwork\network_rendering\sn_con fig

but that doesn't seem to help.

Any hints anyone?

04-07-2004, 06:23 PM
The worry here, is that my network render shorcut launch of layout isn't using the config files that are in the shared folder on the server.

So, if anyone's got any good tips, I'd be glad to hear them.