View Full Version : I give up trying to do batch rendering!!

10-05-2006, 11:26 AM
For some reason batch rendering will not work on my Mac, screamernet will not see the cpu nodes I've setup following both an online tutorial and the one in the LW documents. Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone know any work arounds? I've contacted tech support, and sent them my nodes, but time is running out on this project and I need it rendering now. Thanks in advance.


10-05-2006, 11:33 AM
Hi Chris,

I wrote the Mac ScreamerNet tutorial for LW8 (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/) that was later incorporated into the LW 9 manual for Mac network rendering.

If ScreamerNet can't "see" your nodes it usually means you have a problem with your command directory (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/config_files.html#commandDir). Both ScreamerNet and the nodes need to point to the same command directory since the way they communicate is simply by reading and writing to the job & ack (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/cmdline_files.html#jobFile) files which are nothing more than simple text files containing the current messages going back and forth. Make sure that both ScreamerNet and the LWSN nodes are pointing to the same commands directory and that they both have read/write access to that directory. Also make sure ScreamerNet is set to a high enough CPU count to include your nodes and the nodes are using the correct CPU numbers in the "job" and "ack" filenames.

Hope it helps,


10-05-2006, 11:40 AM
One tip to see if they are using different command directories is to start ScreamerNet and your LWSN nodes running. Then search for the "job" and "ack" files. If the job and ack files are in different directories, then that's your problem. The job file is written by Layout and the ack file is written by LWSN and they both need to be in the same directory to be able to "see" each other...

10-05-2006, 11:55 AM
Okay, thanks for the tips - My nodes were pointing to a different command directory than Screamernet. You saved me thanks.

10-05-2006, 11:58 AM
No problem,

It takes a while to get used to how it works... It's not exactly "Mac Like." ;) I wrote that tutorial as I was trying to figure out how it worked myself, and thought it might benefit other Mac users, since it can be tricky to get going...

Glad it helped! :D

10-05-2006, 03:47 PM
Just want to say that your tutorial has saved my bacon many times before. What was once a difficult process has been made effortless and almost enjoyable via your tuts. Many thanks!

10-06-2006, 08:33 AM
I've just spend several weeks in the same boat, trying to get ScreamerNet working on a Mac network. In short, the answer is simple: get Bruce Rayne's RenderFarm Commander application. I had some problems initially, but Bruce worked with me everyday until it worked (mostly related to needing to update the application for LW 9.) Bruce is great, and the application makes setting up ScreamerNet almost easy.

On a related note, NewTek: Please stop treating the ability to make ScreamerNet work so casually. It is CRITICAL to be able to network render - not just a luxury. It is disgraceful to have such an important function of the software be practically impossible to setup. Even your own documentation makes fun of how difficult it is to setup. And instead of writing a proper tutorial and providing step-by-step documentation for getting it to work on a Mac, you just used a third-party tutorial that is not updated with critical LW 9 factoids.

If you can't or won't write it yourself, how about giving Bruce Rayne a bucket of money and including his application in the box.

If you want to network on a Mac, do yourself a favor and look up RenderFarm Commander!

10-06-2006, 08:45 AM
Just want to say that your tutorial has saved my bacon many times before. What was once a difficult process has been made effortless and almost enjoyable via your tuts. Many thanks!

Thanks, I approached the tutorial in a specific way, to help explain how ScreamerNet works with all the how's and why's. I find that the more you understand how it works, the easier it is to get up and running as well as troubleshoot, especially when your setup varies or things go wrong...


10-06-2006, 09:07 AM
I've just spend several weeks in the same boat, trying to get ScreamerNet working on a Mac network...

I'd like to see a much more "Mac" friendly approach to network rendering, and we may in the future. But at this point ScreamerNet is what we have, so hopefully the tutorial can help explain how it works. Before this, there really wasn't ANY official Mac ScreamerNet documentation and we had to figure it all out by reading the Windows documentation and use lots of trial and error... Hopefully the tutorial will help others learn how it works and how to set it up for various scenarios.

I also use Bruce Rayne's RenderFarm Commander and Jon Baker's ScreamerNet Controller for Mac OS X myself. I think they are both very valuable and much more robust for production environments than the built-in ScreamerNet controller in Layout. RenderFarm Commander has an auto-node setup that can be useful and ScreamerNet Controller for Mac OS X can recover a render queue in progress in the case of a crash or power outage. Both Bruce Rayne and Jon Baker are very helpful with bug fixes and produce updates extremely quickly.

My original Mac ScreamerNet tutorial (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/welcome.html) has a section on advanced network rendering with third party controllers (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/advanced_network_rendering.html) that didn't get included in the LW9 manual. [EDIT: It looks like the manual includes up to launching the LWSN nodes, but not running the third party controllers to control them...] This section includes how to use ScreamerNet Controller for Mac OS X (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/advanced_network_rendering.html#screamernet_contro ller) and RenderFarm commander (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/advanced_network_rendering.html#renderfarm_command er) with LWSN. In the tutorial I didn't include any of the automatic setups though because I wanted to teach how to set it all up manually. So the user understood exactly what was going on behind the scenes and how LWSN really works. This way if your setup varies or changes are made to LightWave you can still set it up and trouble shoot it because you'll understand how it really works. You can also instantly switch between using the built-in controller or any other third-party controller to run the exact same render farm if you ever need to, due to a problem with one of the controllers.

As for specific changes to my online tutorial for LW9, I'll update it as soon as I get a chance, sometime after I finish my current short: BlastOff! (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53591). There may be some minor button location and/or file path changes needed in the examples, but none of the ScreamerNet concepts or techniques have changed between LW8.5 and LW9.


10-06-2006, 12:27 PM
Mike S.,

I just wanted to reply back and make sure you know that I didn't, in any way, mean to disparage your tutorial.

Without your generosity in creating it, and posting it for free for everyone, we would all be lost. What I was getting at is that I think it's unacceptable for NewTek to make fun of how hard it is to get working in their own help files (F1), and then simply point Mac users to your tutorial. They accepted my money for a Mac version of LW 9, so it is their responsibility to create proper documentation for using such a critical feature.

For crying out loud...how old is LightWave? This should have been taken care of years ago, and updated to cover the dramatic changes in networking that have evolved over the changes in Jaguar, Panther and now Tiger. Nearly all of the docs on the web, are related to Jaguar and versions 6.5 and 7.

Mike, thanks again for taking the time to create the tutorial and post it. Many people have benefitted from your generosity!

10-06-2006, 01:11 PM
Mike, thanks again for taking the time to create the tutorial and post it. Many people have benefitted from your generosity!

No problem. Glad it helped! :thumbsup:

It can be easier to follow the online version of the Mac ScreamerNet tutorial (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/welcome.html) since it includes screenshots and the formatting is a bit easier to follow.

They were going to update the tutorial for LW9 when adding it to the manual, but I'm not sure how well that update went... The tutorial was originally written for LW7 and when LW8 came out I updated it for LW8. I'll revise the online version again for LW9 as soon as I can get to it... but again all the concepts are still the same as they were in LW7, if anything needs changes it'll be button locations, screen shots and example scene file paths, etc...


10-06-2006, 01:32 PM
I just wanted to encourage anyone trying to set up a Mac ScreamerNet network to put in the effort to learn how ScreamerNet works. I know it's not easy (which was why I wrote the tutorial) but once you do get it up and running, especially with a third party controller, it runs VERY well.

I've been running our ScreamerNet render farm for a few years now and find it extremely useful.