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View Full Version : Why is Screamernet so hard to set up?



circleofsmoke
07-01-2007, 11:04 AM
I needed to use its batch processing on a single machine and tried reading the manual - but to no avail - why has such an essential component been left unchanged and relatively inaccessible for so long????

I could have had the weekend off if it had been esier to configure - but the deadlines so tight there's no time for messing around

BloodQuest
07-01-2007, 11:21 AM
It's really not hard - you just have to be methodical.

Getting your config straight is most of the battle.

Simon

gatz
07-01-2007, 01:43 PM
It is tedious. I got my head around it using Jonathan Baker's ScreamerNet Controller. His setup tutorial is invaluable. That said, I've encountered enough differences in renderings that I rarely distribute a single scene amoungst my CPUs. I usually use Controller and LSWN to queue scenes on the individual machines. I usually need to maually edit a scene in word to rename directories but once you have a routine, its easy enough. But not something I'd want to hammer out with a deadline looming.

Electric Image used to have this great system where once an animation file was created you could drop it on the camera app. As long as all of the objects, textures and plugins where in the same folder you where gold. Just copy the folder to a new machine and you were distributed. Of course generating the animation file could be a pain. So there are always trade offs.

http://www.catalystproductions.cc/screamernet/

circleofsmoke
07-01-2007, 02:54 PM
Thanks

Found the relevant bit in the manual and after the third read it makes more sense - but I'll definitely be doing this for "next time" ie after the deadline. and only to que on one machine.

It does flag up some of lw's archaic heritage

cheers

John

circleofsmoke
07-03-2007, 12:42 AM
Actually it was a piece of cake to set up in the end wish I'd done it earlier

Scazzino
07-03-2007, 09:28 AM
Actually it was a piece of cake to set up in the end wish I'd done it earlier

Yes, there are a lot of steps in a lot of different places... but once you really understand what's going on, then it's not that bad to set up...

Maybe in the future we'll be able to use something like Apple's Bonjour to handle zero-configuration setup of ScreamerNet... That'll be cool...

Till then: Mastering LWSN ScreamerNet on Mac OS X (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/welcome.html) :beerchug:

eblu
07-06-2007, 08:35 AM
Yes, there are a lot of steps in a lot of different places... but once you really understand what's going on, then it's not that bad to set up...

Maybe in the future we'll be able to use something like Apple's Bonjour to handle zero-configuration setup of ScreamerNet... That'll be cool...

Till then: Mastering LWSN ScreamerNet on Mac OS X (http://dreamlight.com/insights/10/welcome.html) :beerchug:

scazzino... you are contradicting yourself. :P

screamernet is appalling. and aptly named. Nothing Needs to be this complicated. and its Only this complicated because it was developed in a vacuum. it was one of the first and Only network rendering solutions when it was released, and thus it had to work with beige computers, on networks that were sketchy at best... thats how old it is, Screamernet is from the time when all computers were beige, even macs, and very few of them had "network interface cards (NICs for short)".

I am completely thrown by screamernet and what it represents. Screamernet is a perfect example of all that is good at newtek and all that is bad.
it is a very good tool (once setup, as long as it doesn't break down), introduced to end users to make long renders bearable (kids have it SOOOOO easy today) when other 3d companies were simply trying to jack up their prices. Newtek early on made the license to screamernet free, so that you could install it anywhere you felt like. They invested a lot of effort into making the renderer render the same on every platform, so you could render cross platform.

Screamernet is well over 10 years old, with almost no support since the day it was released. no OFFICIAL documentation, and no functionality upgrades. it was an industrial tool done on a shoe string budget, and released almost before it was ready. It was designed with what was availible in the 1990s when networked apps were not even on the drawing boards, with a limited perspective, and a do-it-all-yourself attitude. At a time when off the shelf cross platform communication software is almost free, and is ubiquitos, Newtek still harbors doubts about this "network" thing, and forget that "Internet" thing, thats just an upstart. Newtek refuses to embrace new networking tech, claiming that its too difficult to invest time and energy into. and they don't point to it but they are probably referring to Screamernet's replacement which died a painful death, amid rumors of being massively more complicated than Screamernet, with less flexibility overall. Newtek Knows 3d, and I guess video, but they just don't get (as a company. I know full well that individual engineers at Newtek are v. smart people) networking. and so Screamernet languishes in limbo, never to be fixed properly, never to be re-designed, never to get out of its own legacy.

Bonjour + newtek may be a good match, but newtek will only go there kicking and screaming (well after anybody else already has), petulant to the end, because they didn't write bonjour, its not what they are used to, and it will take time to learn, that they won't want to waste.

difficult and counter-intuitive to setup, screamernet will always be a pain in the arse.

Scazzino
07-06-2007, 09:50 AM
scazzino... you are contradicting yourself. :P

Not at all... :P ;)

I said that once you understand what's really going on, then it's not that bad... and that perhaps in the future it will handle the setup on its own through something like Apple's Bonjour...

The point being that we shouldn't have to understand what's really going on behind the scenes of course... it's a computer... it should handle all the technical details through the software without having to bother the user about them... ;) ;)

In the mean time though, if you do put in the time to understand what's going on, then it isn't that hard to set up... :)