View Full Version : Last Thread on Network Rendering Till LW8?

08-03-2003, 07:16 PM
I know much ink has been spilled over this one.... so much so, it is actually hard to find reliable information on it anymore.

If you will indulge this type of request one more time...

2 Questions:

1. Is Stealthnet dead for LW 7.5c on XP/2000 LAN? If not, where can the files be had?

2. What is the best solution for LW 7.5c on XP/2000 LAN:
___a. ScreamerNet II
___b. Lightnet
___c. Tequila Scream
___d. Amleto
___e. Matador
___f. Something else?

08-04-2003, 11:33 AM
The best solution is to go to http://www.respower.com and let them do it. I just got back from Siggraph and noticed these guys had a booth there. It was very interesting.

08-06-2003, 10:33 AM
I prefer to keep it in house, for now anyway. We sort of had Stealthnet working a couple of years ago, and I was curious if anyone is still using it sucessfully with LW 7.5c. I have Screamernet II working fine, but having to run room to room, login and run the nodes is lame.

Do all of the 3rd party apps I listed allow unattended startup and shutdown of the nodes?

I tried using Telnet, but because I run everything off the network, NT won't allow the double authentication. Anyone have a solution for firing up the nodes with ScreamerNet II?

Zafar Iqbal
08-06-2003, 02:09 PM
To me Screamernet is dead and has considered it to be for a while now.

I was working in a studio a few months back, where they just purchased a bunch of computeres. Lightnet was used for the renderfarm and although there was some glitches in the beginning, i must say its a really solution.

Yes, it does have lacks and stuff - but its free and it DOES get the job done with the big hazzle.

The biggest glitches of them all is that Lightnet seems to ignore that a scene has been removed and then lateron added again - it would then render the first edition of the scene. The workaround for this was to rename the scenefile before adding it into the render que.

08-06-2003, 10:20 PM
There are some tools (free) that will allow you to remote login and execute a command...

Or use something like Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Connection for newer ones with XP... I do it with all machines...

There is a free terminal server too... VNC... Check here (http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/). This I used before XP... This way you have control of all the machines out there, from your desktop...

08-06-2003, 11:56 PM
I have used Remote Desktop Sharing, Netmeeting and VNC in the past and frankly is overkill (not to mention slowing up the users computer) for what I want plus I am in a mixed environment (98, 2K, XP). Unfortunately, we are MS Active Directory now and the clamps are on for lots of the usual remote services.

I did have some luck with Telnet if I started the Telnet service at the node computers, but like I mentioned it wouldn't allow me to run the LWSN from the network that way. Maybe if I copy it to each node it would work?

Could you give me a clue as to some other simple (commmand prompt type) remote tools people have found that works for this.


08-10-2003, 03:46 PM
Check RCMD and RCMDSVC for NT/2000 systems... Comes in the Resource kit and should be free...

Here's a link (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;151519)

If you got policies through AD some things could/should be closed down...

08-10-2003, 03:52 PM
BTW, As all these Net rendering threads passed by... I had to try it myself... Works pretty nicely just using ScreamerNetII. I got 3 machines rendering everything from one shared L: drive... No crashes or stops... And all the machines run XP, so I just start the nodes by a remote desktop connection...

Although they are old PCs, it still gives me about 25% shorter rendering times... (p4-2530, p3-733, p2-300)... Pretty soon a 2Ghz laptop will be added ;) And maybe I should put a second network card in my wife's PC (on a separate network) and have that render too (another p4-2530)...

08-11-2003, 03:36 PM
Hate to say it, but having tried most of the others, LightNet is still running my 12 nodes quite happily and reliably, month after month after month.
It re-starts nodes after crashes, it re-renders dropped frames, it lets me re-order scenes, and it doesn't ever ask me to me type any code (of course with all of them you have to be very very carefull to ruthelssly purge your entire network of every lightwave cfg file except the master ones).
So as long as lwsn runs off simple command lines, I'll let Lightnet use it's very primative but very stable 'message file' system.
Of course if you are, or have at your disposal, a good systems/networking technician, and are happy to play with the more 'correct' tcpip messaging etc, which saves that vital millisecond on each render, then go for it !

08-11-2003, 05:45 PM
Just now on flay.com:

http://www.flay.com/GetDetail.cfm?ID=623 and the news snippet: http://www.flay.com/getnewsdetail.cfm?ID=924

Spider is now a free application... Might be interesting... I am happy with just using network rendering from Layout, however something that cuts pictures and has previews would be nicer...

I will give this Spider a spin... (a pun for the Dutch ;))

08-11-2003, 07:21 PM
Comment I made at Flay:

"StationX says, "we have decided to make an unlimited usage license of the Professional version available at no charge", but the download says demo version for 2 cpu's only. What is up? Unlimited or not... "

08-11-2003, 08:06 PM
I left a similar message... their support group over at Yahoo doesn't seem to be working (yet) either...

You can install it on more machines (clients) just install those locally... Not sure how the licensing work exactly, but I got 3 CPUs online, however the same perpetual issues with drive letters and not being able to find scenes. So I just shut it down again and went back to SN2... I'll take a better look when I feel like it...

It is a nice little program though... I like the AA options etc. and the fact it runs as a service on NT/2000/XP. Just need to see how the security and the accounts need to be setup exactly...

08-11-2003, 08:19 PM
I use butteryfly network renderer,.. works great, and has a easy setup procedure. reasonable price.


08-11-2003, 08:21 PM
I should also note that i have also used Rezpower and it does rock, especially if you need a shot FAST!..

08-16-2003, 11:55 PM
We installed Spider on about a dozen computers (with about 80 more, just waiting to join) and spent much of Thursday last week trying to get it going. Finally realized we had no group permissions at the server folders for the new Spider accounts. I was told that Friday they set the permissions and now it is rendering like crazy! I will run it through the paces Sunday and Monday, and post results. I think this maybe the answer I have been looking for.

You install from one location, administer from any location, add or remove CPUs at any time, run on users systems in the background on low priority as a service (they don't even know it is rendering- but can set themselves to 'Offiline' with single click), submit jobs from any computer, and much more. We have Win2K, WinXP network with DHCP, Active Directory, Exchange, etc. and no problems with any of that. I have everything set to UNC paths and all files, configs, programs, etc. on the server just for rendering, basically based on Stu's 12 steps. This setup also worked flawlessly for ScreamerNet II.

As far as license, that part of the program has been removed but the documentation has not been updated. Basically just ignore that part of the install and no problems installing on unlimited CPUs.

08-17-2003, 07:07 PM
Rendered a dozen scenes in different formats with no problems once I straightened out one little problem. I read from several people to not specify the LW3.CFG file but only the folder that contains it. For me that does not work. You will get FLX as output everytime, an indicator that your plugins aren't loading.

Obviously Spider (or LW) can find LWEXT3.CFG fine even though LW3.CFG is the only one specified as all the "AnimSaverHandler" plugins and others are loading...

08-17-2003, 08:29 PM
I've just spent most of Saturday trying to get Spider to work. I've been a user of Lightnet for quite some time and was allways planning on replacing it and thought this was the answer.

Simply put, it doesn't matter how many times I restart the network I still get error:128 with Spider.

Looking at the log file it claims that it can't find some *.shw files aswell as the 128 error mentioned above.

If anyone's got any tips on this I'd be very grateful. The yahoo group hasn't been able to solve these probs yet.

btw. I'm running W2k on all 3 machines.

08-17-2003, 09:07 PM
SpiderHelp.html on the Problem Solving page states:
The command terminated with an error.

The application run by Spider exited prematurely and returned an error code, which will also be displayed as part of the message. Running the application from the command line (as discussed above) is most usefull in diagnosing this problem.
Some systems will return an error code of 128 if Spider attempts to process frames after a fresh install of Spider or if the Spider service was stopped and restarted through the control panel. If the process runs OK from the command line but continues to return error code 128 from Spider, rebooting the machine will fix this problem.

I had three machines that kept giving me code 128 (all were Win2K), I went and rebooted them and they work fine now. There is a file that can cause problems on XP machines during install - 'psapi.dll'. Rename it on the XP machines prior to install and it will work.

The SHW not found error pertains to custom grouping of CPU's. It is described in the help file under Using Spider: CPU Grouping (Spider Pro vesrion only) at the bottom of the page. I don't think you need to set up grouping for it to work, but when you installed you had a chance to setup the Group folder where you put lists of CPU's you want to use. The lists are text files listing the CPUs, one on each line and the file is saved with the extension SHW. Look here to see where your SHW files should go:

08-18-2003, 01:33 PM
I saw the note about the 128 error in the help file - hence the multiple reboots. Still no joy with that.

I didn't see the bit about grouping. I'll give that a go, someone just described the proceedure on the yahoo group. Sadly I don't think that's gonna be the cause :(

I think I might try something a bit more drastic as far as where my directories are - just to simplify things somewhat.


08-18-2003, 06:04 PM

Don't know if you have Domain Controller or not. I do, so the install was done with Domain Administrator rights and I was able to install to other machines and create the SpiderAcct's in one easy step.

I did notice that one of my W2K machines that had error 128, then worked, is now giving error 128 again. I just removed it for now and will investigate later.

FYI, I will tell you how I have my Network files set up. I basically followed Stu's 12 steps. I use all UNC paths. No folders or files have spaces. I copied the entire LW 7.5c install to a server folder, programs, plugins and all. That way I can run that copy (actually shortcut with -c option) instead of my local copy to tweak my scenes for rendering, set save folders, etc. I edited the server based CFG's to reflect this new LW location and changed them all to UNC paths. So I end up with two complete LW installs, one local on my C: drive and one on the server.

The main server folder (Screamernet) has these subfolders:

Command (put there for Screamernet, which still works fine)
Config (lw3.cfg, lw3ext.cfg, and keyboard/menu configs)
Content (where I transfer my scene/object/images/etc. to and save my rendered RGB's)
lscripts (installed ones, and some of my own)
Programs (with license file listing all licenses so I can run from multiple machines)
SpiderGroup (for the cpu lists)

Hope this helps...

08-19-2003, 07:06 AM
Lots of sensible ideas, but I would sugget that unless you have several LW jockeys who demand completely separate instalations etc., you only need one LW install on your entire system, in folder seen by all machines. (and that gets backed up)you can have all your licence keys in there in the same file, and a folder for your config files too. All your plugins can be in there too, and you only have to add them once.You can then run LW on any machine, just by pluging in the dongle and making shortcuts start to start LW & modler that point to the same config files as the render nodes use.

08-19-2003, 02:09 PM
Ok thanks chaps. I'm using mapped drives at the mo, Lightnet thinks that's fine but I did try UNC also and still no luck with Spider.

I'll try moving my whole LW folder to the root of C, that should clear up any path problems from the equation.

I'll give it a try tonight sometime.


08-19-2003, 04:44 PM
Ah-hah! Some progress - seems to be working. Simply put, I chucked LW in the root directory, copied all the configs into said directory and reassigned the plugins in these .cfg's to use the new path with UNC addressing.

As if by magic, it works! I'm not 100% impressed, there was nothing wrong with where LW was before, and having to move the configs there aswell was a bit weird.

Nevertheless, it works, so cheers once again guys.

08-19-2003, 05:06 PM
One odd thing is I can't seem to use any image savers via Image Processing - Image Filters like the PSD Export, or FX DooDaddy (VT DVE Toolkit) without checking a save RGB option as well. I kept crashing LWSN over and over until I added save RGB. So I saved a bunch of JPG's as well then trashed them afterwards. There are 7 different Image savers available that really should be supported by Spider. I guess it hard to complain, since no one is there to respond anymore.

12-31-2003, 03:22 PM
Anyone know where I can download a copy of Spider. StationX.com doesn't seem to be working.