View Full Version : LightWave and a Render box ???

08-15-2003, 04:58 PM
I'm looking to possible get a single render box/node for my work flow and I'm looking to get a couple of questions answered. 1st, how does it work, would I need an addition lic./dongle for LW? If I don't need an additional lic., am I able to continue to work on LW on other stuff while what I sent to render is rendering? Any other info would be much appreciated. :D

For an example of what I'm looking at: http://www.boxxtech.com/asp/cf_step2.asp?ModelInstanceID=132

08-16-2003, 04:31 PM
Sounds like you want to go network rendering with only one node! But before you throw money at a sleek little box, you need to learn to walk (so to speak).
lwsn.exe - the free render node included with lw - can be run on as many machines as you like.
If you are a real masochist you can control those nodes from within LW.
If not you can use a 3rd party app.
Lightnet is free and simple to use - so I will stuck to that (which I do anyway).
You have to have some sort of network set up.
(NB, as soon as you are rendering on more than one machine you MUST render frames not anims - otherwise you will inevitably get your frames all in the wrong order!)
You can run a render node or 2 on any machine on the network with enough grunt and memory.
If you don't have more than one machine already, the I would suggest that you try it with any old spare pc you can borrow (?)sitting next to your main machine. They need to be networked in some way, and perhaps use a cheap 2x keyboard/mouse/switch to control both of them without using too much desk space.
For a first try you could just copy the whole lw directory into the 2nd machine, ditto the cfg files.
To do it properly you need to have LW installed in a directory which can be mapped as the 'same' drive letter in every machine you want to render on - then you can be sure they are all rendering matching frames.
But say you've just got your main machine and one other and you manage to set up Lightnet with the 2nd machine as 'master (aka 'in charge')
When ever you have a scene ready to render you switch to the 2nd machine and add the scene to the render queue. The node on that machine starts to render (no dongle required).
When you knock off for the day you simply start the 2nd node on your main machine and it joins in. When you come in in the morning you 'kill' the node on your machine, wait for it to finish it's current frame, and get to work normally. If a machine crashes LightNet will re-add the frame to the queue.
If you can get that going, then you could try expanding. Almost any machine can run a render node - but it IMHO it always makes sense to have your fastest and best machine as your set up machine!

If you want to go serious, you could then try setting up a rack of those sexy render boxes - but beware, you do need to have some sort of interface with the 'box' you are running the node in, and if you are not very OS savvy that will probably be the same OS as you use on your ordinary machine - with some sort of kb mouse and monitor - perhaps using a switch unit. You will probably find that the rack+UPS+keyboard/mouse/monitor switcher cost as much as your first individual sexy render unit!

Hope that's the sort ov level of answer you were looking for,