Setting up a render farm. How???

I am trying to set up a render farm for 3DS Max but don’t really know what I am doing. I understand the concept of what it is and how it works, but when it comes to the physical aspect of putting it all together I am utterly confused. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Do you know of any sites that have instructions in stupid terms on how to do it? (ex. How to link the computers together, where all the files need to be for every computer to see it, etc…)

Thanks in advance for the help.

Have you looked through the included documentation for Max? I’ve never done it myself but I’ve seen it done through Maya and as long as you know your way around a command prompt it’s not that hard. Keep in mind this should only work for Mental ray. If you are using the default scanline renderer or Vray I don’t believe theres any way to support network rendering.

All of the machines need to be on a shared network so that they can see each other on the LAN. Then you need to install a standalone copy of mental ray on every machine you want to use as a slave.

The master computer (the one you have the licenses and files on) is the one that you start the rendering from.

I know the Maya documentation includes instructions for setting it up, I would check the Max documentation first and then look on the Autodesk website for the step by step instructions.

I believe that you have to use “backburner” for 3ds network rendering. Make sure that’s installed and from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty simple from there on out.

This I understand. The part that I don’t understand is the act of linking all the computers together. I know this is probably a stupid question, I am just not that handy when it comes to these computer issues.

You should just need to take all your machines and plug them into a router/hub if they aren’t already. Then right click on my computer->properties->Computer name. Assign each one a unique name if they don’t already have it. You also may or may not need to assign them to the same workgroup depending on how the software works, but this is the easiest way to get the comptuers visible to each other.

Once you do that try referencing this: Overview | 3ds Max | Autodesk Knowledge Network and see if that helps you out.

For these you’d want a switch, really. A hub could get too congested, and a router would separate them all into different networks, or just totally break if every port wanted the same IP. It’s just a small difference in wording but each one is a very different device.

A hub may very well work with a small render farm, since there’s large breaks in between requests for data and a new frame being sent up. This is if the renderer splits out frames. Some renderers like Modo’s give out and get back tiny sub-sections, more traffic but less each time, probably.

But basically, if all the computers have network cards (and onboard is pretty decent these days, on even low-end boards) then you just need a hub/switch a whole bunch of cables, and a little bit of time setting each one up.