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Kerkythea Rendering System • View topic - Network Rendering: A Detailed Methodology
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Network Rendering: A Detailed Methodology

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Johny 5

KT-Warrior

Posts: 115

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:32 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:01 am

Network Rendering: A Detailed Methodology

I know a lot of people would like improved network rendering abilities, but most people never expound past that point. I'd like to go into detail regarding how I would like to see network rendering work.

1) GUI
I would like to see an item on the Task bar called "Network Rendering." This item would open the Network Rendering Editor, which would divided into 2 sections: Jobs, and Hosts.

a. Jobs would show current jobs as list items in rows. The columns of each row would indicate which file is being worked on, what render settings are being used, which host is acting as the master, as well as offering the options to view the output jpg, pause the render, and start/stop the render.

There would also be an button on the Jobs pane to begin a New Network Job. Pressing the New Network Job would open a file browser window to allow you to select the file the job would be rendering (more on this file later).

Once the file has been selected, the new job would appear in the list view of current jobs. At this point we refer to the Hosts pane.

b. the Hosts pane is a list view of hosts(by IP or Hostname) in rows. The columns of each row would be editable fields for IP/Hostname, Username, and Password. Additionally, there would be an active/idle icon, job name field (to indicate the job file active hosts are working on), and there would be a button to remove that host from an active job, and a "Select" checkbox, and "Master" checkbox.

There would also be buttons on the Hosts pane for "New Host," and "Remove Selected Hosts." These buttons seem self-explanatory.

So we've created a new network job up in the Jobs pane. Now we simply check the selection boxes of the hosts we want to use in the Hosts pane, then click the "Start" button for that new job, and the hard part starts.

2. Network Setup
a. When we click the aforementioned "Start" button, KT uses SMB to distribute the Network File Package to fileshares on all of the hosts that were selected from Hosts pane to perform the specified job. SMB because most operating systems support SMB in one way or the other. The file share would have to be setup in advance on each host machine, but users would only have to do that once, and not for every job. The Server machine (the one with the host list) would pass along the credentials for each host machine based on the Username and Password fields of that host in the Host pane.

b. The Network File Package would be an archive file containing the xml data for the scene to be worked on, as well as every material and miscellaneous bitmap used in that scene, as well as a render settings file. The archive file would be accompanied by a command line executable of KT with preconfigured switches to specify the archive file to work on, and the host name or IP of the machine active as the Master for that particular job.

c. Once every selected host has received the Network Package and begins rendering, they pass the data back to the Master machine of that job. Additionally, hosts would report back to the Server (not necessarily the Master of the job) the fact that it is busy working on a job, which would be reflected on the Jobs pane on the server. That host would also tell the Server when it was finished with a job, which would also be reflected in the Jobs pane of the Server

3. Additional GUI
There would need to be an option to save a scene as a Network File Package in the File menu on the Taskbar. It's important that this option rolls every necessary material, procedural, AND miscellaneous bitmaps into the package. Let me explain what I mean by "miscellaneous bitmaps."

When in the Material Editor, let's say I right click the Diffuse channel, and select "Add bitmap," then click the "browse" button and find a random bitmap somewhere on my hard-drive. Right now, if I save the scene the XML file links to that bitmap using an absolute path. If I copy that XML file to another machine, those linked files don't go with it, so they're missing when I open the file on the new machine, and the error KT spits out references the absolute path for that file (which doesn't exist on the new machine).

By putting every necessary material, procedural, and bitmap into the Network File Package you eliminate the need to keep all of your host machines updated, saving you thousands of hours of work.


4. Conclusion
There you go. That's how I would like everything to work. I have access to hundreds of machines, and short of creating a client version of KT that runs a sophisticated service, I think this is the most efficient method to achieve distributed rendering.

In case you're wondering why I don't just shut up and write the code myself, I'm a Network Administrator, not a coder. I'd have to go back to school.

I hope this is somewhat useful. I'm just trying to help.
<<

Fletch

KT-Team
KT-Team

Posts: 8564

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:38 am

Location: Milwaukee, WI USA

Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:23 am

KT's net rendering will be improved in the future. :D

If you look up recent posts by Lekonna, he's got that may be right up your alley. ;)

http://www.kerkythea.net/phpBB2/viewtop ... highlight=


<<

Johny 5

KT-Warrior

Posts: 115

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:32 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:42 am


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