I'm a Mac user and would like to use my windows 10 desktop to help render still images.
I use Crowdrender now. but I have to pack all the textures etc. into the blend file before I can use the windows 10 machine. my assets are on the MacBook's SSD. is there a way to let blender on windows see the files on the MacBook. I saw the videos from Crowdrender how to set-up a windows master and a windows/linux slave. but now I start with a Mac and use a windows slave. Any direction would help.
Hi @Dennis Kleiss Did any of our suggestions help? Please comment, even if you're still stuck, we really want to make sure you have a solution :)
This helped me. Maybe it works for you as well.
Personally I haven't done this, so not able to give you a walk through just yet, I do have a MacBook and windows PC so i can give this a go and see what it takes. I imagine it will require sharing a folder from a mac to a windows PC, which is possible, it will also likely require using relative paths, the reason being is that blender just uses the path from the client machine as is, on the render nodes. If you use an absolute path from the MacBook (cause its the client) then of course this will not work at all on windows.
So the method I think might work, is to create a shared folder to store the assets on the mac that is in the same directory as the blend file (on the MacBook as its the client). Make sure to save the blend file with the paths set to relative, this way blender will always be looking at a relative path, which should work on windows since this avoids the non-compatible unix style path being saved and then attempted to be read on windows.
This is the tricky part, the shared folder needs to be mapped to a folder on the render nodes. This mapped folder needs to be put next to the copy of your blend file on the render nodes. This is a bit finicky and a manual process required on each render node. You will need to know the unique ID of the blend file that crowdrender gives to your project as the copy of the blend file on the render nodes is always saved to:
*your user folder*\cr\server\*CR generated Unique ID of your project*\
Its sometimes easier to simply load blender on each node, start crowdrender on each node and then open your project and make a modification or resync the blend file. This will change the modified date time property of your project, then you can just sort the \cr\server folder by date time and your project should sort to the top/bottom.
Once you've found the right folder, you'll need to recreate the contents of the shared folder, by mapping a folder with the same name to the shared folder on your mac. If all goes well blender should, when it loads your project on your render nodes, do the following;
For the shared assets, blender will see a relative path that includes the shared folder and the assets inside like
Blender asks the operating system to load the file at the relative path from the blend file, no modification is made to the path as it was saved on your MacBook, it will be identical AFAIK.
Windows, hopefully, recognises the relative path, and the shared folder, then makes a request to your MacBook to open a connection for streaming the file from the macbook
if the request succeeds, then the operating system then gives blender a method to read the file which is most likely abstracted so blender doesn't have to do anything different to regular files on the machine's own HDD.
Blender then loads the file, with a slower than normal load time since the data is being read from a network stream rather than a hard disk.
You might want to research how to setup a file share from macOS to windows, i believe this is possible, but I haven't tried, I've only done windows to linux.
Hope this helps, if you beat me to it, please write back and let me know if it was possible or not :)