First off, thank you for your hard work on this. After a few attempts I was able to get a scene rendering seamlessly across three machines on my home network. It is not very fast for now, but I may enable manual load balancing to put most of the work on the device with the more powerful GPU than the others.
In a few posts on this site it’s mentioned that image sequences are not packable, and it is recommended that a shared network folder be used to source them for .blend files when rendering.
I’ve recently attempted this but I haven’t been successful. I have, e.g., a network server, FOO, and it has a shared folder on it, FARM. I’ve simply taken the packed .blend file and all of the related assets in this shared folder (the .blend file has always been next to the related assets and uses relative file paths when opening in Blender).
If I open this .blend file on Windows 10, the address is provided as “\\FOO\FARM\my_scene.blend”. I have this image sequence’s file name set to non-relative (since it seems important that CrowdRender recognize that it’s available “on the network”, rather than packed into the .blend file or located relative to the .blend file on the network and imported via relative path). So the File Name shows up as “\\FOO\FARM\assets\images\0000.png”, rather than “//assets/images/0000.png”.
If I mount the same NAS folder on macOS, it is mounted under /Volumes, and the mounted folder itself gives the volume its name. So, when Blender on macOS sees the path “\\FOO\FARM\assets\images\0000.png”, it cannot find the image. In order for it to successfully find the image, it must be pointed to “/Volumes/FARM/assets/images/0000.png”.
In other words, on different platforms, the same network resource is not identified with the same path.
Is there any way around this? I would have hoped using relative paths and putting the assets next to the .blend file on the network share would have allowed CrowdRender to find it, but that doesn’t seem to be acceptable either.