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Tested 2 scenes, no output on 1
In Bugs - Archived
MichaelDot
Jan 08, 2020
ok. I think I have this figured out for real now. I kept running into issues with file locations and had to do so many tests to see what was actually needed for this to work for me. Currently, I have only tested with a fire and smoke scene, so other things may not be working yet. To get the cache to work for my setup, I had to change the location of the crowdrender output folder. At first I thought this folder would also house the files needed for cr to load. Nope. the cr folder will always generate in the user folder on windows. But this is not an issue, just threw me off for a few minutes. as long as the folder pointed to for output is the same location on all the machines, then the next part will work. The nodes need to have the cache moved to the server folder from the output settings. As long as all of the relative paths are set correctly on each device, then when it goes to render, it will look to the correct location. in my blender, I set the path for cache to \./Library/Rend/Cache. So I put the output cache from the master to the the library\rend\ folder and renamed it cache. Now the node is ready to render. On the master machine, the cache must be in the cache folder, but also in the base of the project file. When you open your project file and blender generates a random name for the temp blend file, you must copy the name of the temp blender file and rename the cache folder to this. Then the master machine is also able to render along with the nodes. Once blender starts again, then you open your file and a new random temp name will generate and you need to remember to rename the folder again to use it in the farm. Now that I have it working, I just need to practice the workflow. It is tedious and I wish blender had a way to transfer cache around without having multiple copies that get out of date and need to have their own way of keeping track of what is what. Otherwise, I have cut my render time down some. Now I need to dig in and tweak settings for best render times.
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Tested 2 scenes, no output on 1
In Bugs - Archived
MichaelDot
Jan 06, 2020
OK. I think I finally have it working, at least locally and will test the farm later. I accidentally figured out how. I set up the preferences for blender to point to all the relative folders I could think to do. The temp folder has to be mapped on each machine to a path that is relative to it. the render cache is set to a location within the project as well. This folder needs to be in several locations before rendering. The crowdrender settings could be changed, but I had issues with doing this and it would not load after trying to change the path. Under the physics cache settings, I disabled the "use the library path" setting and enabled "external". Output is also changed to a sub-folder of the project. This way everything is contained within 1 project folder other than the crowdrender folder location. After baking physics, copy the folder that generated to the root of the project folder. Change the name of the folder to the name of the auto generated temp blend file that shows up. Maybe you can change this auto generated temp blend location, but not sure where. Paste the same folder in the subfolder under the temp directory that generates. There will be a temp.blend file. rename the folder pasted to blendercache_temp. With this setup, I was able to render my scene locally!! I tried just adding the folder to the temp location and renaming. That did not work. I tried only pasting in the root and renaming to the auto-generated name for the temp blend that shows there. That did not work. It needs to be in both locations before it renders correctly. I figured that having it in more than 1 place was extraneous for the local render. So I deleted it from 1 location. This is how I accidentally found out it had to be in both places. I switched to make sure it was necessary. Now I need to test the same setup on the network nodes. Then I can work out a script that copies and renames the files more automatically than having to manually copy and rename everything every time. I am sure that the manual process will still be less time than attempting to go without the added nodes. As long as I can get the farm working, I can move forward on this project. Going to go get some GPUs and then I will be testing out, hopefully tonight.
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MichaelDot

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