17 , 2001
Return to the 'Host' for a final time and run Lightwave Layout.
Go to Rendering -> Networking Rendering and use the button 'Add Scene to List' to queue up all the files you wish to render. Ensure that each of these files has already been setup correctly, so that 'Auto Frame Advance' is switched on, you have the correct frame range and frame step options selected and that you've also designated the files to be saved by ticking the correct option under Rendering -> Output Files.
Now, within Rendering -> Network Rendering, choose 'Screamer Init'. This will make Lightwave search for all the connected copies of LWSN and return an info box telling you how many 'Nodes' were detected. For my fictitious setup, this should be four; one 'Host' and three 'Nodes'.
All being well, click on the button 'Screamer Render', put your coat on and get the hell out of there before the place blows!
As long as you have enough RAM assigned to each copy of LWSN and all your machine's can supply it, the first scene will begin to load up. If you feel like it, [Command] + [Tab] your way across to ScreamerNet and see the informative information window telling you exactly what it's up to.
And that really is it. It probably seems like an unbelievable amount of work just to network render. But most of the donkey work is concerned with setting up LWSN for the first time. For all future projects you just need to alter your "LWSN cmdline" files to reflect a new content directory and do the same for Lightwave. I reckon that you can eventually get it down to around ten minutes for ten machines, although if anyone starts putting up speed benchmarks for this, they are really very sad indeed.
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David now works happily as a freelance 3D artist and visualiser in the UK. As a music graduate and all round Bon viveur, his breadth of creative and technical skills have turned him into an unusually well rounded individual for one who never gets out into the light of day anymore. He can be reached at [email protected]. Visit his site at http://www.todman.dircon.co.uk.
This article was reprinted with the permission of the author.