Satellite Rendering

Table of contents

On each satellite computer, install Softimage

Softimage 2011 When you install Softimage, click Configure. Choose the license type and press Next. Select the check box to install the mental ray satellite rendering service.

Softimage 2010 When you run the Setup:

  • Select the Custom Install option, and then select Configure distributed rendering services. When you get to the "TCP/IP port configuration for distributed rendering" dialog box, select the Configure satellite distributed rendering check box, and then click OK.
Make a note of the port number that will be used for satellite rendering.
  • Select Using a license server running on another computer, and then enter the name of the computer where you have the License Manager and the dongle installed.

On the master computer, install the rendering services

If you installed the rendering services when you installed Softimage, you can skip this section.

Softimage 2011

You can either reinstall Softimage using the Setup, or install the service manually:

  • Add this line to C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\services:
    mi-raysatsi2011_3_8_1_31 7020/tcp #
  • Open a Softimage command prompt (click Start > All Programs > Autodesk > Autodesk Softimage 2011 SP1 > Command Prompt)
  • Run this command:
    raysatsi2011_3_8_1_31server.exe /install


Softimage 2010


  • In the Control Panel, click Programs and Features, then right-click Autodesk Softimage 2010 SP1 and click Change.
  • Click Modify and click Next.
  • Select the "Configure distributed rendering services" check box. Leave the "Softimage software and documentation" check box selected.
  • In the Mental Ray Network License Setup dialog box, click Next. You don't need to enter anything in this dialog box.
  • The "TCP/IP port configuration for distributed rendering" dialog box appears.
    By default, "Configure satellite distributed rendering" should be selected.
    Make a note of the port number.
  • Click OK

Check that the raysat services are running

The raysat services have to be running on the master and the satellites.

You can use the Services console to check whether the raysat service is running:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and click OK.
  2. Scroll down the list of services until you see the RaySat service.

You can start the service from the Services console, or from the command line.

If you don't see the raysat service, try installing it:

- Click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > SOFTIMAGE XSI 6.5 > Command Prompt. - In the command prompt, run this command: raysat3_5_7_23server /install.




Create a .ray3hosts file on the master computer

Create the .ray3hosts file.

- Start the User Tool (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > SOFTIMAGE 2010 SP > UserTools). - In the list of Configuration Files, click ".ray3hosts (Distributed Rendering)". - Click Edit File.


A .ray3hosts file lists the satellite computers in the format hostname:port. For example:

#Satellites
suda:7003
kima:7003
tamu:7003


You can find the port numbers in C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\services. Scroll down to the bottom of the file and look for a line that looks like this:

mi-raysat3_5_7_23  7003/tcp                 #

Render something

In XSI, turn on Progress messages in the mental ray Diagnostics

  • For the render region: click Regions > All Options, click the Diagnostics tab, and under Logged Messages, click Progress.
  • For renders, click Render > Renderer Options and go to the Diagnostics tab.

Now render something.

If satellite rendering works, you'll see something like this in the history log:

// INFO : JOB  0.3  progr:     6.2%    rendered on KIMA.3
// INFO : JOB  0.4  progr:    12.5%    rendered on KIMA.4
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    18.7%    rendered on TAMU.3
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    25.0%    rendered on TAMU.1
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    31.2%    rendered on TAMU.0
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    37.5%    rendered on TAMU.2
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    43.7%    rendered on TAMU.1
// INFO : JOB  0.4  progr:    50.0%    rendered on KIMA.4
// INFO : JOB  0.5  progr:    56.2%    rendered on KIMA.5
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    62.5%    rendered on TAMU.0
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    68.7%    rendered on TAMU.0
// INFO : JOB  0.6  progr:    75.0%    rendered on KIMA.6
// INFO : JOB  0.4  progr:    81.2%    rendered on KIMA.4
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    87.5%    rendered on TAMU.1
// INFO : JOB  0.6  progr:    93.7%    rendered on KIMA.6
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:   100.0%    rendered on TAMU.0

In the above, KIMA and TAMU are the names of the satellite computers. The .0 and .6 are threads.


Basic Troubleshooting of Softimage Satellite Rendering

Check network connections between machines

Before you start, you want to check that the master can connect to the slaves. Open a command prompt and run the command

ping <hostname of slave>

or

ping <ip address of slave>

If you don't know the hostname or IP address of a slave, go to the slave and use the hostname and ipconfig commands to find out.

Check connections to the raysat service

The port used by the raysat service is specified in the services file:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\services

Scroll down to the bottom of the file and look for a line that looks like this:

mi-raysat3_4_6_18  7007/tcp                 #

To test that the master can connect to the satelliteon a port, run this command on the master:

telnet <satellite_hostname> <port>

If telnet can connect, you'll get a blank command window. Press Ctrl+] and then type quit. Otherwise, you'll get something like this:

C:\Softimage\XSI_5.11\Application\bin>telnet tamu 7009
Connecting To tamu...Could not open connection to the host, on port 7009: Connect failed

If the connection fails, it is often because of a firewall.


This page was last modified 03:52, 13 Dec 2010.
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