Network Rendering

Network Rendering Using ArchVision Dashboard 2.0

ArchVision Dashboard simplifies network rendering of RPCs. There are two options for configuring Network rendering With Dashboard.

  • Option 1: Install Dashboard Service onto a server and configure all render nodes to connect to it.
  • Option 2: Configure render nodes to point to licensed Dashboard with user logged in.
  • Note: When launched on a server Dashboard can run as an application or a service. Users desiring a service can download a headless Dashboard here: DASHBOARD Service.

    Guidelines for Network Rendering

    If all (4) of these criteria are met then network rendering via backburner or distributed rendering (V-ray or mental Ray) should be very straight forward. There is a document for configuring Autodesk Backburner available here: Backburner Rendering Overview

    The following explores each of these guidelines in greater detail.

    1. The RPC Plug-in must be installed onto each of the render nodes

    The preferred installation is to first install Dashboard and then use it to install the RPC Plug-in for the desired application. However in larger environments users often want to push out just the plug-in installer. Stand-alone plug-in installers are available for download here. MSI files for network deployment are available here.

    2. Each render node must be configured to connect to a Dashboard.

    If a Dashboard is installed on the same computer as the render node's plug-in then the plug-in is automatically configured to connect to the Dashboard using IP address (the loopback IP address, which tells the RPC Plug-in to look for a Dashboard on the local computer). The Dashboard does not have to be licensed, simply running and have a path configured to the content. For users who do not wish to login to have a Dashboard service content for network rendering they can instead install the Dashboard Service tool here. When using the Dashboard Service, simply configure rpcapi.ini files to point to the IP address of the machine running the ArchVision Dashboard Service.

    3) The computer submitting the job needs a license to remove watermarks.

    When a user submits a render job, the application connects to a Dashboard per the configuration made under Configure Content. If a license is found then content will render without watermarks. If no license is present then watermarks will be displayed. The computer submitting the render job is the machine that requires the license. Render nodes do not require licenses.

    Dashboard License State

    4) Content must be in a location that is accessible to each of the render nodes.

    Each Dashboard can have a path configured to content located anywhere on the network. Mapped or UNC paths can be used, however UNC paths are preferred as these greatly reduce issues associated with accessibility caused by permissions or user specific mappings. Also read permission is required for the user that the Dashboard software is running as. If Dashboard can access the content then it should be available at render time.

    To configure a content path click on Preferences --> Configure Path then browse to the directory where content is stored. All content used in the scene must be accessible to all render nodes.

    Installing Plug-ins

    As mentioned earlier in this document plug-ins should be installed either via the ArchVision Dashboard or a stand-alone installer obtained here. MSI files for network deployment packages are available here.

    Configuring RPC PLug-in Dashboard locations without Opening 3D Application

    The RPC Plug-ins each refer to the file rpcapi.ini for configuration information. This is normally set by opening the Content Configuration dialog inside of the application and entering an IP address for the location of the Dashboard. However these can be manually configured by locating the file (located in %localappdata%\Autodesk\3dsMax\2016 - 64bit\ENU\en-US\plugcfg for example). If the Dashboard is installed and configured on each render node then it is not necessary to do this as each rpcacpi.ini file should be set to a network path of

    Copying a file to update Dashboard Paths on Multiple Render Nodes

    The path information for Dashboard is located in Dashboard.xml (typically located in %localappdata%\ArchVision\Dashboard). Simply update the values listed under PathString. This file can then be pushed to corresponding render nodes so that each has the same paths configured for Dashboard connectivity.

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