[Beowulf] noob understanding

Early Ehlinger early at respower.com
Fri Jul 14 07:54:05 PDT 2006

I thought I'd address your questions here - no need for you to pick my 

Yes, the unix box that you get an account on is one of our in-house 
Linux servers.

The render nodes run Windows, primarily because we support 3dsMax and 
WINE is unfortunately not a viable solution yet.  The servers are Linux, 
primarily because Windows fell down as we scaled up ;-)

I doubt you'll be able to find something that will do the conversion 
from .max to (anything else) outside of the 3dsmax environment.  The 
.max format (not the same as .3ds format) is fairly convoluted and 
extremely difficult to parse.  Pretty much every 3dsmax 
importer/exporter I've seen runs as a plug-in.

Check out http://www.collada.org/ - It started as a Sony-led initiative 
to produce a "One True" 3d file format based on XML, and has since been 
adopted by the Khronos Group.  They have a free import/export plug-in 
for 3dsmax and Blender.  I haven't tried it yet, but in theory you 
should be able to export from 3dsmax to a collada .xml file, then import 
in Blender, which conveniently enough is OSS and available on Linux.

I hope that helps.

-- Early Ehlinger, President, ResPower, Inc.

P.S. There's at least one render farm I know of that offers 
all-you-can-submit access for Blender for as low as $20 for a 30 day 
pass.  They're really good guys, but then I'm fairly biased...

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