[Beowulf] noob understanding

H.Vidal, Jr. hvidal at tesseract-tech.com
Fri May 19 08:11:46 PDT 2006

phildlight at verizon.net wrote:
> I've searched many of the posts and I only have a few quick questions.  Please excuse my ignorance.
> 1. Is my understanding that you can process windows processes on a linux cluster correct?

'Process a windows process on linux' is kind of a funky question.

You can run certain kinds of windows applications under a kind of emulation
environment on Linux called Wine. However, a quick google check suggests
that 3dsMax does not run stably under Wine, if that is what you are 
looking for.

> 2. Specifically, I'm interested in using a linux cluster (25 nodes) for rendering
 > 3d studio max by splitting single frames accross the cluster.  Example.
 > We work with enormous output files, usually around 5400x3600,
 > and they render in about 15 hours on a dual xeon 3.4ghz w/ 2gb ram.
 > Distributed rendering via windows works, but we're interested in growing
 > the "farm" to many more nodes, hence the interest in a beowulf.
 > Occasionally, we'll do some animations also, so it again would
 > be enormously beneficial.  I think I understand that this is possible,
 > and am interested more specifically in the scripting method
 > to dump the job into the cluster from windows.

In order for one to render geometry into an image, whether a single image
or a series of images for an animation, you need a renderer.

3dsM has its own renderer. To my knowledge, this renderer is only available
for operation under Windoze. So unless you want to run it under an emulator
on a bunch of linux or other unix machines, the renderer must be hosted 
its target OS, in this case, Windoze.

Furthermore, if the distributed renderer is specifically targeted for a 
OS, once the finished geometry is ready for dispatch to the render nodes,
the dispatch/gather-frames process might make specific use of the targeted

A quick check of the Autodesk specs for 3dsm suggests that they have a 
open framework for rendering. They have a native renderer, support 
something called
Mental Ray, and can use something called the Autodesk Backburner system 
to dispatch
to other, third party renderers. Also, Discrete announced sometime in 
2002/2003 a
backend for rendering in Linux called Burn. So there is some hope you 
can set
up your renders on an array of Linux machines if you have an appropriate 
running on said machines.


> Additionally, we use vray (render engine plugin for max) for the final output.

I don't know if your renderer as noted is available for Linux.
> Am I correct in thinking that this is possible?  Any direction at all would be great!  Thanks.

Hope that's helpful.

Say, where are you based?


> _______________________________________________
> Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
> To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf

More information about the Beowulf mailing list