[Beowulf] Some beginner's questions on cluster setup

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Sun Jul 12 06:43:27 PDT 2009

On Jul 9, 2009, at 7:47 AM, Carsten Aulbert wrote:

> Hi
> P.R. wrote:
>> Im planning on building a small 20+node cluster, and I have some  
>> basic
>> questions.
>> We're planning on running 5-6 motherboards with quad-core amd 3.0GHz
>> phenoms, and 4GB of RAM per node.
>> Off the bat, does this sound like a reasonable setup
> I guess that fully depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want
> to use it as a proof of concept design or as a cluster for smaller  
> tasks
> I think it looks reasonable. If you wanted to render IceAge4 with  
> it, I
> think you need more power ;)

Sorry to hop in.

Realize how low quality movies are pixelwise seen compared to a  
highres photocamera or scanner.

It is a huge task to create graphics and direct a movie. Really big.  
Much underestimated part is writing
scenario for graphics work. It's not so hard to plug in existing  
objects, but creating the scenario what it is
gonna do and how... ...not easy!

Designing a single head of a character and how it is supposed to behave,
it already is over a full month fulltime work for a design team.

For how it behaves actually there is expensive machines getting used  
that measure in 3d.

This could be just 1 character that you see a fragment of a few  
seconds from some distance walking by.

Note they're very clever in reusing already produced scenario's.

However the actual rendering of the movie depends much upon the  
software you use for it.

There is a difference between the actual speed of the commercial  
software and what it *could* do.

Some years ago i wasn't happy with the reflection. Wasn't  
photorealistic enough IMHO. Took months to fix both
in the graphics as well as in the 3d engine. Looked more  
photorealistic then.
As a comparision we rendered a scene in lightwave itself.

It took hours to produce that. Just 600KB in MP4 format (and a lot  
more in other formats). That specific animation is just 2.5 seconds
in time. Took an hour to get rendered. It wasn't even same  
photorealistic quality.

Something we render realtime looks better than what commercial  
software took hours.

It's a factor 1000 difference however in rendering speed.

Games have to work realtime, rendering software doesn't.

I wouldn't say they can't program. Programming for speed is however a  
science in itself.

Anyone here knows about how to sort objects. Sorted lists work faster  
than unsorted lists where you run
from 1 to n to get something done. Square that a number of times and  
you'll realize the problem. Total trivial for probably
vaste majority of subscribers in this list, total not trivial for  
that type of software. It's 1 person who programmed it 1 day in history.

It can be done realtime generating that movie at cheapo hardware  
nowadays. That hardware is so fast for especially this
purpose, only that software...

But if the software would be doing that, no one can charge a big  
price for whatever he was doing :)


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