With the extensive use of high-quality (and time consuming) 3D rendering work at the school, we now have developed a small distributed rendering cluster known as a render farm.
The Render Farm consists of five blade servers — each 8-core 3 GHz machines with 8GB of RAM — that are dedicated to running commercial network-aware rendering packages:
- Maxwell Render (Mac/Win)
- Microstation Luxology (Win)
- Mental Ray Batch for Maya (Mac/Win)
- Mental Ray Satellite for Maya (Mac/Win)
The above engines are available to any computer in the school (or university) which has the appropriate software (those above) installed. This includes student-owned laptop computers.
Jobs are submitted by the appropriate software from files located on School of Architecture network drives (eg. Classes, Projects, Scantemp).
With the Render Farm, time-consuming rendering jobs can be offloaded from laptops and public workstations so as to free those machines for other work or other users. Once a job is submitted to the network, the local computer is free to work on other things, or the user can log-out and make the machine available for another user. This should reduce the "Rendering - please do not disturb" signs scattered throughout the labs and studios, as well as enable a higher overall performance from student-owned laptop computers.
Use the following PDFs to connect to and use the Render Farm from school computers or your personal laptop.
For questions on the Render Farm, please contact Eric Field.