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One of the most powerful 3D applications on the market, Maya 2010, now includes three complimentary bundled applications: MatchMover, powerful camera matching software; Toxik, a node-based compositor; and Backburner, a network rendering manager for Maya, 3ds Max, and Toxik. In Maya 2010: Getting Started with MatchMover, Toxik, and Backburner, instructor George Maestri demonstrates how to use these applications with Maya's existing powerful feature set to create engaging 3D animations. Exercise files accompany the course.
So starting up network rendering in Backburner is fairly simple. We need to start up the Manager first. So the first thing we do is we go to our Backburner folder either through our Start menu, but I've actually dragged it to the Desktop here, and you'll see three programs. One is called Manager. One is called Monitor. One is called Server. All I have to do is double-click on Manager and I have started it. Now Manager really is a very simple program. I am going to minimize this here. It basically just gives you information about the rendering process.
Now when you first start it up, it will bring you into this General Settings menu. Now this is just the very first time you launch it. Now you can always go back to this menu if you want to change things. Now typically, I just leave it at default, but there are a number of options we can work with. One is to determine which TCP/IP port we want to use. Now typically, we want to set this to default, but if your network has special requirements, you can work around this. We also have an option that says what to do when a Server fails, just general things as to how many concurrent assignments we can apply to a server, maximum servers per job, those sorts of things.
There is also a Mail Server, so if renders fail, it can actually email you that said, "Well, I am having problems," which is great if you have a giant render farm, and you have a lot of time critical things going on. We also have what's called a Jobs Path, which is where we want our jobs to be located. Now again, this used to be a central location. Now we have either a Win32 path or a Windows path or a UNIX path. It depends on how you have your servers set up, and you can just browse for that.
Also, we have what's called Default Job Handling. Whenever Backburner gets a job, it saves out a file with all the information needed to recreate that job. So when the job is completed, do you want to just do nothing and leave that file on your hard disk? Do you want to delete it or do you want to delete it after a specific number of days, or we can also archive it? Now I am going to leave these all at the defaults, and I am just going to go ahead and hit OK. Now at this point, I don't have anything going on, because I don't have any servers.
The Manager itself is really just looking for servers to send jobs to. So, if I want to actually start up something, I can go back into my Backburner menu, and start up a Server. So all I have to do is double-click on this, and now I have a server program going. So, now I have enough to actually start rendering. Now notice here on the Backburner Manager what happened is it says, "Successful registration from," and this is the name of the machine, booth-06-pc.
And this, in the Server menu it says, "Registration Accepted." Now it's actually using the IP address of the machine, but it's the same. Now I have a second machine on the network, and I am going to go ahead and launch server on that right now, and let's take a look at what happens in the Backburner Manager. So now, I have launched it, and it has gone ahead, and now I have my second machine on. So now, I actually have two machines on the network.
Now I just launched Server, but there is actually a configuration menu for Server as well, and let me show you what that looks like. This is a lot simpler. Basically, it just says what's the name of the computer that Server is running on, so basically what's the name of this computer? And also, what's the name of the Manager? Now you have two options here. One is to actually type in the name, or you can click what's called Automatic Search, and what Automatic Search does is it basically goes from 0 to 255 on your network and it just checks every possible location of a computer, and once it finds a Manager it connects it.
So, this is actually kind of the default method, and actually, I kind of like using it this way, because it's almost the failsafe method, because it will eventually find the Manager. It may be a little bit slower to start up, but it works. So really all you have is the name of this computer, and the name of your Manager, or if you don't really know it, just search for the first Manager. And if you do a change like this, it won't take affect until the next time you restart the server. So once, I have both of these programs running and connected with no errors, I am ready to submit jobs to the render farm.
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