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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.
Now when you're rendering with BackBurner, of course you're going to have network issues. It's kind of almost part of the game is that when you have a bunch machines working together, one machine or all the machines aren't going to work. So, I'm just going to give you a few quick things to check when troubleshooting BackBurner. Now if you get into really sophisticated things, you are probably going to need somebody who knows a little bit about networking and configuring computers and all of that, but these are just some basic things to check for the average person. Now the first thing you want to do is make sure your network is completely connected, so you want to make sure that all the machines can see each other, so go on each machine and make sure that you can connect to every other machine.
If you want to, go ahead and even ping the machines using the ping command from a command line. Another one is to make sure that all the files/textures and assets are network visible, so again, make sure that everything is in a project and make sure that that project is pathed with network paths. If anything is like listed as being on a C Drive or a D Drive, it's not going to be visible to everything, so go through your whole project. Make sure everything in that project can be seen by the network.
And then, finally, make sure you check your network Read/Write permissions. You could very easily have shared a folder, but made it Read-only, so make sure that your entire network can write to that common folder. Now also, you want to make sure that you check software, so make sure that you have the exact same version of Maya and BackBurner. So, if you've done an incremental update of Maya, you want to make sure that you have that on every single machine, that you have the same version of all the software on all the machines.
Also, it helps to have the same version of the operating system, although that's not as critical, but that can help as well. And also make sure that your software is licensed on the appropriate machine, so the machine that's sending the renderer job has to be licensed. And also make sure that any plug-ins that you're using are installed on all the appropriate machines. So, if you have a special rendering plug-in or a meshed affirmation plug-in or even a script or something like that, you've got to make sure that all the machines have that same script, so that they can render the same scene.
And finally, here are some additional things to check. You want to make sure that machine names start with a letter and not a number. Now that's kind of an obscure thing, but that can kill a network render. Also make sure that you've installed full versions of Maya on each machine. Don't do a pick-and-choose instal of Maya. Just go ahead and use the disk space, install the whole version of Maya. It'll save you a lot of hassle. Now there will be cases where you have some machines that are 32-bit operating systems, and some that are 64-bit operating systems.
If you have that mixed environment, make sure to run Manager on the 32-bit machine, okay? Because it's a 32-bit application, it seems to work better in that respect. And finally, debug your network one connection at a time, just get Manager and Server working within one machine, then add in a network machine, make sure that that works and then continue to add machines. If you try to debug the entire network at a time, you're just going to create headaches for yourself, so refine the problem, knock it down to just a very simple case, make sure that works and then build from there.
And if none of those things work, just remember that Google is your friend, so if you type your problem into Google, there's a good chance that somebody else will have had that problem, and have posted a solution. So network with your friends and other people who have used Maya. They could also offer up a solution. Also, remember that BackBurner has been a part of Max for quite a while, so if you try to debug a Maya problem, a lot of the Max problems that people have had will also apply to Maya.
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