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Old February 3rd, 2010, 07:26 AM   #1
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I am now researching the options for network rendering. I would like to know is it possible to render from After Effects, Cinema 4D (or any other) with multiple computers simultaneously to QuickTime, AVI (or any video format)?
Or it`s just possible to render sequence of images and than convert them to a video file.

If you can recommend some software for network rendering. I know that AfterEffects have render engine with watch folder, but just wondering what are other possibilities.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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I looked into this a while back, and though I can't speak for C4D or any other 3d modelling program, I can tell you that the render engine in AE works fine, even cross-platform. I don't believe you can render video files since the render engine distributes work on a per-frame basis. Since each computer in the farm would only be receiving pieces of the video to work on, they have no way to recompile the various frames into a video file.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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Cinema 4D supports network render, and the render clients and server are included in the base product - no need to pay extra for additional render licenses like some apps. The render server basically looks at the animation and sends x frames to each of the render clients. As some clients finish faster than others, the server will re-allocate frames, taking some away from the slower clients and giving them to clients that have finshed the work they were initially assigned.

I used to use it quite a bit but my i7 machine is fast enough that I haven't bothered lately. Around C4D release 11 they made some changes to the render system and now I believe the system with the render server has to have a fixed IP address.

They can use both Mac and PC clients for rendering but used to be that there were some concerns about differences in rendering results. May not be an issue any more now that Mac is Intel based. The result was an AVI or MOV if that was what you had asked for in the render settings

By the way, I think the render clients are each a full copy of C4D with only a command line interface, ie no GUI.

I think there are some other "minor details" like making sure that every system has copies of textures etc that are used in the render, or some way to access the same copies of the textures. Or maybe now the server automatically dostributes copies of the textures - as I said above, I haven't used the functionality since version 9 or 9.5 so don't quite remember.

Also, C4D now supports external renderers in addition to Maxon's own renderer, and there may (or may not) be issues with distributed rendering when using them in place of the Maxon renderer. I think in the case of a single frame (ie still) the server will divide the image up into sections and send sections to each render client, but if you're rendering an animation it will only distribute complete frames to each client.

Hope this helps. Maxon tech support are a great bunch of folks, and I'm sure they'l be happy to answer any questions you might have about it.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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Yes, AE and C4D network render to image sequences only. Here is a great video for C4D: Configuring Net Render with Cinema 4D C4D Training
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