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Ferraro

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Reply with quote  #31 
Half a decade later, and the request for network rendering remains in the top 5 single requests for views. Surely the thousands of SU users that have visited this topic have no clue about what drives Podium development. It has been proven that I obviously don't understand the companies priority list. [confused]For whatever it is worth, I have a dream of establishing a Podium Render queue on at least one machine in our office, and sending batches of render jobs through it over the network similar to how a network printer works. If I can't have the whole farm, I would be happy with just one dedicated machine. As it stands we have rendering machines that we transfer files to and from as we leave our workstations to execute rendering on manually. It is far from ideal, but it at least keeps us from tying up our workstations. Any news or developments on this topic from the moderators in the know?
bigstick

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Reply with quote  #32 
We would love to implement network/cloud rendering, and have discussed it. What tends to happen is that things like new versions of SU get released, which can completely disrupt normal plans for introducing features.

SU2014 for example was rather different and introduced some significant changes which broke some functionality for some users. For customers using multibyte systems (those which use 'foreign' fonts or accented characters) there were some showstoppers which needed fixing.

Then we have things like Podium Image Editor and the Section Tools. These are also being developed, and updated for new versions. You can't update everything at once, in case something breaks something else, and you won't know where to start to look for problems [smile]

So you have to test these things in a structured fashion, and we have to support 3 versions of SketchUp on at least 4 operating systems. That means there are 12 combinations to test, which takes a lot more time than you would think!

Network rendering is different to cloud rendering. With Network rendering, you could in theory have one dedicated powerful machine that deals with queued renders on individual machines, or you could have a central render server that interrogates inactive clients on the network for available computing power, divides up a scene into sections for individual machines, uses them to render in parallel and reassembles the completed image. This is called Distributed Network Rendering.

Cloud render solutions typically use a DNR process on large networks of powerful machines. However their limitation is bandwidth. If you have a really fast internet connection - awesome. If not, you might find that the upload speed negates the advantages.

You can get DNR software to run on your local network, but its a bit complicated to set up, and requires administration. It's overkill for most offices.

In theory if you have more than one licence for Podium, it would be possible to set up a dedicated machine for rendering, generate scripts saved on the networked render machine, and render. However, right now the Generate function supports absolute rather than relative paths, which means that when you render on a remote machine, the textures don't work. We've tested this [smile]
Supporting absolute paths for scripts is something we were looking into when SU2014 was announced. Effectively all new development stopped because Podium didn't run on the beta versions of SU2014, and that was the number 1 priority.

It's not that big a deal to develop anything, but it's a cost/benefit analysis. If we hired a new developer to create a DNR module, if it takes them say 6 months to write the code, we would have to be sure that we would sell enough licences of the network render module to justify the cost. You also need to bear in mind that there would be associated costs for support and documentation, again for 4 versions of operating systems. If we believed that this feature would be really profitable (no one works very hard for very long for free) it would be right up the top of the priority list.

It would be hard to justify raising the price for Podium to add DNR for everyone. Most people don't have networks available to them, and would resent a significant cost upgrade for features they don't need. I don't know about you, but in my office I get really annoyed that we have to spend money upgrade our CAD software every year or so, whether we like it, and need it or not.

Implementing support for relative paths in scripts is something we can start to look at again when all the current SU2014 stuff has been fixed.

So - give us some time!





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elgabbu

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Reply with quote  #33 
*BUMP* [smile] ... was there any updates regarding Distributed Network Rendering ?
bigstick

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Reply with quote  #34 
We are actively working on network rendering, but not distributed network rendering.

This relies on render farm software, and it's beyond the scope of what we can do. It may work with our solution, but it's far too early to tell.

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elgabbu

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Reply with quote  #35 
Thanks for the update, it would be beneficial to be able to harness the power of old/unused machines [smile] .... 
bigstick

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Reply with quote  #36 
This is not really a feasible scenario I think.

DNR generally uses expensive software that is installed for render farms. It's not for the consumer who just wants to use a lot of old machines.

If you want to render on another machine on your network, you need a powerful one, or to send the file to a render farm.

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513

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Reply with quote  #37 
Network rendering! Yes, please. We have a render farm set up in our office that we use with studiomax and this seems to be the big thing holding us back from committing to podium in our office workflow.
bigstick

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Reply with quote  #38 
In testing, coming soon [wink]
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arqcova

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Reply with quote  #39 
[biggrin] Please!!!! And thank you for your work!
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bigstick

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Reply with quote  #40 
Getting closer - watch this space!

We have been testing early versions, and it works as expected, but there are more features to add.

New internal test versions are imminent, but I'm afraid you won't be able to test them...

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elnesti

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Reply with quote  #41 
Hey guys, is there an API, commands or parameters in the new Podium Server that would allow us to automate the "Add folder" "Add File" button in the program.
Thanks!!
JustinSlick

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnesti
Hey guys, is there an API, commands or parameters in the new Podium Server that would allow us to automate the "Add folder" "Add File" button in the program.
Thanks!!


Though this might not be exactly what you're asking for, there is a "watch folder" function in the works for Podium Server that will automatically initiate a render when a Podium script is placed in a designated directory.

It should allow for some remote rendering options via one of the cloud-syncing platforms like OneDrive, Dropbox, or with a LAN workgroup.

ie - Generate a .script on your laptop, sync across network, Podium Server on your desktop sees the file and automatically starts rendering.

Haven't had an opportunity to try yet, but it would be nice for people (like me) who carry around an underpowered laptop that is perfectly fine for modeling in SketchUp, but really isn't powerful enough for doing test renders.

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rystog

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Reply with quote  #43 
I'm watching this space! I can't wait to see what you come up with [smile]
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JustinSlick

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Reply with quote  #44 
This is definitely still in beta, but it's working pretty reliably as long as you're not trying to process hundreds of render scripts simultaneously:

http://suplugins.com/podium/tutorials/remote-rendering-pdm-server.php

There are kinks to work out, but I think most of the issues are with large batches.

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