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Team Render - Is It A Viable Replacement To Net Render ?

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  • We currently have a modest render farm (server rack with 6 x 8 core Dell Poweredge clients and an 8 Core Apple Xserve hosting Net Render Server). The system works really well for us because you just upload a file and the server renders the frames independently without causing any disruption to the local network or the machine that created the scene. It also saves the file directly from the server to an xRaid in the server cabinet.

     

    I have Cinema Studio R15, but I've not yet installed, because I'd have to upgrade the OS on all of the Dell machines (side issue). However I'm a little concerned with Team Render.

     

    Am I right in assuming that the workstation that our 3D modeller / artist uses to create animation scenes, would now become the host machine, (the equivalent of Net Render Server) ? So this would mean,

     

    -  the workstation now has to remain switched on for the render on the servers (render farm) to take place ?

     

    - It could slow the network down because of information constantly being transmitted back and forth to the server cabinet's switch.

     

    - It could slow the workstation down as it's dealing with the render (distribution etc) while the 3D artist is still using the workstation for creating new scenes.

     

    - If the workstation locked up for some reason and required a restart (which can happen more frequently than the Xserve just doing that one job) or Cinema was quit and restarted for whatever reason, it would stop the job that Team Render was working on ?

     

    I have to be honest I quite like the way a local render would be speeded up by using all processor power on the network, but I'm not 100% convinced the new alternative to Net render is a replacement to what R14 offered ? I hope I'm wrong about that.

     

    Any thoughts to convince me I've got things completely wrong ?

     

      :smile:

    Thanks

    Gary.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Nope, all your concerns are extremely valid and shared by just about everyone.  TR is a travesty and is in no way a replacement for NET.  You don't have to have your artist's workstation contribute to the rendering (just turn sharing off in the preferences), just act as the server, but yes, the rendering is now tied to that workstation's c4d installation running... which really, really sucks.

     

    My recommendation, if you have R14 available and don't need to take advantage of the new GI in R15, is to just use R14 NET to render.  That's what we do here at work.  I may use TR for the occasional test render, but I really try to avoid even doing that.

     

    How anyone at MAXON thought this was a viable replacement to NET is beyond comprehension... I've really lost faith in MAXON development if this is the kind of they're going to charge good money for.  Not to say NET wasn't getting long in the tooth and in need of an overhaul... but c'mon!

     

    -kvb

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    How anyone at MAXON thought this was a viable replacement to NET is beyond comprehension... I've really lost faith in MAXON development if this is the kind of ###### they're going to charge good money for. Not to say NET wasn't getting long in the tooth and in need of an overhaul... but c'mon!

     

    What would suggest? That Maxon held off until R16 so that Team Render could have another year of development and was then a complete replacement for Net Render or release as is where many people like me can use it pretty well with zero issues.

     

    3DKiwi

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  • I'm glad I'm not alone. There seemed to be nothing but praise from reviews on YouTube so was beginning to think I just got it all wrong, but perhaps those reviewers don't work in a studio environment.

     

    I think Team Render would have been a brilliant addition that perhaps paused NET for a few minutes while it utilised processor power from the render farm. However I have to agree that while NET would have benefitted from a bit of a revamp,  perhaps with progress bars or render times for last frame displayed for each node on the web browser, TR is a totally different animal that doesn't really replace it.

     

    Not sure what I'll do when it comes to R16, Don't want to abandon C4D but it's silly paying for upgrades we won't be able to use. Just hope they can make a Net Render for R15 (and future versions) for those that need it otherwise will probably stick with R14.

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  • What would suggest? That MAXON held off until R16 so that Team Render could have another year of development and was then a complete replacement for Net Render or release as is where many people like me can use it pretty well with zero issues.

     

    3DKiwi

     

     

    It is a really nice feature, but I'd have preferred it if they maintained NET compatibility because I've paid for an upgrade (via service contract) that we basically can't use.

     

    Not sure MAXON have indicated they intend developing Team Render further so it will eventually be a full replacement to Net Render, it may be this is how it will remain from now on. I hope not.

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    What would suggest? That MAXON held off until R16 so that Team Render could have another year of development and was then a complete replacement for Net Render or release as is where many people like me can use it pretty well with zero issues.

     

    3DKiwi

    Yes. If something isn't ready don't release it. Seems like a simple enough concept.

    A semi-functioning Team Render would be all fine and good if using it was an option. But Net Render is gone. Team Render isn't an extra; a nice thing to play with that may work for some. It's meant to be a replacement for Net Render and isn't up to snuff. That's the issue at hand. People paid for this.  MAXON has compelled users to subscribe to the MSA by making non MSA upgrade prices prohibitively expensive, so most people using C4D daily choose to upgrade every year as a financial consideration. Now we find ourselves in a pickle, and not surprisingly unhappy. 

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    What would suggest? That MAXON held off until R16 so that Team Render could have another year of development and was then a complete replacement for Net Render or release as is where many people like me can use it pretty well with zero issues.

     

    3DKiwi

     

    I would have preferred they made better decisions on where to allocate development resources in the first place.  Maybe hold off on the things that weren't nearly as important, like cineware, and use the time and resources devoted to that and put it toward something that people actually wanted and were asking for.  I never saw anyone complain that the c4d->AE bridge was lacking in any way, so cineware wasn't a highly desired feature, it was marketing and money grabbing; ultimately something flashy to demo at NAB and rake in some extra dough on Adobe's coattails.  If that wasn't possible, then yes, table TR altogether and instead make NET R15 compatible until such time as they could do TR the right way.  The capabilities of NET should have been considered the foundation on which the rest of TR's features sit, not an afterthought. 

     

    I'm happy that TR works for you, but for a majority of us we got bent over a barrel.  Something that's "only broken for most" is not only far from praiseworthy, it's downright indefensible when it's the cause for the removal of something as indispensable as NET.  Its not the bugs that are the problem really, they're to be expected in an initial release, it's the lack of consideration in TR's design to the many users who relied on NET for their livelihood . Specifically, the lack of a a dedicated server and the not knowing when this gross oversight will be fixed and whether we'll have to actually pay them to correct this (to say that would be a huge mistake is a gross understatement).

     

    just my 2 cents,

    kvb

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    My understanding is that it wasn't possible to make Net Render compatible with the new rendering cababilities in R15 and that's been stated in the forums by Maxon staff. So if Maxon had held off Team Render until R16 they would have also have had to have held off the rendering enhancements as well. That then makes the R15 update pretty thin. One could argue it's fairly thin now with the inclusion of Team Render. If all that had all been held off then everyone would have been complaining that the R15 update was too little and not worth the MSA price / upgrade price.

     

    Re development and resources used. Got to be careful I don't breach the NDA but people are getting it all wrong and the Cineware / C4D Lite stuff had very little impact or no impact on what was to be included in R15 i.e. the developer doing the Cineware stuff had nothing to do with Team Render.

     

    I do agree that Maxon needs to make a public statement about the status of Team Render and whether a server application is coming or not plus when. BTW, a couple (and I stress the point, a couple) of the issues people are complaining about are bugs and will likely be addressed in an upcoming update.

     

    3DKiwi

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    Thanks for the clarification on cineware.  If it didn't eat into any R15 development then you're right, it would be a moot point.  I still think that there had to be an option that included either NET R15 or including the core functionality of NET into TR (dedicated server, web interface, etc.).  Even if that meant not getting many of the other new features of R15 (which, let's be honest, there were low cost/free plugin alternatives to most of it already... solid chamfer, kyama slide, kerning effector).  Sure, the update would have felt "light", but it's better to deal with the "we didn't get what we want" crowd than the "this could ruin my business!" crowd;)

     

    I agree that MAXON needs to release a detailed statement as to what is being done about TR's shortcomings and when a fix is coming.  Although silence is the usual MO for MAXON, the lack of a statement considering the situation does worry me that we aren't going to like what they have to say... which will probably amount to "Tough titties, you'll have to wait and pay for R16".  Naturally, it will be delivered with much more tact than that, but that'll essentially be the gist of it.

     

    -kvb

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    Interesting, though draining resources to implement cineware would at least help to explain R15's shortcomings.

     

    New users are important, but at the expense of alienating the base: a bit of a gamble. Typically I would continue my MSA next year as I do every year. Now...I'm not so sure. 

    The thread of discontent over this matter on CGSociety is around 26 pages by now. These are C4D regulars, not new customers. 

    While I expect to get bug fixes at some point, I think MAXON really needs to add expanded functionality to at least bring it on par with where Net Render was in R14.... and do it Before R16.

    I know these threads can only do so much to influence decisions at MAXON, if at all. However, come next August I will make a decision with my wallet. 

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