Blender integration with LSF cluster and DrQueue

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

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LetterRip
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip »

I'm just not sure if the information is the same in 2.41 as CVS regarding pipeline.c and threads. Also I don't think 2.41 can handle more than 2 threads etc.

LetterRip

grimey
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Post by grimey »

...make mine a CVS please :lol:

MicWit
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Location: Australia

Post by MicWit »

Yeh, I followed those posts that you are talking about, but with no success. There was a zip file called winXPmanual or something I tried. I was thinking that for now I would manually input frames to each computer, but at some stage, I was hoping to get a render set up at the schools computer around the corner, so I could only use windows, and if its the weekend I do it, I could only get in prob fri while the teachers are still there, and sun if a teacher is there, else mon before school starts. The render farm would be able to bump frames from a computer that still has some to do to one that is finished, but I suppose I will just estimate where the slower frames will be and just manually set the frames.

The other option is to wait until the new binaries are released, as I read somewhere that they hope to have the issues fixed up once they create a new installer, so that it would work from the tray icon etc without any hacks.

I also notice that they said the reason it didnt work is that it is just the new files put in an old installer. Does this mean that the version that the installer was created for will work fine? If so, which one was it? I dont need to do anything too complex, so maybe an older version would do me.

I also did some tests using threads and not using threads. After 6 tests in each, each test taking around 5min30sec-6min30sec, I found that the render times were very random, sometimes the tread render was even slower! after all tests were complete, I found that I would save about 3-4 mins off every hours render. Are there any disadvantages to using threads? If not, why is it an option and not just automatically on so that if you do have threads it will go faster?

Thanks,
MicWit

grimey
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Post by grimey »

to wait until the new binaries are released
good luck on that. DrQ forum is random at best. I have no idea on which files work and which don't. With all the mixed results from windows DrQ, I didn't even bother to try it.

You need (got to have) admin privs to the windows machines and access them with remote desktop. Once you get that, Run command line blender, splitting the render up among the machines. I find that blender will sometimes stop from command line, so you need to be able to restart. I also run about 4 command line blenders per machine, but that depends on the machine. Run 2 at least.

I never saw the thread results you got. Mine is always faster. But it might vary depending on what you render.

MicWit
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Location: Australia

Post by MicWit »

Well, as far as getting the remote desktop on windows, that is ok at home, but I will have access to the computers anyhow, and as there are only 4, I may as well just split the frames to render. Once I can render at the school, my guess is they wont let me change anything (ie like a remote desktop setup), rather just let me install and uninstall blender.

With the renders, they were exactly the same scene, one frame with 16 passes and mblur (and all on the one computer just sitting in windows, with the task manager open and a text window to record results between renders). So my guess is that the change in times was just one of those things that m$ loves to do in windows, like randomly perform tasks or read a drive. The results I got were:

non-tread = 5:53, 6:22, 6:55, 6:19, 6:52, 6:35
thread = 6:33, 5:10, 6:13, 6:08, 6:10, 6:06

I did a non-thread, then 2 threads, 2 nonthreads, and continues 2 at a time until complete. When I get a chance, I'll go the the linux machine with the same cpu/mb and try the tests again.

At some stage I'll prob have a go at dr. queue in linux, the prob with that is that the athlon 64 3200 is my bro's and he wont install linux :(

MicWit

grimey
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Post by grimey »

You could run DSL (damn small linux) and boot from CD, no need to even tell your brother. 8)

LetterRip
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip »

mcwit,

what is your ram and what is the ram usage of blender. also what type of processor? On a single core AMD threads should be slower for instance.

LetterRip

MicWit
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:59 am
Location: Australia

Post by MicWit »

LetterRip,

The situation at the moment with the computers is:

1) P3 333 256mb ram running Suse as a server that is remotly controlled. -mine

2) P4 2.8 H/T 1GB ram running XP, can duel boot. -mine (computer thread tests were run on)

3) P4 2.8 H/T 512mb ram duel booting XP/Suse. -mine

4) Celleron 2GHz 512?mb ram duel boot XP/suse. -mums

5) AMD 64 bit 3200 1GB ram running XP. -brothers

I also have a crappy 500mhz celeron with 64mb ram, but I dont want to use it for rendering, Id rather keep it free to browse the net and remotly access the server. I was wanting to get the server as a master and the other 4 computers render slaves.

grimey, I think running a live linux is a great idea, he has the ram to be able to do it, as long as the scene we render isnt to big. Only problem is that I havent really done a lot of compiling etc, so may be a challenge to customise a live linux with blender 2.41 and dr queue installed, but when I get time I'll look into it.

I asked the 'powers to be' about using the school computers for rendering. Seems they just purchaced 12 P4 3GHz (plus I think they already had P4 2.4's or something), so that would be sweet. They just asked I put something in writing for the school board, so see how it goes. They are wanting to get away from M$ programs as well, so I think if I help them out a bit there, should be all good.

Thanks for the help guys,
MicWit

grimey
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:55 pm

Post by grimey »

They are wanting to get away from M$ programs as well
Methinks that's a mistake for school computers, so don't help them out! M$ is compatible with most student's home computers.

vizzy
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:36 am

linux for schools

Post by vizzy »

just wanna mention here that there is a great linux version especially designed for schools and classes/courses

its called 'Open School Server' and is actually at version 2.05 imho, using suse enterprise linux 9, and diffrent tools especially designed for school environment. developing goes on.

(beware of my bad english)
:)

LetterRip
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip »

grimey,
Methinks that's a mistake for school computers, so don't help them out! M$ is compatible with most student's home computers.
Depends on what they want to 'get away from' and 'for what'. Most students home computers will be able to run the major open source creative and productivity apps. OpenOffice, Firefox, Scribus, Inkscape, Gimp, and Blender all run on windows.

If it is a highschool then they shouldn't be teaching to a specific program, and should be focusing on general skillset. If it is a college then the courses that focus on specific software can have that software, but it doesn't mean that it should be on all campus computers.

Micosoft products can add up to a substantial cost for an institution so why should they stay with it if other products are 'good enough' and are available for all platforms that the students might use?

LetterRip

grimey
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:55 pm

Post by grimey »

No, most institutions apply and get M$ at significantly reduced cost, even free if they can live with an older OS. C'mon guys, MARKETING :P

Most parents want their kids employable after highschool as well. So, highschools are forced to teach to a skillset and software.

LetterRip
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip »

It is rather odd that you argue 'what parents have at home' but then switch to 'schools can get it cheap', once the arguement works better against windows specific software. The stuff covered in a school course shouldn't really touch on the stuff that is specific to MS Office. Ie you'd learn '=(SUM[D10:D20])' etc. which is the same for all spreadsheets.

Also you ignore the big issue of viruses, students changing settings, which is the major cost for school networks, in addition to software costs. For most schools going with windows could easily be more expensive.

LetterRip

grimey
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:55 pm

Post by grimey »

Nothing odd here... I said compatibility first because that's foremost. If the student can't work at home AND school, then what's the point? You brought up the issue of expense. So, I didn't switch arguments, I added to the discussion. Viruses are everywhere, dare I say that?

I'm not trying to argue with you about this, just discuss the issues.

MicWit
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:59 am
Location: Australia

Post by MicWit »

lol, the main m$ product they are stearing clear of at the moment is office. They will run star office (free for schools apparently), and will give all students who want a copy openoffice. They will also change the default save option to a .doc so that it will be compatible with office if they want to use it at home.

For now they are sticking with windows machines and a windows server, but I suggested that next time they do an upgrade, it is to a linux server. I know a lot of educational institutions get m$ stuff at a reduced cost, but they are a private school, and said that for them, the licencing fees were through the roof, and thats one reason they wanted some stuff to change.

I think the server would be great for a first upgrade from windows, as the students dont even see what goes server side, it is less likely to be hacked, it would run way faster for logons etc, and hey, its free!! Down the track if they did want to use linux on the computers, I think for a while at least, a duel boot would be a great idea. When my sister kept installing crap off the net (so bad that whenever the computer was on, we could bearly use the 512k dsl on out computers), mum backed everything up to get me to re-install, for the shock of her life when she got home and found linux on her computer. I duel booted linux (default) and windows (as she insisted on using publisher, and at first there were a few probs printing, which are now solved) however, I disabled the internet in windows, and only gave them user rights. One month down the track and its like nothing happened, in fact they are already more fluent with linux than windows (I told them they could do what they like, as everything that could stuff up the computer is behind a password only I know). I think a system like this would be ok for school down the track, as if windows was not on the internet there would be a lot of problems solved, the students would be able to learn linux, but if a cirtain program could not be installed in linux, then they could use windows. I think they should wait until there is a few more programs supported in linux yet though.

Having said this, any educational institute that wants to use any opensource software, I am willing to help out. The only reason that we are stuck on crappy m$ products is that education depts get them cheap, so when everyone finishes studying, that is what they use, so now they are considered standard. If people went through school using linux, then linux would be the standard, and there would be way more support for linux by other companies (like adobe, macromedia etc). If a few major countries could make linux the standard at schools, there would be more support for linux, plus, to get leagal software on our computers, we wouldnt be paying nearly as much on our home computers.

Remember, m$ give their software to educational institutions, because they know that means that if we are taught with it, then we have to buy it for home, plus our future employers will need it for us. I study at a TAFE locally, and they are using blender for the digital media course they have started up. They love it, as it costs them nothing (I think maya was what was going to be used originally), and they can give all the students the software to use on their computers at home.

Well, thats my 2 cents, sorry for boaring you,
MicWit

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