Network rendering allows you to distribute frame rendering across a network. This is helpful with single frame renders of complex scenes when you don't want to tie up your primary computer. It's a necessity when you're rendering hundreds of frames on a deadline.
Organize projects in folders containing all the project files. This makes it easy to find everything while the project is active and again after it has been archived to CD.
For network rendering, copy all project files to a designated root folder. This allows the use of a batch file to initiate the network node(s).
Setting Up ScreamerNet II
1. Make the shared directory accessible to all network machines. Life will be easier if the network drive letter is the same as the actual drive letter.
2. Copy Lwsn.exe and all .dll files from your LightWave > Programs folder to the shared project folder.
3. Create a command folder in the shared project folder (Figure 2).
4. Open LightWave on the primary (control) computer. The control computer is typically your primary work machine with the dongle.
5. Click the button to open the .
6. The Network Rendering Method should be set to ScreamerNet II (Figure 3). Click the Command Directory button and find the command folder you created in Step 3.
7. Select No when you are asked if you want to initialize. We'll initialize later.
8. Close LightWave .
9. Copy the lw.cfg file from your LightWave > Programs folder to the shared project folder.
10. Open lw.cfg in Notepad and make sure the content directory is set to the shared project folder. Correct it if necessary.
11. Open a DOS window on the rendering machine(s). Change drives and directories to the shared project folder. The format for starting ScreamerNet appears below. Figure 6 shows the line entry for our example.
[command folder path] is the command folder path, and
[CPU #] is the number designation you want this computer to be on the ScreamerNet
12. Confirm that the current directory matches the shared project folder. The message LightWave command: wait will repeat every second.
13. You can create a DOS batch file to do this automatically for you. Create a lwsn.bat file following the format in Figure 7 and assign it to a DOS shortcut as shown in Figure 8 (Win98).
14. Open LightWave on the control computer. Make sure that all network nodes are running lwsn with the repeating LightWave command: wait message.
15. Click the button and open the .
16. Click the button to initialize the rendering network. LightWave will query the network nodes and tell you what it found (Figure 9). The CPUs will be listed by the number assigned in the lwsn command line (Figure 10).
17. Click the button to select a scene for rendering (Figure 11). Scenes will be rendered according to Render panel settings.
18. If you need to change rendering parameters, clickto delete the scene, close the Network Rendering Panel, make the Render Panel changes, save the scene, reopen Network Rendering, and add the scene again.
19. Click the button to start rendering. Network nodes will give a line by line description of the rendering process. The Network Rendering Panel will list rendering progress (Figure 11).
20. The [Esc] key will abort rendering. However, it may take a while for the network nodes to finish their current task and abort. If you get impatient and Ctl+break the network nodes, run the lwsn command line (Step 11, 13) from the nodes and reinitialize the ScreamerNet from the control machine (Step 14 and beyond).
Reference: LW 5.5 User Guide Section 12.3