Tech details...

Here's some details Ricky requested in a comment...

So in my situation I use Cinema 4d... I also do a lot of After effects work... When doing WATS I had my source media on 4 or 5 different computers...this caused a lot of slowdowns and got real annoying when machines would crash or needed to be restarted..

To create a Cinema 4d render farm... You need the render server running on one computer and the render client software running on your slave/node computers... I had the render server software running on one of my render slaves... this caused slowdowns because the cpu had to try to render using %100 of the CPU AND manage the render server and all the files it was sending across the network.... ALSO all the finished render files take up a lot of space and seeing that the render server was running on a render client the hard drive was small and I had to constantly move media off of it because it would fill up...

ALSO your 3d programs need to store they're textures somewhere which can get really big AND the render clients need these texture files in order to render...

When compositing in AE I'm pulling in the final rendered files etc...

SOoooooo this is where my centralized storage comes in to hold all these thing... To run the render server software...to store the final rendered files and the texture files...

The computer I was using as a file server later in the WATS production is too slow for the new film so I'm building a new one.... All you need a low end dual core CPU... 1-2gb ram... the biggest drive you can get 1tb for now... A motherboard with at least 4 sata ports OR a Sata PCi addon card and a motherboard with a gigabit connection OR a gigabit addon PCi card... a case with room for 4 or more drives... Here's the one I'm building for the new film...Click to see a bigger version...



Plug this thing into a UPS battery backup system and your solid.

So I guess the 3 main components to a 3d animation microstudio would be... Workstation...Render Farm... File Server

Might as well show you what I'm planning to get... I get all this stuff from newegg.com

Workstation 8 CPU (specs from the poormans macpro link I posted before)


This is the 4 CPU workstation I was thinking of building before...Price now $2500.00 but after Intel price cuts in 2 weeks it will be $2300.00... but I'll be building an 8 cpu one instead of this...


And this is the 4 node render farm... I'm choosing the q9300 over the q6600 because I dont plan on overclocking(much ^ ^) and the 45nm CPU has a lower power output and it faster per clock... You'll notice there are no cases...thats because I'm putting them in the Helmer cabinet like the link in a previous post... I can add 2 nodes later if I want...


You'll also notice an 8 port KVM and gigabit switch is in there too... I could use VnC instead of a KVM but I like the hardware control... All these systems will run XP 64 hence the 8 gigs of RAM ^ ^ Vista terrifies me so I'll be on XP for another production...first time for 64 though.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the write up, Mdot. I'm a geek like you, so I enjoyed reading through your set up and checking the specs for your WS and Render farm. Looks like you are getting a solid set up there. I build my own systems too and recently (Dec) spent a lot of time researching and putting it together. The Tyan boards are great. And I was very impressed with the Cosmos case (quiet, roomy, cool), but it's frickin huge and wouldn't fit under my workdesk. I imagine you've got a lot more room.

    I noticed you are getting a 350w PSU for the new file server; might be a bit low wattage with the hardware you are using. And I was wondering if you'd have a faster throughput with two 500gb hard-drives in raid, rather than one tb drive, although the Hitachi is supposed be a blazing fast one.

    I'm very interested to see how your render-farm set up works. I read the article on the 8 core set up and it sounded very cool. Will heat be a n issue? I didn't see a Heat sink/fan combo listed on your new egg list, are you going to use the stock coolers on everything?

    Smart staying with XP. Vista gives me nightmares. The new 64 bit system should really help you out on the new production.

    Again, thanks for going into such detail. And good luck playing with your new toys!

    -Ricky

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