LightWave 2018

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Introduction

There are two parts to using NRC as a simple render controller for network rendering of LightWave scenes. First we will cover the use with homogeneous networks - that's to say networks of machines all running the same platform - then a smaller section on how to create renderfarms with a mix of Windows and OSX machines.

Getting Started

Network rendering has to be really locked down. If you are accustomed to having scenes with content brought in from all over the place - your desktop, a friend's USB key, your computer's Images folder - stop it. Right now. For successful network rendering (indeed, it's best for all rendering, particularly if you are not the only one working on a scene), you need to adhere to LightWave's holy trinity of Scenes, Objects and Images directories. Not only that, but you want to bake anything that is based on random factors that might be different on the different machines in your farm.

Next, you might even want to install a second special install of LightWave that you will use exclusively for network rendering. This one should have dedicated config files that will be used instead of the normal ones, created with network rendering in mind. Lastly, you will need to prepare scenes for being rendered on the network.

Install

NRC will work with your standard LightWave install, but wants to have its configs separate (so that plugins will work over the network). Create a LightWave folder in a network-accessible area of your machine. To make things simple create two folders - config and content. Copy the entire support folder from your normal installation of LightWave.

config

Copy your LightWave configuration files into this config directory. On Windows machines, by default the LightWave config files are located in C:\Users\<username>\.NewTek\LightWave\2018.x - copy the contents of this folder into the configs directory you have made. For OSX machines, the process is identical, but the folder is here: User/<username>/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2018.x. By default, access to this folder is restricted, but you can either use Go > Go to folder... or go to your Documents folder where there is a Symbolic Link to the correct folder.

Copy all the files in this folder to the configs folder you have made

content

This is where you should store scenes that are going to be rendered. All scenes that will be rendered over the network need to be:

  1. Contained within a LightWave content directory.
  2. Should have a rendered image save path explicitly defined (It is best to define a save path inside the content directory).
  3. Should have all random elements baked. This includes simulations, radiosity and images.

support

The third thing to organize for a render farm is your plugins folder. LightWave relies on its range of built-in plugins to do many things, from animation to saving images. It is vital that your plugins are available for the network render to work. This is perhaps the hardest thing to manage, but it shouldn't be. Start by copying your LightWave's support directory to our network-accessible location. You should now have three folders in our LightWave directory - config, content and support.

NRC Setup

The NRC Controller can be launched from the LightWave directory and will look like the above to start. Start filling it in by finding your config directory through the network. Next add the directory that contains your copied support folder.

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