Virtualization, High Performance Computing, Healthcare IT, Enterprise Computing
Maya is a popular network renderer used for Hollywood movies and a variety of other applications. It can be used on clusters of workstations, as well as HPC Server 2008. While there is no native HPC Server 2008 integration as of this post, it is fairly straight-forward to integrate Maya’s mental ray renderer with some scripting.
The scripting language I chose was Perl, though any language you like will work. ( You can download Perl for Windows free from ActiveState).
Before you begin do the following:
on each compute node to the license server for Maya.
2. set the PATH to the Maya Mental Ray renderer, which by default is
3. Make sure the designers export to the “.mi” format which is the Mental Ray format.
4. Finally, make sure the designers are referencing resources using relative paths, and not hardcoded paths like c:\myresoure.img which will not exist at render time on the compute nodes.
The custom script I created called “render.pl” takes a few arguments , the job ( In .mi format, required for Mental Ray rendering), the start frame, the end frame, and the number of frames per job.
Each job (or task) takes a chunk of the frames and renders them to images/, the more nodes you have the more you can render in parallel to speed up the render job.
The script generates the HPC Server 2008 jobs based on the user input, ultimately calling the Maya Mental Ray renderer with
The advantage of using HPC Server 2008 for Maya is HPC Server 2008 has all the built in scheduling, job management, and job submission built in. In this case the cluster was being used for many other applications, so Maya was able to play nicely with the existing cluster.
Tags: HPC Server 2008