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  1. #1

    melmation's Avatar
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    Hi.

    I can't think properly of what to Google to find this, so I thought I would ask the clever guys and gals of Mac-Forums.

    Basically, I heard a while back that you can link two macs together, and sort of render farm the rendering process in Final Cut Pro to two Macs.

    So, for example, if you had a new intel Mac, but had an old 800Ghz power pc, you could keep the old one, hook it up somehow, and when you render something out in Final Cut pro, it shares the processor power between the two computers.

    Does anyone have a link to how to do this on the web? or indeed, have any of you done this and are willing to tell me how to set it up?

    Thank you for your advice in advance.
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  2. #2

    Jeff's Avatar
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    Let me start by saying Render fars are awesome. I like them because they are totally ghetto. As for what you need:
    1. Computers (anything will do, but Linux is necessary for this cheap setup)
    2. Spare RAM, video cards, and network cards
    3. A clone tool. You can pay $70 for Symantec Norton Ghost, or use Ghost for Linux for a free-er option.
    4. A render application. You can use Maya for $7000 or you can get SoftImage for $500. <(probably the better option)
    5. A network hub.
    6. A logical partition or a network storage drive.
    7. A KVM switch ($$$) or VNC (no $$$)
    8. A queue manager. Use Google to find DrQueue. That's the free way to go.

    That is everything you need. The setup takes some time and tweaking, but you can get it all to come together.
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  3. #3

    Benjamindaines's Avatar
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    It's really not worth doing since you need at least one computer just to control the cluster (won't do any rendering) but what you would do is have FCP installed on all the "nodes" (computers on the cluster) (you will need to buy a license for each or this won't work). Also install DVD Studio Pro and QMaster. On your controller computer use the QMaster software to set it as the controller and then on the render nodes set them as render nodes. Then you will need a network switcher to connect them all with GigabitEithernet (anything slower will not have good results, fiber channel is prefered). Now your cluster should show up in Compressor (assuming you have setup QMaster on your main editing computer to see the cluster).

    After all that you still wouldn't see that much increase since 800MHz really won't help much with your renders. If you have say 3 Mac Pros hooked up this way you would see HUGE speed increases.

    My instructions are pretty bad, but it's all there in the Final Cut Pro manual if you want to see better instructions.

  4. #4

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamindaines View Post
    It's really not worth doing since you need at least one computer just to control the cluster (won't do any rendering) but what you would do is have FCP installed on all the "nodes" (computers on the cluster) (you will need to buy a license for each or this won't work). Also install DVD Studio Pro and QMaster. On your controller computer use the QMaster software to set it as the controller and then on the render nodes set them as render nodes. Then you will need a network switcher to connect them all with GigabitEithernet (anything slower will not have good results, fiber channel is prefered). Now your cluster should show up in Compressor (assuming you have setup QMaster on your main editing computer to see the cluster).

    After all that you still wouldn't see that much increase since 800MHz really won't help much with your renders. If you have say 3 Mac Pros hooked up this way you would see HUGE speed increases.

    My instructions are pretty bad, but it's all there in the Final Cut Pro manual if you want to see better instructions.
    This works very very well, if you have high end computers, with it I am currently experimenting with a few high end mini's and my friend is doing it with last gen powermac g4's, both ways are giving an insane amount of extra power.

    I was thinking about trying out xgrid and seeing if that will give me any difference, but I am not sure what is required for that, currently researching.
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  5. #5

    Benjamindaines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerBookG4 View Post
    This works very very well, if you have high end computers, with it I am currently experimenting with a few high end mini's and my friend is doing it with last gen powermac g4's, both ways are giving an insane amount of extra power.

    I was thinking about trying out xgrid and seeing if that will give me any difference, but I am not sure what is required for that, currently researching.
    I was thinking of buying like 4 Mini's and using my old iMac as the controller, but I don't have the cash So it's just C2DPower™ for me.

    I think you might need a fiberchannel network for Xgrid... not sure don't know much about it.

  6. #6

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamindaines View Post
    I was thinking of buying like 4 Mini's and using my old iMac as the controller, but I don't have the cash So it's just C2DPower™ for me.

    I think you might need a fiberchannel network for Xgrid... not sure don't know much about it.
    Yeah, the reason I was thinking about xgrid because qmaster does not render in final cut, it only works with compressor, which is great for exporting and dvd studio pro, and rendering in shake, but not actually rendering for preview purposes in final cut. I didn't know if Xgrid, sent all tasks through out the network, or it if was just the same as qmaster, with only being certain tasks.. do you know?

    as for the main reason for this thread: I would say use for 800mhz computer as the controller for the cluster and buy a few computers to actually do the processing.
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  7. #7

    Benjamindaines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerBookG4 View Post
    Yeah, the reason I was thinking about xgrid because qmaster does not render in final cut, it only works with compressor, which is great for exporting and dvd studio pro, and rendering in shake, but not actually rendering for preview purposes in final cut. I didn't know if Xgrid, sent all tasks through out the network, or it if was just the same as qmaster, with only being certain tasks.. do you know?

    as for the main reason for this thread: I would say use for 800mhz computer as the controller for the cluster and buy a few computers to actually do the processing.
    Just looked and XGrid will work over a standard network but you need OS X Server to control it. Unless someone can find a work around...

    PS sorry to hijack your thread but this XGrid business interests me, and you could use it

  8. #8

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    I think Xgrid is a good option for you to use as a cluster for final cut pro... I am going to do some serious research on this (wikipedia.org, apple.com?) and get back to you with possible solutions. Ben, if you know anything or stumble upon anything in your own searches report back.
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  9. #9

    macAttack's Avatar
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    this sounds as if it would answer everything?

    http://daugerresearch.com/pooch/recipe.shtml

  10. #10

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    that appears to have to have an application written for it, according to some of the stuff I was reading on it. I may try it later with final cut as a test and will report back, but I am about to go out for the night so will try it tomorrow.
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  11. #11

    Benjamindaines's Avatar
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    I found this http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/180...Container_link but I don't know much about it, only that it doesn't look like it will work with Compressor (which is what I would mostly want it for). I have it sort of set up, meaning that the controller comes up in my other Mac's xgrid preferences but how do I get it setup with FCP? I don't know.

  12. #12

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamindaines View Post
    I found this http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/180...Container_link but I don't know much about it, only that it doesn't look like it will work with Compressor (which is what I would mostly want it for). I have it sort of set up, meaning that the controller comes up in my other Mac's xgrid preferences but how do I get it setup with FCP? I don't know.
    I am going to buy the OSX Server and put it on a mini I think. Thanks though, it looks very good, but looking at osx server looks like it does more then the Lite version, plus the other features of server look like some stuff I could use.
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  13. #13

    Benjamindaines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerBookG4 View Post
    I am going to buy the OSX Server and put it on a mini I think. Thanks though, it looks very good, but looking at osx server looks like it does more then the Lite version, plus the other features of server look like some stuff I could use.
    Sounds good, I think I'll just be sticking to the one computer does everything approach

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