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This article appeared first on Chaos Group Laboratories Blog and is published with the permission of Chaos Group.
V-Ray Swarm is new to V-Ray for Revit, V-Ray for Rhino, and V-Ray for SketchUp. You can use all processing power (CPU or GPU) of your computers with a slider. You can also monitor Swarm through a web interface. V-Ray Swarm will speed up workflow of progressive rendering and final frame rendering.
Rendering on more than one machine
Distributed rendering has been a part of V-Ray since the beginning. The general idea is that renderings can be broken up into many little tasks. Render engines like V-Ray take advantage of this by distributing those tasks among the many cores (GPU or CPU) on your computer. The simplest way is by rendering small portions of the image (buckets). As each bucket is done, it moves on to the next one that is not being worked on by another core. Distributed rendering takes it a step further and adds more cores by talking to other computers on the network. Through the local network, it gets all the data that it needs to render a bucket, calculates it, sends it back, and moves on to the next task.
In order to use DR, V-Ray had to be installed on every machine that you needed to render on. Then you would have to launch a Spawner program that would listen over the network if it had any tasks to do.
Then from the computer you are launching DR you need to know the network address (usually the IP) of every computer you want to use. Additionally, you would need to know the port used for DR. When going to render, you would need to select which computers you want to use, and then render.
Some of the limitations of this old system is that you had to know the port and all the addresses of the DR machines. Additionally, you would have to know how much power each DR machine had and if it was up to the task at hand. You also needed to make sure that every DR machine was using the exact same version of V-Ray.
V-Ray Swarm - an evolution of distributed rendering
You can now use every computer resource of your local network. Swarm can manage resources, so the users on the Swarm machines will generally not even be aware that their computers are being used for rendering.
Limitations: Swarm uses LAN, it's not suited for WAN network. Swarm needs to operate on the same subnet.
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