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Building a render farm

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December 19, 2012 9:35:09 AM

Hello,
please can i get a specification for a render farm to render scenes with over 150 million polygons using 3ds max design 2011. I'm presently using a
Dell precision T3500
Intel(R)Xeon(R) CPU E5630 @ 2.53GHz 2.53GHz
12gb ram. but it seems the processor is not fast enough as the system drags while modelling a scene of about a hundred chairs (50 million polygons) and i still need to model and render an auditorium scene of 6,000 chairs. i guess that will be about 3000000000 (3billion polygons).

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December 19, 2012 11:45:18 AM

This would be a massive setup compared with the Dell you have now.

I don't have experience configuring an actual render farm (I just use Max 2013 on a single workstation) but there are certainly people here who can make suggestions.

The issue I see here is not finding the processing power you will need to render your project out but IMO you will have trouble working with a scene of that scale (3 billion polygons). By the time you have everything modeled and put into place the viewport lag will be unbearable.

Before going out and spending vast amounts of dough on your render farm I would look at optimizing your scene. Do you really need each chair to be composed of 500,000 polygons? There are ways you can bring the poly count down to a workable level.

Always better to have an efficient design than just throwing brute processing force at it.

Hope others can help with the hardware side of things.

Good luck!

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December 20, 2012 1:46:00 PM

you are right, that has been a major concern for me as to how to work with the scene because view port lag will set in before i'm done placing 50chairs and i need to place 6000 chairs, because the auditorium design concept is like a stadium. so getting the scene ready is the first challenge, and rendering it is the second. Can you explain how to reduce the polygon count.
Even after reducing the polygon count, 6000 chairs will most likely result in viewport lag. Any ideas?
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December 29, 2012 4:23:27 PM

You could try the optimize modifier.

http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/15/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/ind...

That might help but it's always better to design your model to be as simple as possible when you build it from the ground up.

A common approach employed by many in the games industry is to model a very low-poly mesh and then use various mapping techniques to fake a higher level of detail that's calculated when you render out your scene.

There is so much anyone could write on the subject but I suppose you could start by searching for info on "normal" and "displacement" maps, learn how they work and how you can use them to your advantage in your project.

You will also need a good understanding of "UV Co-ordinates" to make this work.

This is all entry level stuff but it's a good place to start.

Google will help you find just about all the information you will need and there are plenty of free tutorials around to help get you going.

If you get stuck somewhere along the line I could probably help you out but right now I gotta go.

Good luck!
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January 4, 2013 10:24:11 AM

Viewport lag has nothing to do with your processing, you need a better graphic card, like the quadro series, but if you want to save serious $$$ you can get a high end gaming card instead for $500. Quadro might cost more than $2000!
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