3D Studio R4 IRIX render node

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vmul
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3D Studio R4 IRIX render node

Unread postby vmul » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:41 am

I was a keen 3DS user back in the day but only learned recently that Autodesk had ported the R4 network renderer to IRIX (http://www.4crawler.com/Docs/sgirender.txt). I don't recall much being made of this - I suspect the fact that any plug-ins involved a render would need recompilation to run on an SG combined with the imminent arrival of MAX and the shift to NT makes it unlikely to have been used much.

Just in case though - anyone here ever use it?

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SiliconClassics
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Re: 3D Studio R4 IRIX render node

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:25 am

Been wondering about this one too - sounds intriguing, but I've never seen or heard of anyone actually using it, and I've never run across a copy.

Probably because Autodesk kind of got it backwards with this one - render nodes should be cheap, common machines bought en masse and networked into an inexpensive farm. That's what studios were doing in the late '90s: the actual 3D modeling & animation was created on expensive SGI workstations with fast 3D hardware, then they farmed out the rendering to cheap beige x86 boxes with little to no graphics capability. Modeling/animating on a PC and then rendering on an SGI was not cost-effective, and anybody who could afford an Indigo2/Onyx could probably also afford a copy of Softimage or Alias to actually utilize that fancy 3D hardware.

Still, I'd love to see a copy of this renderer in action.
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vmul
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Re: 3D Studio R4 IRIX render node

Unread postby vmul » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:58 am

Agreed, I suspect either this was a miscalculation or a bit of frivolous corporate chest-beating. Heck knows where one could dig up a copy. I imagine Autodesk tossed the cupboard full of CDs into a skip about 20 years ago.

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scottE
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Re: 3D Studio R4 IRIX render node

Unread postby scottE » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:12 pm

SiliconClassics wrote:Probably because Autodesk kind of got it backwards with this one - render nodes should be cheap, common machines bought en masse and networked into an inexpensive farm. That's what studios were doing in the late '90s: the actual 3D modeling & animation was created on expensive SGI workstations with fast 3D hardware, then they farmed out the rendering to cheap beige x86 boxes with little to no graphics capability.


Mostly this was true, but it wasn't always the case for smaller studios. I know Cyan, Inc. (makers of Myst/Riven &c.) used an R10k-based SGI Challenge to do rendering on for Riven.

I think it's a matter of if you have it anyway, may as well use what you've got.
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