I am so wanting to do more tutorials.
I am finally going to break down and get a PVO card for the Octane as the documentation says I can capture desktop video.
There are two on Ebay for $400 and I will be picking one up within a week or two and finally diving into the tutorials I've been wanting to do since Nov.
I have looked into rendering across multiple SGI.
The only situation I know where you can use "satellite" rendering is with Maya 6.5 and Mental Ray. Though, I am not sure how much this was used.
Satellite Rendering is using multiple cpus across multiple computers/servers to render one frame. So you get more square buckets cooking your render from multiple computers. Each bucket (render square) is a CPU.
Network rendering is just having an instance of Mental Ray running in standalone mode on each workstation and when the network rendering mode is utilized it will send individual whole frames to each computer available. Then the computer will utilize its own resources to finish the frame and then save it to a network mapped drive.
I am not sure Mental Ray in Softimage has the ability to do satellite rendering.
We use Satellite rendering with vray quite often in the vfx industry. Usually if there are a couple computers in the farm going idle it will grab a few for satellite rendering. Then instead of 24 or 32 little 16x16 buckets I end up with around 64-96 little buckets and a 5 minute render, which used to be a very very fast render time back in 90s/2000s, can now be reduced to 45 seconds.
I had a great interest in seeing how much leverage I could get from a similar process in SGI machines since they seem built for this exact situation architecture wise. 64 Bit, big data pipes, etc.
But, it seems mostly that it is fairly straight forward local CPU based and then you use network computers to run individual frames one at a time on each computer.
Maya 6.5/Mental Ray might be the only satellite render method and from what I have read it didn't seem like I could find one usage case of it with/on SGI.
I do remember testing Maya 7 and trying to get Satellite rendering on my two computers back in 2005 and the second computer did render and add a bucket but it would render without textures. So I got this mosaic render where local buckets were textured and net buckets were untextured.
At some point though I will make an honest attempt to figure out what is possible in each 3d application and render engine. Which, if you just need your other computer to render full frames it is a pretty standard render farm situation to have networked computers process one frame at a time.
As a matter of fact i know Lightwave 5.6 can do it on anything. Setting up screamernet is not too hard. Mental Ray or Softimage software might be a little more tricky. But usually it involves installing a render node or copying the render software over and having it run on the network computer waiting for a command from the render hub. Since I bought the o200 specifically to do this task I am hoping that if/when I figure it out that I can make a tutorial that makes sense.