Old School Render Farms

Video, software tools and techniques on SGI systems.
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Timberoz
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Old School Render Farms

Unread postby Timberoz » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:50 am

I was searching for some images of SGI render farms & stumbled across this little gem.

http://static.howstuffworks.com/mpeg/cfx-machines.mpg

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mila
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Re: Old School Render Farms

Unread postby mila » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:26 am

I will show it to my wife so she won't complain about the noise in the basement :)
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Re: Old School Render Farms

Unread postby 87Porsche » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:38 am


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foetz
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Re: Old School Render Farms

Unread postby foetz » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:36 pm

eMGee wrote:Good find, great video. Dear lord, how much must that have cost back then!


thought the same :D
and why all those workstations instead of a few origins or challenges?
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guardian452
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Re: Old School Render Farms

Unread postby guardian452 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:33 pm

Because apparently it's better for everybody to have their own workstation than a bunch of multi-seat machines; they do have onyxes for the back end. Spared no expense ;)
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bri3d
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Re: Old School Render Farms

Unread postby bri3d » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:45 pm

Compared to the Onyx the CRM graphics in O2 is a bad joke, so I doubt SGI really had to worry about competing with themselves there.

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Re: Old School Render Farms

Unread postby SAQ » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:04 pm

foetz wrote:
eMGee wrote:Good find, great video. Dear lord, how much must that have cost back then!


thought the same :D
and why all those workstations instead of a few origins or challenges?


Looks like the workstations are for the creation. They probably went with Octanes for the artists who did mostly wireframe and solids (most likely with SI or SSI) and saved the Onyxes for the people who needed texturing or a "realtime" frame-rate (showing progress to the studio reps). The O2s I'm not sure of - perhaps for the texturing people?

In addition to the cheaper hardware the software licenses might have cost less as well, similar to the Discreet apps being cheaper on "smaller" boxes. I know Boeing looks to have had smaller boxes for the beginning work (Indy/Indigo2 Solid/Octane SI/SSI) and bigger boxes (texture-equipped IMPACTs and Onyxes) for the later stages.

Looks like they had a Linuxbox renderfarm, or maybe they used Origins/Challenges there as well. The SGI magic wouldn't have been as critical there, since it's just number crunching.
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