Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most common issues. If you feel that something is missing here, you should first see How to get help, and if your question still hasn't been covered, you should contact us.

Rendering problems

Something seems to go wrong, what can I do to analyze the problem?

The first thing is to check the history of the net job chunk - chances are good that the problem will appear there; you should also check the textual output of the client for that chunk. If it is a connection problem or similar, you should check the event log of the client and the server as well. Also, double check your net job settings and render sets.

Some scenes are rendered incorrectly, what could be the cause?

Even if we can't tell you what the causes might be, there is one thing that often helps: re-saving the scene to a different file. Especially in the case of Maya this can be helpful. Please remember that RenderPal V2 itself doesn't render.

My renderers keep crashing while rendering, what shall I do?

The problem is that many renderers tend to have memory leaks, so over time, they consume more and more memory, and this leads to instability. The only way around this is to render in smaller chunks (e.g., render 10 frames at once instead of 100).

I constantly get errors, help me!

If this really is the case, there must be something wrong with either your configuration, the used render sets, the net jobs, maybe your network... you see, there can be many causes. Take a look into the event and output logs - they will often be a true revelation. If not, re-check all your settings, the render sets and so on. If nothing helps, contact us and describe your problems as detailed as possible.

The clients can't find my scenes, what might be wrong?

Always make sure that the client actually can find the scene! This means that the path of the scene has to be available to the client. So, if you try to render C:\MyScene.scene, the client usually won't have this file.

My renderings all fail, but RenderPal V2 still reports them as succeeded.

RenderPal V2 can't really know if the images are correct, or if there are actually images; it can only look out for certain errors in the textual output of the renderer and check the (numerical) return code of the rendering process. However, not all renderers return a useful return code, or simply don't print textual output, and in these cases, RenderPal V2 can't know that something went wrong. However, you can use the built-in automatic frame checking to counter these problems.

My GPU renderer doesn't work when the client is running as a service.

Due to Windows security restrictions (starting with Windows Vista), it is impossible for a service to access the graphics card. You have to configure the client to automatically start via Autorun if you want to use your GPU for rendering.

My renderings using MentalRay for Maya only use a low CPU percentage.

First, make sure that you have selected MentalRay as the active renderer in Maya. In the "Render" menu, open the "Batch Render" options and uncheck the option "Auto Render Threads"; set the value below to the number of cores you have in your machine. This is actually a bug in Maya/MentalRay.

3dsMax is giving me "unknown" errors.

If 3dsMax gives you errors like Error rendering frame 0: Unknown error while loading application, make sure that you have Backburner installed on your nodes as well. Even though this isn't used by RenderPal itself, 3dsMax might need it for commandline rendering.

Networking problems

My clients or remote controllers won't connect, what might be the problem?

There can be many different reasons why a connection can't be made. The most likely is a firewall (either hard- or software) or router blocking the connection port (default ports are: 6507/TCP for clients, 7506/TCP for remote controllers, 2705/UDP for client heartbeats and 4305&4306/TCP for the update server). In some cases, another software might also conflict or interfere with the connections.

Wake-on-LAN doesn't seem to work under Windows 8.

Please read the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article for details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2776718.

Windows problems

RenderPal and UAC (inexplicable "Scene not found" errors and similar).

Since Vista, Windows contains a feature called UAC (User Account Control); this is meant to protect the computer and the user, though it also imposes heavy restrictions on applications. RenderPal is a highly advanced and complex software and these restrictions are usually too strict for it to work properly. Due to this, we highly recommend to disable UAC on the RenderPal V2 Server machine; this usually won't do any harm, as UAC mainly protects the computer from "accidental user actions" and not from real threats.

The autostart feature is not working properly, what could cause this?

This might well be due to the problem described above. If the autostart feature of RenderPal does not work properly, try to disable UAC first; in most cases, this should fix your problem.

Windows 10: Cannot access mapped network drives

A common problem introduced with Windows 10 is that you cannot access mapped network drives anymore; RenderPal V2 tries to fix this, but security and permission problems might prevent this to work. If you are having this particular problem, first try to reboot your machine after running RenderPal V2. If this doesn't help, take a look at this link.

Linux/MacOSX problems

Is there any graphical user interface for Linux/MacOSX?

The RenderPal V2 Submitter is available for Linux and MacOSX. The other graphical components of RenderPal V2 are currently not available for these operating systems, but RenderPal V2 is compatible with Wine (a popular Windows emulator for Linux and MacOSX)! Another easy way to use the GUI versions under Linux or MacOSX is to use virtualization.

RenderPal V2 doesn't work on my 64bit Linux system.

To run RenderPal V2 on a 64bit Linux system, you might need to install the ia32-libs first. The exact way to do this varies from distribution to distribution; more information can be found at http://ssb.stsci.edu/ureka/dev/docs/32bit_iraf.html.

Miscellaneous problems

Does RenderPal V2 come with any renderers, or will I need them separately?

RenderPal V2 does not come with any renderer, and thus requires an existing installation of the renderers you want to use.

Do you have any tips on setting up a render farm?

Here are some useful hints:
  • All scenes and scene-related files should reside on a dedicated file server running a server OS
  • The RenderPal V2 Server can run on the file server or on a separate machine
  • Artists' workstations can be used for rendering when they are idle
  • No scene-related files should ever reside on the workstations
  • RenderPal V2 can shutdown unused machines to save energy, as well as wake up them when needed

About RenderPal V2

RenderPal V2 is a powerful, feature-rich, yet easy to use Render Farm Manager for  Maya, 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, V-Ray, VRED, Modo, SketchUp, After Effects, Arnold and many more.

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