Quick render farm setup tutorial for SketchUp users

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Setting up a render farm for SketchUp with RenderPal V2 is quite easy. To help you get started, we've created this small introductory tutorial. The following steps are guidelines that will show you the easiest way to set up your farm; if you are unsure about how to execute a certain step, take a look at the various other resources found on this site.

To be able to use SketchUp in conjunction with RenderPal V2, you will need the Pro version of SketchUp (otherwise, a startup dialog of SketchUp will prevent automatic rendering).
  • Step 1: Install the RenderPal V2 Server on your controller machine (i.e., the machine that will act as the server of your render farm); this can also be one of your worker machines. We also offer a free 3 nodes license for the RenderPal V2 Server, which is especially good for extended testing.
  • Step 2: Install SketchUp and the RenderPal V2 Client on each machine that should be used for rendering.
  • Step 3a: Run the RenderPal V2 Client, open its options using the Tools menu and select the Client/Settings tab. In the Heartbeat group, enter the address of your server machine (see Step 1). This step will make the client report its existence to the server.
  • Step 3b: Your clients should now appear automatically in the RenderPal V2 Server. By default, they will be added to the Default pool, but you can create new pools and reassign the clients to your needs using the Client management.
  • Step 4: Now open the Remote client configuration in the RenderPal V2 Server (either by using the Server menu or by pressing Ctrl+K). Select all your clients (note that the client machines have to be turned on and that the RenderPal V2 Client must be running), switch to the Renderers tab, select the SketchUp renderer and configure the path to the SketchUp executable. Apply the settings.
  • Step 5: On your artists' machines, install the RenderPal V2 Submitter, which also comes with a script that can be used to submit jobs directly from within SketchUp; read the included Readme.txt and Install.txt for details about how to install this script.
    By default, the submitter is installed in C:\Program Files\RenderPal V2 Submitter or C:\Program Files (x86)\RenderPal V2\Submitter; the submitter scripts can then be found in the SubmitterScripts sub-directory.

Note: Since RenderPal V2 2.12, V-Ray for SketchUp is supported as well as the native SketchUp renderer; more plugin renderers will follow in the future.

Further useful hints

  • All scenes and scene-related files should reside on a dedicated file server running a server OS
  • Artists' workstations can be used for rendering when they are idle
  • No scene-related files should ever reside on these workstations
  • RenderPal V2 can shutdown unused machines to save energy, as well as wake up them when needed
  • A great start for new users is our Installation & Setup guide
  • Take a look at our other tutorials
  • Read our answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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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