Distributed Rendering issues

Problem

My Forest objects render fine locally, but fail using Distribution Rendering. What is the problem ?

Solution

There are two common causes for this issue: the plug-in is not properly installed, or there are missing textures/proxies. As a first step, try this:

  1. Create a test scene with a simple object (as a teapot) scattered with Forest. Don't use any textures in the materials.
  2. Render it using Distributed Rendering.

If the object is visible on DR nodes, the plug-in is installed correctly. In this case, go to step B), if not continue with A)

Step A: Installation Error

Probably the plugin is not properly installed in the render nodes, or it's from a different version. For each slave node:

  1. Be sure Max and VRay Spawner (if using VRay) are stopped.
  2. Delete ForestVRay150sp3.dll, ForestVRay20.dll and ForestVRay30.dll from the Max root folder (some files may not exist, depending of the VRay version), and ForestPackPro.dlo from "plugins".
  3. Reinstall Forest using the setup program, or manually as described here.
  4.  Repeat the rendering test.
Step B: Missing textures/proxies

If the teapot renders correctly, you should check that all textures and external references used in your Forest objects, can be loaded by the render nodes.

  1. Textures not included with Forest (as HQ Plants or XFrog maps), must be added to the Max configuration using Customize->Configure User Paths->External files, or editing directly the file 3dsmax.ini. The ini file is stored here

    C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk\3dsmax\<max version>\enu\3dsmax.ini

    See the [BitmapDirs] section (you can copy it from a installed workstation). Repeat for each render node.
  2. For VRay proxies, use always UNC paths. Be sure DR nodes have permissions to the shared network folders (if used). Anyway, with Forest it's not necessary to use proxies; you can use the geometry directly or as XRef objects. Internally all items are handled as native instances of the render engine.