Note: This is rough and minimal now, but hopefully a good start!
- Concept: One computer will run Loki in 'master' mode, and then as many computers as you want in 'grunt' mode. The master controls and manages jobs, and the grunts do all the hard work. Note that you can also specify the master to run as both master and grunt, so that it gets to work as well as monitoring jobs.
- If you haven't already, on each computer Download Blender and remember where you put it. Use the same version of Blender across all computers!
- Hop down to the relevant section for your operating system
I have no idea since I don't have a Mac, but you'll probably:
- install a package, or
- download an install file and, well, install it.
(Any Mac users that can help improve this section?)
- If you don't already have Java installed, go [here], download Java.
- Install Java from the downloaded file.
- I'm a ubuntu boy myself and it's as simple as opening a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and typing:
sudo apt-get install default-jre
- If it was already installed, no harm done; apt-get will just tell you it had nothing to do.
something similar with yum and the like.
On each computer that will participate, you will:
- Download the latest Loki Render jar file [here].
- On any operating system these days, you can usually just double-click on the jar file, and it should launch Loki Render. Sometimes you may need to make sure that the file has execute permission, which can be checked by right-clicking > permissions > enable execution.
- You can also launch from a terminal like so:
java -jar lokirender<version>.jar
- Launching from a terminal can be useful if Loki's misbehaving; it allows you to see Loki's log babble.
- The first time you start up Loki it will ask you for the blender executable. That's the file in the unzipped Blender folder that's called simply 'blender'.
- Note that you want one and only one master, and then one or more grunts. Loki will warn you if you already have a master up.
Creating a job
All on the master:
- In Blender, get your blend file EXACTLY like you want it, as if you were about to render it in the GUI. Make sure all your project files are packed in the blend file and save.
- You can close Blender now.
Now in Loki:
- Right click on the empty space in the Job Queue and click 'New Job'
- Fill out the following
- Name: whatever you want; needs to be unique
- Project File: Browse and select your blend file that you just saved.
- Output Directory: Where your rendered images will be placed.
- Output File Prefix: use something unique - this will go on the beginning of all your rendered image filenames.
- First Frame: First frame in the frame range
- Last Frame: Last frame in the frame range
- Enable automatic file transfer: leave this enabled
- Click 'Save'
- You'll now see your job in the queue. You should also see all gyour grunts in the right box.
- click 'Start' and watch your grunts go to work:-)
- When the job is done, look in your output folder to see your finished images.
- Note that by default, Loki is in Auto file transfer and caching mode, which means Loki handles all the file shuffling across the network, so you don't need to bother setting up a network share, etc. You setup your jobs and get your output all on the master node. When you create a job, Loki creates a snapshot of the blend file and puts it in the cache, so if you're running several jobs from the same blend file, once the job is created you can change the blend file without worrying about it affecting current running jobs.