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Strob

Rendering with or without ifd. Difference for Indie users...

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With the Indie license we can't generate ifd files. I never used ifd, so I am wondering what kinds of problems could I met if I use indie to render with Mantra on a small render farm (for example using 6 computers using 3 indie licenses and 3 fee engine licenses which is the limit the indie license can support).

I read this: http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/render/ifd_workflows

and this: http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/render/ifd

But I'm not sure what real difference it could make in the pipeline other than being able to send a smaller file over the network instead of the whole scene. Is it just a matter of the size of the file we send to the slaves for network rendering? if it's the case it should not be a problem for me since I work alone and so I don't have a bottleneck in network transfer and cand distribute huge files pretty fast on my network. Or is there any other differences it could make?

also are ifd concerning only mantra or can they be used with redshift, renderman, arnold?

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7 hours ago, Strob said:

Is it just a matter of the size of the file we send to the slaves for network rendering? if it's the case it should not be a problem for me since I work alone and so I don't have a bottleneck in network transfer and cand distribute huge files pretty fast on my network. Or is there any other differences it could make?

also are ifd concerning only mantra or can they be used with redshift, renderman, arnold?

1. The main difference is that using IFD, you don't have to bother Houdini to do rendering, Mantra (and only Mantra) is involved. IFD is simply a render scene description and possibly cache for geometry to be rendered. 

2. There are some other considerations that you probably don't have to worry about, like an extra flexibility derived from that fact that IFD files can be filtered with python what effectively allows you to reuse from for different passes (for example replacing all shaders in a scene and render masks instead of beauty passes). IFD is also good for debuging if something is wrong in your frames. For most basic cases this is not important. More over IFD are not as sexy as it seems. HIP files are usually much smaller than IFDs they generate. This is actually one of the darkest side of IFD pipeline, you really have to figure it out how to mange them on disk. There used to be other benefits usually coming from RIB/IFD pipelines, since originally these files were designed to be as editable by humans or scripts, includable one into another etc. These procedures are mostly obsolete now, not to mention they are technically challenging (practically impossible?) for IFDs. 

3. Obviously these opinions come after considering main issue: Houdini/Engine costs money, Mantra (IFD rendering) is usually free. 

 

 

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Ok thanks for your answer Symek!

So finally IFDs are more to save money on licenses for commercial users by using their available licenses in the most optimal way. So I guess in the case of Houdini Indie users, we don't really need them at  all. We just render using our max of 6 licenses (3 indie and 3 engine) and that's all.

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