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Finally Got Muster Working With Mantra

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hopefully this will be of some use.

Muster is a somewhat funky program that requires some messing around, but it does work with Mantra

if you use unc paths everywhere, you will be in good shape. You can use musters drive mapping, but it occasionally fails

set up muster with the defaults, nothing special is needed to get mantra to work on either the server or the slaves. Just an install of houdini with proper licensing set up.

the trick to get mantra to submit properly is to :

submit a custom job

under "Executable path" put cmd.exe

under "Exectuable arguments" put (no line breaks, substituting your paths, note the slash directions)

/C "C:\Program Files (x86)\Side Effects Software\Houdini 8.1.688\bin\mantra.exe" -V 5 < //farmer/jobs/_MD_houdini/voxels01/testifd.<SF>.ifd

set packet to multipacket, set your start and end frames, keep the packet size at 1 so 1 frame is rendered per command. Also, you need to generate your .ifd files without padded zeros.

hope this helps someone, that command took a while to figure out, any other combination hung on startup, something funky with the way muster was redirecting stdin, I guess. the -f option totally failed as well.

i have had nothing but problems with the -n and -H option in mantra on windows, so Muster is a good solution to use multiproc systems, just run as many instances in muster as you have processors, and it works much smoother, as long as you don't run out of ram.

Muster is available from vvertex.com and the trial version allows 2 slave nodes. there is a linux version too.


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  • 2 months later...


I successfully used open source Dr.Queue on windows though this version is much stable on Linux, on Windows is quite buggy. It allows you network rendering of previously generated ifds.

The better solution (for WIN) IMO is Frantic Deadline, simple and very straightforward. No problems at all. They have also a submission ROP for H7 and H8 and you start renders directly from hip files. Unfortunately no direct support for H8.1 (ROP crashes in 8.1) . But there's no problem to launch renders straight from Deadline interface.



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