Cinema 4D Team Render, Part 03: Install and Configure Team Render Clients

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Instructor Rick Barrett

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  • Duration: 17:15
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  • Made with Release: 16
  • Works with Release: 15 and greater

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install and configure Team Render Client.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install and configure Team Render Client. Either Cinema 4D or the Team Render Client application must be installed and open on any computer you wish to use for Team Rendering. In most cases, you’ll want to use Team Render Client because it doesn’t need to be individually licensed, and can be installed on as many computers as you wish.

You’ll learn about several different deployment options, and the basic installation process for Team Render Client. You’ll learn about important connection issues including Windows Firewall options and multiple network connections. You’ll also learn strategies for dealing with plugins in Team Render. You’ll learn about key Team Render Client preferences including Security Token, Custom Number of Render Threads, Fetch Assets Always from Server and Repository Path. You’ll also learn how to define a custom default security token using the c4d_net_securitytoken.txt trigger file within the application directory.



- To use a machine in Team Render, either the Cinema 4D application or the Team Render client application must be open in a user session. In most cases, you'll want to use Team Render client because it doesn't need to licensed, and can be installed on as many computers as you wish. In this tutorial, we're going to look at how to install and configure the Team Render client application. Now if you have already installed Cinema 4D on the computer, Team Render client is usually installed right beside Cinema 4D. So in that case, you can simply double-click to open it. But in most cases, your computer won't already have Cinema 4D on it because it's only being used as a render slave. When it comes to deploying Team Render client, you have three main options. The first is to simply install on each client through the Maxon installer application just as you a Cinema 4D GUI instance. This is probably the most fool proof method of installation, as it ensures you get all of the libraries necessary to run Cinema 4D. However, it is a multi-step process that can't very easily be automated. So when you're installing on a lot of render slaves, it can get very tedious very quickly. Another option is to simply install on one client and copy the installation, and this will work well. However, you do need to ensure that all of the libraries are installed on each of your render slaves. The benefit to this is that you can get an installation set up exactly the way you want it. Any plug-ins can be installed in the application plug-ins directory and you can simply copy it then onto each computer. The final option, and the one that I personally utilized most is to install on a server in a single location and launch each instance from the server location. Now you do have to be a little careful on this because running the app does rely on the connection to the server. However, it allows you to have a single Team Render client installation where you can manage all of your plug-ins and updates without having to manage separate installations on each separate computer. Just like the previous method, with this one you do need to make sure that you manually install the necessary libraries. To run Release 16 on Windows, you'll need the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 redistributable, 2010 redistributable, and 2012 redistributable, as well as the Intel XE 2013 redistributable. You can find these on the Microsoft and Intel websites or on the Cinema 4D installer disk. It's also a good idea to install QuickTime. While this isn't necessary on clients unless you're using special image formats or QuickTime movies as textures, it's still a good idea to have it installed. And if you don't, you may see an error message on launch. As of Release 16, Cinema 4D doesn't have any specific library dependencies on Mac OS. Now of course, most of this is all taken care of by the installer if you manually install Team Render client on each machine. So let's take a quick look at how to install Team Render client via the installer, because you'll always have to do that on at least one machine. So you simply take your installation disk or ISO, run the Maxon start application, choose your language. Within the installer, you'll want to continue through the first screen, enter your name, company, street, city, and country information here on this page, but you can leave the serial numbers blank and just hit continue again. And because you didn't provide any serial number, it will give you the option to install Team Render client and Team Render client only because it doesn't need a license. Hit continue, and here we can choose to install the application, we'll hit install, agree to the end user license agreement, and hit install again. Double check the path and then on Windows, you can create start menu entries automatically. Whenever you're ready, just click install. It's going to, on Windows, ask for user account control. On Mac, it'll ask for your password. Go ahead and get through that, and wait for it to complete the installation. Again, the installation here is pretty much identical to Cinema 4D, it's just installing only the Team Render application instead of installing the main GUI application. So we'll go ahead and let that installation complete and come back as soon as the progress bar hits 100%. So now the installation is complete, and we can start Team Render client. We'll hit finish. Team Render client should open immediately. The first time you launch Team Render client, or Cinema 4D for that matter, on a Windows computer, you'll get a Windows firewall prompt, assuming you're using the built-in Windows firewall. And by default, only domain networks is checked in this prompt. In most cases, you'll want to go ahead and check private networks and public networks as well to ensure that Team Render works properly. If all of your clients are on the same domain, you may be able to leave it simply on domain. However, in many installations, your slaves will not be a part of the main Windows domain or you'll have a mix between Macintosh and Windows computers. And in that case the domain exception for Team Render client isn't enough. So I recommend always checking both private and public as well as domain, and go ahead and hit allow access. On Macintosh, you won't see this option, however you do need to make sure that your firewall is either off or that there is an exception for Team Render client on the Mac firewall settings as well. For more information on adjusting the Mac or Windows firewall options, refer to the troubleshooting videos later in this tutorial series. Now once we have Team Render client open, you'll want to go ahead and choose Help, check for updates, and download any incremental updates that have been issued since the initial release of Team Render. At the time of this recording, we're at Cinema 4D 16.038, which is the third incremental update and it is very important to make sure that all of your Team Render clients are updated to the most recent version of Cinema 4D, both because everything must be on the same version in order to run Team Render, and also more importantly, because there's very important stability enhancements to Team Render that are happening with each incremental release. So we'll simply choose to install the update, hit install. Once again, we'll need to accept the EULA, hit install again, and just hit install one more time. This is going to initiate a download, downloading all of the updates onto the computer, and then it will install the update. So this, again, a multi-step process, and I'll be back as soon as it's finished. Once the download has completed, you'll be prompted to restart the applications, so we'll go ahead and hit restart. You'll be prompted for user account control, or on Macintosh, you'll be prompted for your username and password. And we'll go through the actual update process. And this one's fairly quick so we'll stay with you. And Team Render client will launch once again. So that's the most manual, but most foolproof method of installing Team Render client using the Maxon installer. Once again, you can also choose to use one of the other two deployment options we covered briefly, installing just a single client and then copying the installation or installing and copying that installation to the server and launching each instance of your Team Render client from a single server location. Regardless of how you choose to install Team Render client, you also need to make sure that any necessary plug-ins are installed. Generally, command based plug-ins and scripts don't need to be installed on the render instances. You do, however, need to install any object based plug-ins, shader plug-ins, rendering plug-ins, and plug-ins of that nature that actually generate geometry or adjust the rendering of geometry during render time. To be on the safe side, I'd recommend just copying all of the plug-ins installed on your Cinema 4D station onto the Team Render station as well. In many cases, you'll want to put them directly into the application's plug-ins directory, even if they install in Cinema 4D within the plug-in preferences directly, simply because Team Render client will generate new preferences for each user login. And if you're utilizing the method of installing on a single server instance, it'll create new preferences for each computer and user login on each local computer. So your best bet is to put them directly into the applications directory so that any time Team Render client is launched, those plug-ins are initialized. If you do have plug-ins that must be run from within the preferences directory, you can easily open that by clicking into the preferences tab and clicking open preferences folder. And you would put the plug-ins here within the plug-ins folder. Jumping back within the preferences themselves, you'll find most of the main Team Render preferences folded under the renderer section here, so you'll need to click the triangle here to expose Team Render and click Team Render in order to view the preferences. With Team Render client, the enable Team Render option will automatically be checked by default. The computer name will automatically be filled with the Mac OS or Windows computer name, and the security token will by default be 12345 within Team Render client. The port as of R16 for Team Render client is 5401. And by default, announce service via Bonjour will be enabled. Share machine over network will be enabled and this must be enabled in order to utilize the power of the this computer within Team Render. You can choose to customize the number of render threads that this computer is going to be used by other people and not strictly as a render slave in order to reduce the render thread so that the computer remains usable while it's being used for Team Rendering. And you can also choose to fetch assets always from the server. Team Render by default uses a peer-to-peer distribution scheme where other clients can provide assets to clients. This does provide a little bit better performance, however it can be a little more error prone. So if you're experiencing issues with Team Render, you might want to enable the fetch assets always from server option to ensure that it's getting its textures and Cinema 4D documents from the server computer. Alternatively, if you're experiencing performance issues, you may want to make sure that this option is disabled so that the server isn't forced to serve all the assets but the clients can serve the assets as well. The repository path here within Team Render is the temporary location where the Cinema 4D file and textures will be stored for the job that's currently rendering as well as the result for aims there in the process of being sent back to the server. In most cases, you'll want to just leave this path to the default path unless there's not enough space on your primary drive, in which case you might want to put it on a secondary drive because it does need to store the Cinema 4D file and all textures for the job that's currently rendering. So if you have a primary drive that's an SSD, you might want to move this onto a secondary drive. The repository path for Team Render client should not be the same as the Team Render server repository path, which we'll get to when we cover Team Render server. Now jumping back to the security token, you may wish not to use 12345 as your security token. And in that case, you can type a custom security token right here, 54321 for instance. And in that case, I do have to caution you to make sure to hit tab after entering the security token to ensure that it's stored. If you merely close or switch out of the preferences, the security token may not be stored and it will still be using the default old security token. The benefit to the security token is that you can actually limit who can access and utilize this client for rendering. So for instance, if you have an entire farm set up and it's dedicated to the Team Render server, you may want to set a custom security token so that users of individual Cinema 4D installations can't add these clients into their Cinema 4D Team Render machine's dialog and utilize it for preview rendering. You can set a default security token that will be used whenever Team Render client is open, and you do this by putting a text file in the application path. So here is the application path and I'm going to simply create a new text document, and this should be called C4D_net_securitytoken.txt. And within that file, you want to simply type the desired security token. So let's say we want to go with 98765. We'll save that, close it, and we'll restart Team Render client. And now if we go into the Team Render preferences, you'll see that the security token is grayed out so it cannot be changed and it has been set to 98765. So this is how you'd set a custom security token in all of your Team Render client installations. Now of course, this is a little bit easier to do on Windows because Windows allows you to easily create a blank empty text document. On Mac, you do need to make sure to create a text document that is a text formatted document, not a rich text format document. And you do need to make sure that it has the .txt extension. So the file name should be exactly this, C4D_net_securitytoken.txt. Now if we switch to the console tab of Team Render client, you'll see that immediately on launch we have a little bit of output that's provided within the window, that the local machine was moved to the offline list, the service was started on port 5401. Now I do want to note that the service was started because the GUI app is open. Team Render client does not run as a service, so the GUI app does need to be open in a user session in order to run Team Render client. The next couple lines here that are indented show the DNS name and port by which you can connect to this client or the IP address and port that can utilize to connect to this client. If you have multiple active network connections, like for instance, when you're using wi-fi to connect to the internet, and ethernet or thunderbolt to connect multiple computers for Team Rendering, you'll want to make sure that each internet connection is operating on a different subnet, so Team Render doesn't get confused about which connection to use. The subnet is usually the third number here in the sequence of four numbers separated by periods in an IP address. So here you can see that we have the wi-fi connection on the .0 subnet and the ethernet connection is using the .1 subnet. The Team Render client will show all of the network interfaces available on the computer. So it's important when you add the client to add the IP address that relates to the connection that you need Team Render to use. In this case, we would want to use the address, which relates to the ethernet cable. So to recap, you'll need to first choose one of the three methods to deploy Team Render client. And make sure that the Team Render client is open on all client machines. You need to ensure that the Team Render client is updated either on each individual machine or if you're using a central installation, you'll need to update it within that central installation. Install plug-ins within the applications plug-in path, again, on each machine or if using a central server installation within the central server installation. Plug-ins that normally live in the user preferences path need to be put in the application's plug-ins path if possible, otherwise you'll need to reinstall them with each individual user login on each Team Render client machine. You also need to make sure that the Team Render client application is allowed to connect through your firewall. Finally, adjust your Team Render client preferences as desired. If you'd like to set up a custom default security token, you can use a file within your C4D application path named C4D_net_securitytoken.txt. Now that we've gone over how to install and configure the Team Render client, we'll look at how to add machines within the next tutorial.
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