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Thread: Mental ray satellite can't source textures from network drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Mental ray satellite can't source textures from network drive?

    Hey everyone. I'm finally posting about an issue I've had for quite some time, I have no idea if this issue lies with maya, or mental ray, so if anyone else has had success doing what I can not, please! Share your setup and how you pulled it off if you could. This problem has been driving me nuts!

    So here's my problem, I have a mapped, network drive in maya to a server here at work, where all our textures and files stay for the render farm. Everything about it works 100% fine.

    However, when I try to use mental ray satellite, it does NOT like the network paths. Below are 3 images:

    1: rendering locally only, with network path. - works totally fine, as expected.


    2: rendering locally, AND on networked computers using satellite. - As you can see, some squares rendered the texture, some did not. Output window reflects this, and says that the texture could not be found by the satellite node, hence SOME of the squares being rendered correctly, and some with the texture MISSING. The exact same path is being used in 2, as in 1


    3: rendering remote satellite ONLY. - Texture still not sourcing, texture path is still the same.


    Note:

    1) I can copy the file texture path (I'm using absolute paths, not relative) and paste it in windows explorer on both my machine, and the satellite machine, and get to the texture just fine.

    2) during non satellite, backburner based farm rendering, the same scenes can source from our mapped drive JUST FINE.

    3) These are the errors I get in my output window, on my local machine, from the satellite node:
    IMG 1.6 28 MB error 101003: ...d_Assets/art_maya/sourceimages/cam023_200_Mashroom04_dif.jpg: can't open file for reading (No such file or directory)
    IMG 1.6 28 MB error 101001: cannot open texture R:/........./3d_Assets/art_maya/sourceimages/cam023_200_Mashroom04_dif.jpg

    Pretty desperate for a way to fix this, as its incredibly useful to render stills with the combined power multiple machines. Also, this seems like a silly thing to not have work, seeing as file textures are the most basic type of file to reference..

    Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Are you rendering behind a firewall?

    I've encountered this issue before with satellites. I'm behind a very comprehensive and dense firewall. Our old renderfarm used to be networked slaves that pings the texture server, and since the server is also behind a firewall, we've encountered issue where the connection is blocked. The only way to get out of that problem was to localize a second set of maps to the primary/master machine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Thanks for the reply! I have not looked into it being a firewall thing specifically, but I will look into that possibility and update here with my findings!

  4. #4
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    Firewalls are a negative. Nothing seems to be blocking the computers from talking to each other through any other medium.
    The same computers will source off of R:/mapped/network/path just fine when using any configuration other than satellite, such as backburner.

    Is there any chance that the satellite service is futzing up the path internally, somehow, because its a mapped drive, and not on the actual local volume?

    the script editor will tell me that the satellite node could not load textures, but it gives me the exact same path that works elsewhere. I can literally copy paste the path to windows explorer, on the render slave, and jump right to the texture no prob.

    Still stumped!

  5. #5
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    first try to get satellite to work with textures not on a network drive, then eventually keep in mind that when you access resources like textures you need to give your ray satellite service an user account. cheers

  6. #6
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    satellite does work when setup to source textures from C:/some/path/on/the/local/drive

    It's when I use a mapped, windows drive (R: in my instance) to a folder on another computer on a lan network that it fails to read.

    Firewalls are turned off on both ends, and as I mentioned maya, and mayaBatch have no problems accessing these same textures at these same paths (on R:/path/to/texture ) when rendering in any way other than satellite. (viewport, or batch)

    Edit:
    maxt:

    Could you explain to me how one go about giving a service in windows a user account? I'm not familiar with this

    Thanks!
    Last edited by surreal-reality; May 28th, 2013 at 16:33.

  7. #7
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    May 2013
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    Happy to say, I figured this problem out.
    The issue was unbelievably simple, and not very intuitive. Maybe a bug?

    I went here:
    http://area.autodesk.com/forum/autod...-render-issue/

    1)All I did was go to Settings and preferences > Rendering
    2)Unchecked "Use optimized textures (auto conversion)"

    And it worked.

    I dont know why this worked, but my theory is when maya's output window says its loading texture from R:/some/path/to/texture, it's actually checking to see if the optimize textures checkbox is on, and if it is, maybe looks for that instead, not finding it if it only converts / checks for the .map locally? A wild hunch really. but this fix worked for me, hopefully it helps someone else!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by surreal-reality View Post
    2)Unchecked "Use optimized textures (auto conversion)"

    And it worked.
    Yeah, that will do the trick. It's unfortunate that Maya does not hint about this.

    That "feature" is rather old, and was originally intended to auto-create memory-mappable texture files from any input texture. The resulting .map files are specific to the machine architecture, thus need to have a "local" disk copy on each machine in a distributed network rendering. Therefore, running such a conversion only on the master Maya machine is not enough. The remote machines also require their "local" copy on disk, which is not automatic in Maya but requires manual work, or a more advanced render pipeline.

    Disabling "optimized textures" is recommended for distributed network rendering. In this case, mental ray takes care of transferring the textures to the remote machines internally and on demand; no local disk copy is required on the other machine.

    Nowadays, for recent mental ray we suggest to use "tilable" texture formats instead, and benefit from texture caching in the renderer. Anyway, this would also require "local" copies on remote machine to work in a network setup.

    Best, Steve.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxet View Post
    first try to get satellite to work with textures not on a network drive, then eventually keep in mind that when you access resources like textures you need to give your https://affmountain.com/my-wealthy-a...ew-and-results results from the Wealthy Affiliate ray satellite service an user account. cheers
    I fixed it by localizing my maps onto my computer. It was a firewall issue.
    Last edited by sandy; December 23rd, 2016 at 12:17.

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