Rendering Services FAQ

CIAS uses Muster from Virtual Vertex for renderfarm management.  The Muster Console is the application used to submit and manage renderfarm jobs.  The Muster Console is installed on all CIAS Windows lab computers.  You can also install the Console on your personal computer; the download is available from Virtual Vertex’s download page (registration required).  We are currently using Muster server version 8.1.5, but newer versions of the console _may_ work (YMMV).  You’ll first need to connect to the RIT VPN before launching the Muster Console from off campus. The address of the Muster server is cias-renderfarm.rit.edu.

There are a few easy steps to make sure your job renders properly on the renderfarm.

  • Your Maya scene file and all referenced assets must be on the CIAS Rendershare (\\cias-files.rit.edu\rendershare or smb://cias-files.rit.edu/rendershare (Win v. Mac))
    • A common cause of render problems is missing textures or assets.  Make sure everything is on the Rendershare.
  • The path to your Maya scene file and project directory MUST begin with W, e.g. W:\abc1234\mayaproject\scenes\coolscene.mb
    • Jobs submitted with a R:\ path will not work.  Ever.  This is the most common rendering problem seen on the farm.
  • Pick the right render engine (template) for your job
    • Unless you are really comfortable with command-line rendering, use “Maya Mr” instead of “Mental Ray”.
    • We’ve had success rendering with AfterFX or Premiere, but it’ll take some work.
  • Point the Muster Console to the renderfarm server at cias-renderfarm.rit.edu.  Login with the username/password render/renderme.
    • The Muster web interface is currently broken and has been taken offline indefinitely.
  • If your render doesn’t come out like you had expected, check the render logs.
    • Browse to \\cias-files.rit.edu\musterlogs from one of our lab computers to see detailed logs of all render jobs from the last few days.

Render Wranglers monitor the renderfarm and look out for broken or misconfigured jobs.  Here’s a brief video tutorial of how to submit a job: