Using the Render Farm Off Campus

Spring 2020 Note: Only for students enrolled in VM261-01 and VM261-02

This guide will walk you through the steps to rendering a Maya 2019 project on Emerson’s render farm from off-campus.

Connect to Emerson’s VPN

Connect to Emerson’s Virtual Private Network to access IP restricted services such as Isilon and the render farm.

  1. Go to this webpage, and follow IT’s instructions to connect to Emerson’s VPN.

Connect to Isilon

Once you are connected to Emerson’s VPN, you can open the Render folder on Isilon.

  1. While connected to Emerson’s VPN, go to this webpage, and follow IT’s instructions to connect to Isilon.
  2. Open bin.emerson.edu > Courses > Render to find the depository of Maya projects

Organize & Upload Project

Correctly set up your Maya project folder for rendering on the render farm. In addition to these steps, double check that your project's render settings are configured properly in Maya.

  1. Make a copy of your entire project directory and rename the top level folder to “Lastname_Firstname”.
    1. It is important that your project is organized in a proper Maya directory generated by Maya so that all of your project’s resources are where the farm expects them to be.
  2. Within the project directory go into the “images” folder and delete everything inside.
  3. Within the project directory go into the “scenes” folder and delete everything except for the scene(s) that you will be rendering.
  4. Open the “Render” folder on Isilon by going to Courses > Render.
  5. Copy the duplicated project directory into the Render folder.

Use the Render Farm

Set up and submit a job on the Render Farm. Retrieve your images once processing is complete.

  1. Go to the Render Farm’s online portal: http://render.emerson.edu:9890/
  2. Log in using your Emerson Credentials.
    • Username: firstname_lastname
    • Password: your password
  3. Click on the Submission tab, located in the upper left.Muster_01.png
  4. Begin entering your project’s information in the General Tab:Muster_02.png
    • Job name: “Lastname_Firstname”
    • Engine: Use “Maya Sw” if rendering with Maya Software. Use “Maya Arnold” if rendering with Arnold.
    • Version: Use “2019” if your project was made using Maya 2019 (2019 is the version of Maya installed in the EML). Use “2018” if your project was made using Maya 2018. 
    • Scroll down until you find “Included pools” and “Excluded pools”
      1. Press the plus button next to Included pools, and select “Render Farm”
      2. Press the plus button next to Excluded pools, and select “Desktops Clients”Muster_02_1.png
    • That is all the information required in the General Tab.
  5. If your project is rendered with Maya Software, click on the “Maya Sw” tab. If your project is rendered with Arnold, click on the “Maya Arnold” tab. The following settings will be the same for both rendering engines.Muster_03.png
    • Maya scene file name: Click the three dots on the left. Open the “Maya Islon” folder, and find your project directory. Find your scene file, click on it, and click Select.
    • Project directory: This field should auto fill your project directory location.
    • Frames destination: This field should auto fill your project’s images folder.
    • Frames: Enter the range of frames to be rendered from your current scene file.
    • Digits: Enter the number of digits in the frame number of your last frame.
      • For 0-9 total frames → “1”
      • 10-99 total frames → “2”
      • 100-999 total frames → “3”
      • 1000-9999 total frames → “4”
  6. In the top right, click “Submit”.
    1. You can check on the progress of your job by clicking on the “Jobs” tab in the upper left.

Retrieve Your Images & Clean Up Your Project

Retrieve your images once processing is complete, and remove your project from the server.

  1. Open a file browser and go to bin.emerson.edu > Courses > Render. Find and open your project directory.
  2. Open the “images” folder within your project directory, and you will find your images.
    1. When your images have fully rendered, copy them onto your local storage, and back them up. Make sure you have saved your images before continuing.
  3. Remove your project files from the render farm by right clicking on your project directory’s main folder, titled “Lastname_Firstname”.
    • On Windows, click Delete.
    • On Mac, click Move to Trash.

Congratulations! You have successfully used Emerson’s render farm from off-campus. Feel free to disconnect from Isilon and Emerson’s VPN, or render another scene.

Please email sasha_kleszy@emerson.edu if you have any questions.