The Interfaces in the Apple Qmaster Distributed Processing System

The Apple Qmaster system is a suite of applications that work together to provide maximum power and flexibility for distributed processing. The elements of the system can be combined in a variety of ways to suit your needs.

In general, you use the Apple Qmaster Sharing window in Compressor to configure service nodes and cluster controllers and to create service nodes for This Computer Plus clusters and QuickClusters, which provide what most users need. System administrators use Apple Qadministrator for advanced cluster creation and control. Client users use Compressor or Apple Qmaster to submit batches of jobs for processing. Finally, Share Monitor can be used by both administrators and client users to monitor and manage batches.

Figure. Diagram showing the relationship between the Apple Qmaster pane of System Preferences, Apple Qadministrator, Compressor, Apple Qmaster, and Batch Monitor.

Note: It is possible to create a simple (personal) distributed processing system and skip Apple Qadministrator altogether. See Getting Started Quickly Using This Computer Plus and Getting Started Quickly Using QuickClusters for more information. See Apple Qmaster Sharing Window of Compressor for information on all of its settings.

Apple Qadministrator

Use the Apple Qadministrator application to manually create and modify Apple Qmaster clusters. Apple Qadministrator can be used on any computer that is on the same network as the cluster you want to administer. With the administrator password (if one was created), you can also use Apple Qadministrator to see and modify existing clusters on the network.

Note: Most users will not need to use Apple Qadministrator to create or manage their clusters, instead using This Computer Plus and QuickClusters.

Figure. Apple Qadministrator window showing how to drag available services to a cluster.

For details about using Apple Qadministrator, see the Apple Qadministrator User Manual.

To open Apple Qadministrator
  • In Compressor, choose Apple Qmaster > Administer Clusters.

The Apple Qadministrator window appears. If a password was created for the currently selected cluster, you will not be able to see or modify the cluster until you click the Lock button and then enter the password in the dialog that appears.

Figure. Apple Qadministrator window.

Compressor and Apple Qmaster as Client Interfaces

Client computer users use either Compressor or Apple Qmaster to submit batches for processing.

Figure. Diagram showing how to use Compressor and Apple Qmaster to submit batches to different kinds of clusters.

Using Compressor

Use the Cluster pop-up menu in the Compressor Batch window to choose a cluster for any given batch. For more information on submitting batches with Compressor, see Submitting a Batch.

Figure. Compressor default window layout.

Using Apple Qmaster

The Apple Qmaster application is the application that you use to submit distributed processing jobs from digital visual effects software packages such as Shake, Autodesk Maya, and any UNIX command-line program.

You can use any of the following workflows in Apple Qmaster:

  • For Shake processing batches, you can drag Shake files into the Apple Qmaster window. A default script for submitting the jobs is automatically created. In Apple Qmaster, you can then specify certain details, such as which cluster to use, and make adjustments to certain settings.

  • For Maya batches, there is also a special interface within Apple Qmaster for submitting and customizing Maya jobs.

  • You can use the Generic Render command in Apple Qmaster for the distributed processing of projects from other frame-based rendering applications (such as After Effects and LightWave).

For complete information about the Apple Qmaster application, see the Apple Qmaster User Manual.

To open Apple Qmaster
  • In Compressor, choose Apple Qmaster > Create Rendering Jobs.

The Apple Qmaster window appears.

Figure. Apple Qmaster window.

Share Monitor

As an administrator, you can use Share Monitor to track the progress of all the batch activity for all the clusters on your network. You can see how close to completion each job is, along with other details, and you can cancel, pause, and resume batches as well. If you are a client user, you can use Share Monitor to view and manage your own batches.

Figure. Diagram showing clusters sending batch status information to Share Monitor.

For complete information about Share Monitor, see the Share Monitor User Manual.

To open Share Monitor
Do one of the following:
  • Submit a batch with Compressor or Apple Qmaster. The Share Monitor window opens automatically depending on your preference setting.

  • Configure and submit a Share menu option from Final Cut Pro or Motion. Share Monitor opens in the Dock where you can select it to open it.

  • Click the Share Monitor button in the Apple Qmaster window or in the Compressor Batch window.

  • In Apple Qadministrator, choose Cluster > Show Share Monitor.

Share Monitor opens.

Figure. Share Monitor window.