Setting Up for Part-Time Distributed Processing with Shake

If you cannot consolidate all of the necessary source files (Shake scripts, media files, and so on) on a single-cluster storage volume, follow the instructions below.

Stage 1: Turning Off the Shake UNC Setting

To make sharing and volume mounting work smoothly in this setup, you need to turn off the Shake UNC setting on each computer. The UNC setting uses the entire file pathname, with the network address, in a convention that starts with //ComputerName/DriveName/path. You don’t want Shake to use this filenaming convention because it conflicts with the file sharing and volume mounting used in this setup.

Note: All the media volumes should have the same name.

In the three steps below, you make this change in a Shake startup .h file. As described in the Shake documentation, the startup .h files, located in the startup directory, are used to customize Shake settings (similar to setting preferences).

To turn off the UNC setting, do the following on each of the computers
  1. Log in as the user who will use Shake on the computer.

  2. Double-click the Terminal icon in /Applications/Utilities/ to open a Terminal window.

  3. Enter these two command lines in the Terminal window, pressing Return after each command line:

    mkdir -p ~/nreal/include/startup/
    echo 'script.uncFileNames = 0;' > ~/nreal/include/startup/UNC_off.h

Stage 2: Turning On Personal File Sharing

On each computer, turn on Personal File Sharing. This allows the computers to share the media volumes.

To turn on Personal File Sharing
  1. Open System Preferences.

  2. Click Sharing.

  3. Select the File Sharing checkbox.

Stage 3: Mounting the Media Storage Volumes

Follow the instructions below so that all the computers in the cluster are mounting all the media volumes in the cluster.

To mount the media storage volumes
  1. On each computer, log in as the administrator. (The first user account you create when you set up Mac OS X is an administrator account.)

  2. On each computer in the group, use the Connect to Server command in the Finder’s Go menu to mount each media volume.

  3. Enter another computer’s name in the Connect to Server dialog.

  4. Choose the associated media volume as the volume you want to mount.

  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 until all the computers are mounting all the media volumes in the cluster.

Stage 4: Submitting Processing Jobs in the Sample Part-Time Distributed Processing Setup

After you finish Stage 3: Mounting the Media Storage Volumes, each one of these computers can be used to submit jobs for distributed processing.

Because of the way access has been configured in Setting Up for Part-Time Distributed Processing with Shake, all file pathnames are conveniently consistent and simple for the purposes of specifying them in Compressor, in Shake scripts, and in Apple Qmaster, assuming that:

  • Users place the source media on a mounted media volume (one of the FireWire drives).

  • Users place the Shake scripts on a mounted media volume.

  • All folders and files on the shared media volumes have read-and-write access enabled for everyone (for Owner, Group, and Others). You can configure this access setting by selecting the folder or file and choosing File > Get Info.

These three assumptions are important because they ensure that all the computers have read-and-write access to all the source files and output destinations.

Stage 5: Specifying Media File and Script Locations

The following additional configuration guidelines apply to anyone using Shake (or any other UNIX-based rendering applications):

  • Specifying the Media File Locations in Shake Scripts: As you follow the steps in Setting Up for Part-Time Distributed Processing with Shake, all the Shake render scripts should specify their source media (File In) locations and output (File Out) destinations as /Volumes/MediaDiskName/ (for example, /Volumes/Media3/).
  • Specifying Shake Script Locations in Apple Qmaster: As you follow the steps in Setting Up for Part-Time Distributed Processing with Shake, all the Shake script locations should be specified in Apple Qmaster as /Volumes/MediaDiskName/ScriptFilename (for example, /Volumes/Media3/Script.shk).