This is a guide to solving
common problems associated with network rendering. Solutions to
these problems vary, depending on whether you are using the network
rendering programs as installed Windows Services, or running them
in Desktop mode. Also see “Troubleshooting Backburner” in the Autodesk
Backburner User’s Guide.
PROBLEM: When I try to
assign a job in the Network Job Assignment dialog, some of the servers
display a gray or yellow icon.
Regardless of their state
in the Network Job Assignment dialog, servers can always be assigned
The gray icon means that
the server is currently not available to render a job. This state
can occur for several reasons, including:
- The server has not been correctly started.
(See “Setting Up Backburner Server” in the Autodesk Backburner Installation Guide.)
- The server has been disallowed for the
current time period in the Properties dialog of the Monitor. (See
“Setting the Availability for Rendering Nodes” in the Autodesk
Backburner User’s Guide.)
- The server has experienced abnormal termination.
If you've checked for and corrected these conditions
and the servers are still unavailable, stop running Server on each
of the problem machines, and restart the service after a few seconds.
This "purges" the server and may solve the problem. Then click Refresh
in the Network Job Assignment dialog to display the most recent
information about the server.
The yellow icon means
that the server is busy rendering another job. If the server should
not be busy, verify that the queue is clear of jobs by opening the
Queue Monitor and connecting to the Manager. If the queue is clear of
rendering jobs and the server is still flagged as busy, stop running
server on each of the problem machines, and restart the service
after a few seconds.
PROBLEM: When I submit
a job to be rendered, the server fails.
Servers can fail for
a variety of reasons during a network render job. Many of these
reasons are covered in “Troubleshooting” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s
Guide. One reason that is specific to 3ds Max which
can cause a server to fail is the presence of a scene which does
not contain texture coordinates.
All errors are recorded
in the appropriate log file. You can learn more about log files
in “Configuring Backburner Log Files” in the Autodesk Backburner User’s
Here are some of the
error messages related to 3ds Max, along with a likely cause,
that you will see in the Errors tab of the Queue Monitor when a
failed server is selected:
ERR: ----- Render Error:
ERR: D:\MAPS\3DS.CEL [where
this is the location of a map in the submitted scene]
The Server could not
find 3ds.cel in the local path specified,
which means that the path to this map is not been correct for network
rendering. To fix the problem, do one of the following:
- If all maps are being shared from a single
directory, make sure the directory is correctly shared with full
Sharing a Directory.
- Make sure that you have used either the
full UNC path name for the bitmaps or that the maps directory
has been mounted to the same drive letter on each machine. In this
case, verify that particular path has been added to the Configure
User Paths dialog
Files panel of every server's local version
of 3ds Max or that the particular path was used when assigning bitmaps
in the scene to be rendered.
- Verify the bitmaps still reside in the
- Add an Alternate Map Path on the Network
Job Assignment dialog that points to the folder containing the missing map.
ERR: Object (UVW 1): Sphere01
requires texture coordinates and may not render correctly
Open the scene and make
sure the errant object is assigned texture coordinates. This can
be as simple as adding a UVW Map modifier to the object.
ERR: Frame error
Texture coordinates must
be applied to the specified object to render it on the server.
ERR: Load Error: Missing DLL'S
Following this error,
you will also receive a listing of each of the missing DLLs in the
scene. Files needed by the server are not available to render the
job. Make sure that all the plug-in DLLs used in a job reside on
each of the servers rendering the job.
ERR: Job not found. Ok
if just deleted
When you delete a job,
the Manager sends out a notification to all clients (Monitors) telling
that the job has changed. This is the same message sent when the
job completes, gets suspended, resumed, etc. The monitors in turn
request the job status from the manager. The manager doesn’t find
the job (it was just deleted) and returns this error to the monitor.
ERR: Targa - The device
is not ready. (0x15)
ERR: Frame error
The server could not
write the output file. "Targa" represents the file output type,
and will change depending on the output file type you selected. This
problem can occur for several reasons:- If you are running the Backburner
Server as an installed Windows service, make sure that the user account
that the service is logged to has adequate permissions. Administrative
permissions are recommended.
- Check to make sure the target output
directory is shared, with both read and write permissions.
- Verify that the path for saving file
output on the Render Setup dialog (or the Output Event dialog in
Video Post) is set to a valid UNC path name.
- If you are writing to a shared directory
mounted locally on each server, verify that the directory is mounted
to the same drive letter on each server, and that the file output
path is set for that drive letter.
PROBLEM: The Server fails
to render a frame and displays the following error:
Rebooting 3ds Max by
force due to load timeout.
The Server has exceeded
either the Wait For 3ds Max To Load or Wait For 3ds Max To Render
value. This is usually caused by attempting to render large files
over the network. Increase these values in the
PROBLEM: I cannot assign
more than one server to a job in the Network Job Assignment dialog.
If the output of a network-rendering
job is an AVI or MOV file, or a single user device, the job can
be assigned to a single server only. The Network Job Assignment
dialog changes, depending on the file output type of a job. For
example, if you are network rendering to one of the file formats above,
the All and None buttons do not appear and the dialog title bar
contains the word "Single."
If a job that has an
AVI or MOV file output type is stopped for any reason (to deactivate
it, or because a machine goes down), re-rendering the file restarts
at the first frame. Frames cannot be appended later to these file types.
To take advantage of
the distributed power of network rendering we suggest you first
render to a series of Targa files. Then use the Targa files as either
an animated background in an empty 3ds Max scene, or as an image
input event in Video Post and render the sequence out to the desired
output type (for example, AVI).
PROBLEM: When I click the
Render button on the Render Setup dialog, I get an error dialog
Error Retrieving Configuration File
This error usually is
the result of a corrupt installation of the Backburner applications
which caused an errant registry setting.
PROBLEM: Backburner not
found message when clicking Render button:
Cannot network render.
Backburner not found or not installed.
This error dialog appears
because the path to Backburner is either not set properly in the
Path environment variable or Backburner is missing altogether.
Verify that the Path
variable is set properly and make sure you've installed the latest
version of Backburner.
PROBLEM: Clicking Render
button results in Backburner plugin error:
Error creating 3ds Max
plugin instance for Backburner.
The path to 3ds Max is
not set in the PlugPath section of the \Backburner\Network\nrapi.conf file.
Verify the presence of
the \Backburner\Network\nrapi.conf file
and check the PlugPath. It should look like this:
PROBLEM: The manager and
server windows display strange, garbled text:
Your error message includes @#$$#@.
This error occurs if
the nrres.dat file is missing or damaged.
This file is located in: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Backburner\Network
Copy the nrres.dat file
from another system that is not exhibiting the problem, or reinstall