Processes not running

Smedge requires that at least one machine is running the SmedgeMaster component process and that every machine that is going to be rendering is running the SmedgeEngine process.

Start the Master

  • If searching for the master, try staring it using: System > Components > Start the Master Now

  • Manually start the SmedgeMaster component from the Smedge program installation folder.

Start the Engine

  • If connected but no engine, try staring it using: System > Components > Start the Engine Now

  • Manually start the SmedgeEngine component from the Smedge program installation folder.

  • To find the Smedge program folder in SmedgeGui, use the menu command: System > Smedge Files > Browse the Program Folder. For advanced configuration, see the Administrator Manual

There is a firewall issue

Check that there is no firewall blocking communication on either the local client or the master machine.

Firewall Options

  • The default Smedge port is 6870.

  • If you have to use a firewall, each client run on a machine must use a unique port number.

  • It is easiest to open the firewall by application name if possible. By default, Smedge clients open an ephemeral port to listen for the master

  • You can customize the port each client uses with the command line flag:
    -ClientPort port
    This will force the client to use the supplied port.

There is a name resolution issue

Smedge uses system default networking and a networking integration library that is pretty good at resolving names, but every network presents its own issues and sometimes Smedge needs a little help.

Helping find nodes

  • You can specify the Master using the flags:
    -Master host:port
    if you do not supply the port number, the default 6870 will be assumed
    -MasterPort port

  • Normally, clients send their hostname to the Master. You can configure this to have the client send its IP address instead using the flag:
    -SetClientPreresolve 1
    or you can set the environment variable:

  • You can specify the local client interface to use with the flag:
    -ClientInterface address
    The address is the IP address assigned to the interface.

Remove the Master lock file

  • Select System > Components > Remove the Master lock file

Remove the Engine lock file

  • Select System > Components > Remove the Engine lock file

How Smedge Licensing Works

  • Only machines that will actually do rendering will require a Smedge licenses

  • Smedge checks out licenses to enabled engines when work is assigned to the engine

  • Smedge will allow rendering on up to 4 machines with no license installed

Legacy Licenses

  • These licenses allow unlimited rendering on a single machine for a time

  • You can get legacy licenses by month, by year, or permanent

  • Monthly and Annual licenses must be renewed at the end of the period to continue rendering

  • Permanent licenses will allow any version released before the support expiration date to run forever. You can renew your support to get access to updates and technical support

  • You can add more nodes during your license period. If it is more than 2 weeks into the month or more than 6 months into the year, the price is discounted by 50%.

Point Licenses

  • These licenses allow an engine to render for one minute

  • The engine can run multiple work units with a single point license during that minute

  • If work is still going at the end of the minute, the engine will check out another license

  • If you run out of points and have no legacy licenses available, any currently running work will finish, but no new work will be able to start until you can get more licenses or more points

  • You can buy and add more points at any time.

  • Point codes expire 3 days after they are generated.

Mixed Licenses

  • By default, engines are configured to try for a legacy licenses, then try for a point, but you can set engines to only use one or the other in the Engine menu.

  • If an engine is allowed to use both, and a legacy license becomes available when the point license needs to be renewed, the engine will switch to the legacy license

  • In the GUI, you can see license info using Help > About SmedgeGui, or using the License Report using System > System Commands > Report Licenses

  • From the CLI use
    ConfigureMaster -ReportLicenses

Best Practices

  • Point licenses offer the most flexibility

  • Permanent licenses have the best value

  • Monthly and Annual plans work better for tighter budgets or fixed duration projects

  • Monthly and Point licenses can be used to supplement Annual or Permanent licenses for short-term “bursts” of extra nodes, either locally or in the “cloud”

  • Free licenses will be allocated before points, but do not count towards your legacy license count for monthly, annual, or permanent licenes

On the Engine

Configure the Engine GPU settings

  • Select one or more engines to configure

  • Choose Engine > Configure Engine Settings

  • In the GPUs field, type the number of GPU devices installed

  •     4 if you have 4 GPU devices installed

  •     0,2,3 skips device ID 1

  •     =2 only uses device ID 2

  • Press Apply and Close

On the Job

Configure the Job to use the desired GPU devices

  • In the GPUs field on the Basic Info tab of the job, set the number of GPU devices for each worker

  •     1 one render uses 1 GPU device

  •     0 or empty one render uses all GPU devices

  • Be sure that other work limits, including CPU, RAM or Job limits on the Advanced Info tab of the job are not also limiting on the number of workers on an Engine.

When the 3D animation program Maya first came out, it was only originally available for SGI computers, and included a simple SGI based render manager called the Dispatcher, which it had inherited from Wavefront. When Maya was first ported to run on Windows, however, Alias|Wavefront did not port Dispatcher, so anyone who wanted to use their Windows machines to render had to manage the machines manually.

This was the genesis of Smedge: a simple Windows tool to queue and monitor your Maya renders. When looking for inspiration, one of my fellow artists had a simple shell script system called Skedge which was meant for scheduling Wavefront renders. We decided that this new tool was a sort of “Skedge for Maya,” which became the tool we all know and love, Smedge!