DLI SNUB Launcher Main GUI Interface Mac OS X YosemiteDLI_SNUB-Launcher IconDLI_SNUB-Launcher™ is DreamLight Interactive’s ScreamerNet UB Launcher, an Aqua GUI front end interface to interactively build the necessary command lines to launch LightWave 3D’s ScreamerNet UB standalone, batch and network rendering component (lwsn) on Mac OS X. DLI SNUB Launcher has an intuitive interactive interface that makes configuring and launching lwsn drag-and-drop-dead-easy™.

DLI SNUB Launcher is compatible with LightWave 3D versions 9.3 – 2015+ and Mac OS X versions 10.4 – 10.10+, Tiger to Yosemite and beyond.

I created DLI SNUB Launcher while updating my Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper (NewTek based the Mac network rendering chapter of the LightWave 3D manual on our white paper) and tutorials for ScreamerNet lwsn UB (Universal Binary for both PowerPC and Intel processors). After carefully writing out the explanations for how to configure and launch ScreamerNet lwsn in Terminal, I felt that it wasn’t quite Mac friendly enough, so I set about writing an Aqua GUI interface in Apple XCode to interactively build the command lines and launch multiple ScreamerNet lwsn render nodes for standalone, batch and network rendering. DLI SNUB Launcher works with either the built-in LightWave Layout ScreamerNet render panel or a 3rd-party render queue controller.

We’re also pleased to note that NewTek based the Mac section of the Distributed Rendering chapter in their LightWave 3D 2015 manual on portions of our venerable old Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper that served as the genesis for this neat little utility.

From the LightWave 3D 2015 User Manual:

The explanation in these docs is mainly written by Mike Scaramozzino from DreamLight Interactive and are published here with his kind permission. Mike has spent many years rendering using Screamernet and has created a tool to make it all much easier with no use of Terminal required. Visit his site at dreamlight.com and check out the DLI_SNUB-Launcher

Created, Designed & Programmed by Michael Scaramozzino – LightWave 3D Artist Profile
Author of Creating a 3D Animated CGI Short & Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet for Mac OS X


DLI SNUB Launcher – Features & BenefitsMac Universal Binary

  • Compatible with LightWave ScreamerNet UB (lwsn) 9.3 – 2015+
  • Fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 – 10.10+, Tiger to Yosemite & beyond
  • Fully compatible with LightWave ScreamerNet UB lwsn 10+ in both 32 or 64 bit
  • Mac Friendly, XCode Universal Binary Aqua GUI for ScreamerNet UB
  • Interactive, Error-free, ScreamerNet UB Command Line Building & Launching
  • One Click Access to Every ScreamerNet UB Command Line Parameter
  • Detailed Pop Up Tool Tips for all Settings & Command Line Parameters
  • Easily Launches Multiple ScreamerNet UB lwsn Nodes with One Click
  • Zero Configuration, Drag & Drop Scenes on Icon Droplet for Standalone Rendering
  • Override Frame Ranges Set in Scenes for Standalone Rendering
  • On-the-fly Content Folder Verification and Changing on Scene Loading
  • Output Path Verification and Warnings on Scene Loading
  • Works Seamlessly with the Built-in LightWave 3D Network Render Panel
  • Works Seamlessly with Other Third-party ScreamerNet UB Controllers
  • Help Menu Links to Specific Pages of Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet for Mac OS X
  • Free Lite Version for 2 Nodes Without Saving Custom Settings Between Launches
  • Registration Purchase Enables More Nodes & Saving Custom Settings Between Launches
  • One Download for all Versions with Simple Serial Number License Upgrades Available
  • High End Professionally Designed LW3D Benchmark Scene, DLI_SuperBalls, Included

DLI SNUB Launcher Customer Testimonial

I really wished I’d filmed this…

I’m already rendering !!! I literally got the license a few minutes ago …. that was the quickest time I’ve ever set up anything…

Screamernet has literally brought me to tears in the past – in the fetal position on the ground…
I cannot believe how simple this was, how it gives you enough control to know what’s going on and shows you what it’s doing…

wow..

I’m very happy with your product.
Initially I was waiting for things to fail, or not work.. But it just worked. First time !

I got my render back in one hour instead of 7 !

all the best,

crisb.

p.s. In the past I was used to the IT people back at Digital Domain dealing with all of this, when we had literally thousands of machines at our disposal, I’ve now left LA and set up a studio in Nairobi, Kenya ! and I’m doing it all myself… Thank-you for making this part so simple, I was expecting insane headaches.


DLI SNUB Launcher – Registration & Ordering

DLI SNUB Launcher Registration Panel

FREE Lite License

  • 2 Node Limit
  • Custom Settings Saving Disabled

The FREE lite license version of DLI_SNUB-Launcher is fully functional, with the following limitations. All custom settings may be used, but only the lwsn path will be saved when quit and re-launched. It is also limited to launching 2 ScreamerNet lwsn nodes for network rendering.

Please purchase one of the registered licenses below to enable the saving of all custom settings between launches and to enable launching more than two ScreamerNet lwsn nodes. Registered users are entitled to any minor point upgrades (such as from 1.1 to 1.2) free of charge. One license is required per site (physical location).

STD Registered License – $24.95

  • 10 Node Limit
  • ALL Settings Saving Enabled

The standard (STD) registered license for DLI_SNUB-Launcher enables fully functional saving of all custom settings between launches. The only limitation of the standard license is that it is limited to launching 10 ScreamerNet lwsn nodes for network rendering at a single site.

PRO Registered License – $49.95

  • Unlimited Nodes
  • ALL Settings Saving Enabled

The professional (PRO) registered license of DLI_SNUB-Launcher enables fully functional saving of all custom settings between launches and may also be used to launch a virtually unlimited number of ScreamerNet lwsn nodes for network rendering at a single site. It’s technically limited to a max number of 99999999 nodes, which enables as many nodes as possible up to any limit that LightWave/lwsn itself may impose.

Registered License Ordering

DLI_SNUB-Launcher IconBefore ordering a registered license, please first download, install and test DLI_SNUB-Launcher to verify that it works as desired for your particular installation. The FREE lite version downloaded is fully functional other than the number of nodes is limited to 2 and saving most custom settings between launches is disabled. Once you verify that DLI_SNUB-Launcher works as desired for your installation then you may order a registered license and a code will be emailed to you that you may copy/paste into the registration panel to unlock the purchased level of additional functionality.

Pay by Credit Card or PayPal

Select Registered License Version



Pay with Bitcoin for a $5 Discount

 

Select Registered License Version


NOTE: Please be sure to include your correct e-mail address when you place your order. We will e-mail you the registered user name and serial number that you will need to enter in the registration panel. Orders are processed manually, typically within 1-2 business days, Monday-Friday.


DLI SNUB Launcher Manual

Download & Installation

  1. Download DLI_SNUB-Launcher by right clicking on the desired link below and selecting Download Linked File from the pop-up menu.
    DLI_SNUB-Launcher Icon Download DLI_SNUB-Launcher 1.8.zip
    (for LW10/11/2015+)
    Includes LW11+ Benchmark Scene
    DLI_SNUB-Launcher Icon Download DLI_SNUB-Launcher 1.5.zip
    (Legacy Version for LW9)
  2. After downloading the DLI_SNUB-Launcher.zip file, unzip the file by double-clicking it.
  3. Drag the DLI_SNUB-Launcher application file from the unzipped folder to your /Applications/NewTek/LightWave3D folder. Enter an administrator’s username and password if prompted.
That’s it!

LightWave3D 2015 Folder

The first time DLI_SNUB-Launcher is launched it will search for Layout in the same folder (or the highest version installed if not in the same folder) to determine which version of LightWave you have. It will then search for the bin/lwsn command line application in the LightWave3D folder.

It will next look for a custom Preferences folder that you may have created inside the LightWave3D folder to use as the config folder. If not found, then the default config folder in the current user’s Application Support folder will be used instead.

The default config folder is found in the following location:
/Users/CurrentUser/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015

To manually configure DLI_SNUB-Launcher for a custom configuration (or for LightWave 9) double-click DLI_SNUB-Launcher to launch it. Then simply drag the lwsn command line application (or ScreamerNet) to the lwsn Path button and drag your desired config folder to the -c Config Folder button. Then set any other settings as desired.

To drag-and-drop render a scene, first set the output path and image saving format in Layout and save the scene. Then drag-and-drop the scene file onto the DLI_SNUB-Launcher application icon in the finder (no need to launch DLI_SNUB-Launcher first) and it will launch lwsn to render the scene. It will prompt you to change the Content Folder if necessary and permit you to edit the frame range if desired.

If you ever wish to uninstall it, simply drag the DLI_SNUB-Launcher application file to the trash.

General Standalone, Batch & Network Settings

DLI SNUB Launcher General SettingsAll the settings on the main DLI SNUB Launcher panel are used for both standalone (mode -3) rendering and batch/network (mode -2) rendering. All the settings are fully enabled for all license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher. The FREE Lite license however only saves the lwsn Path between launches.

Entering a registered license enables saving all the other custom settings between launches. For more in-depth information about any of these settings, see below as well as General ScreamerNet Command Line Syntax from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet on Mac OS X white paper.

The DLI_SNUB-Launcher interface is composed of a series of buttons and fields that are used to build the command line needed to launch lwsn in Terminal using simple drag-and-drop methods. Check buttons are used to enable/disable different optional parameters for the command line. Buttons are used to open file dialog boxes to locate files or folders and perform other functions. The fields are non-editable and are used as readouts to show the current contents of the parameters. Both buttons and fields are targets which you may drag-and-drop files and folders onto to set them. You may also select text in any of the fields to copy to the clipboard. This can be useful to build the command line in a syntax verified manner and then copy/paste into the Terminal or into a text editor for creating scripts or shortcuts.


DLI SNUB Launcher Help Button Help Button

The round (?) help button at the top right of the DLI SNUB Launcher panel will open your default web browser and bring you to this online manual. You may also use the Help menu in the Mac menu bar for direct access to every page of Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet on Mac OS X  for more detailed information and tutorials about all aspects of using ScreamerNet lwsn on Mac OS X.


lwsn Path Button & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher lwsn LightWave ScreamerNet Path

Click the lwsn Path button or drag the lwsn command line application (or ScreamerNet for LW9) from the Finder to the button or field to set the path to the ScreamerNet UB lwsn application to launch. The first time DLI_SNUB-Launcher is run the lwsn Path will default to look for a file named lwsn in the bin folder in the same folder as the DLI_SNUB-Launcher application or the latest version of LightWave Layout. If you place DLI_SNUB-Launcher in the /Applications/NewTek/LightWave3D folder before its first launch, it will set the lwsn Path to the correct location without any further adjustment.

If you wish to run DLI_SNUB-Launcher from a different location, or wish to use a ScreamerNet UB lwsn from another location, simply click the lwsn Path button and select the ScreamerNet UB lwsn file that you would like to use, or drag-and-drop the lwsn file or the bin folder from the Finder to the lwsn Path button or text field. Once set, the lwsn Path is saved between launches of all license versions of DLI_SNUB-Launcher, including the FREE lite license version.


Registration License Check Box Button & Readout

DLI SNUB Launcher Registration License Setting

This toggle check box button shows which license version of DLI SNUB Launcher you are running, the FREE Lite unregistered version, or one of the two registered licenses, standard STD 10 node, or professional PRO unlimited. The registered licenses will enable the saving of all the custom settings below the registered readout. The FREE Lite version will only save the lwsn path above the registered readout. The custom settings below the registered readout must be reset each time the FREE lite version is launched. See Registration & Ordering above for more information about the various DLI_SNUB-Launcher licenses that are available.


-c Config Folder Button & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Config Folder Button & Field

Click the -c Config Folder button or drag-and-drop a folder from the Finder to the button or field to set the path to the folder that holds the config files for ScreamerNet UB lwsn. This is the ScreamerNet -c command line argument.

When DLI_SNUB-Launcher is first launched it will first look for a custom Preferences folder that you may have created inside the LightWave3D folder. If not found it will next look for the default config folder: /Users/CurrentUser/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015/ where 2015 is replaced with the current version of Layout, 9, 10.0, 10.1, 11.0, 11.5, 2015, etc. The name of the config file itself is Layout 2015 where 2015 is replaced with the LightWave version number.

In Mac OS X Lion (10.7) or later the user’s Library folder is hidden but you can still access it by using the Go->Go to Folder… menu item in the Finder and typing ~/Library into the text field, which tells it to open the current user’s Library folder.

LightWave 9 users will need to manually set the -c Config Folder to LightWave 9’s default config folder: /Users/CurrentUser/Library/Preferences/LightWave3D/ or wherever else they may keep their config files in case of a custom location.

For more information about LightWave’s -c Config Folder and the Config File see Managing LightWave’s All Important Config Files from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


-d Content Folder Button & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Content Folder Button & Field

The check mark button allows you to enable/disable a custom Content Folder. Once enabled, click the -d Content Folder button or drag-and-drop a folder from the Finder to the button or text field to set the path to the Content Folder you wish to use to render scenes, objects and images from. When disabled, the Content Folder that was last set in the Config File from within LightWave will be used instead. This is the ScreamerNet -d command line argument.

When loading scenes to render in standalone mode -3, DLI_SNUB-Launcher will warn you of a Content Folder mismatch and allow you to override this setting with the detected scene’s Content Folder.

For more information about LightWave’s -d Content Folder (Content Directory) see Config Settings for ScreamerNet – Content Directory from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


-l Log Folder Button & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Log Folder Button & Field

The check mark button allows you to enable/disable writing ScreamerNet UB lwsn output to a log text file rather than to the Terminal window. Once enabled, click the -l Log Folder button or drag-and-drop a folder from the Finder to the button or text field to set the path to the folder where you would like to save the log files. The logs will be named: ScreamerNetLog-# where # is replaced with the current render node number. This is the ScreamerNet -l command line argument.

For more information about ScreamerNet’s -l Log File see General ScreamerNet Command Line Syntax -l Log File from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


-q Quiet Mode Check Box

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Quiet Mode Check Box
This check mark button turns ScreamerNet’s optional -q Quiet Mode on/off to limit the amount of output ScreamerNet sends to the Terminal or to the log file. Much of this output may be useful when troubleshooting but can be unnecessary noce everything is up and running smoothly, so this option allows you to turn off much of the output. This is the ScreamerNet -q command line argument.

For more information about ScreamerNet’s -q Quiet Mode see General ScreamerNet Command Line Syntax -q Quiet Mode from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


-t Time Check Interval Check Box & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Time Check Interval Check Box & Field

The check mark button allows you to enable/disable ScreamerNet’s optional -t Time Check Interval that ScreamerNet UB lwsn will use to check for commands to abort or report status. Enter the number of seconds for the time check interval in the text field. This is the -t ScreamerNet command line argument.

During batch/network (mode -2) rendering lwsn will check the job file at the specified intervals for abort or status commands to interrupt or report the current status. During standalone (mode -3) rendering it will report the current status at the specified intervals.

For more information about ScreamerNet’s -t Time Check Interval see General ScreamerNet Command Line Syntax -t Time Check Interval from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


LWSN Command Line Readout Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher LWSN Command Line Readout Field

This field shows the ScreamerNet UB lwsn command line as it is being built from the current settings. For batch/network rendering (mode -2) it shows the first node’s command line. For standalone rendering (mode -3) it shows the command line except for the scene and frame range which are set later when the scene is opened to render. You may select and copy the text of this field to copy the command line to the clip board. You may then paste the command line into Terminal or a text editor for manual editing and use if desired. This way you can use DLI_SNUB-Launcher to build your command line with drag-and-drop simplicity and let it verify the syntax for you to be sure to avoid any syntax errors.

For more information about ScreamerNet’s command line parameters see Utilizing LightWave’s Mac Command Line Parameters from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper.

Standalone (Mode -3) Rendering

DLI_SNUB-Launcher may be used to select scene files and launch ScreamerNet UB lwsn to render the selected scenes in ScreamerNet’s standalone mode -3 in a few different ways.

Before rendering scenes with DLI_SNUB-Launcher, the config file and scenes must first be set up for rendering properly in LightWave3D with a proper Content Directory, image file format and output path as well as the frame render range.

For more in-depth information about setting up your config files and scenes for standalone rendering, see Config Settings for ScreamerNetSuccessful Scene Preparation for ScreamerNet and Standalone Rendering with ScreamerNet lwsn Mac from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet lwsn on Mac OS X white paper.


Droplet Standalone (Mode -3) Rendering

DLI_SNUB-Launcher DropletDLI_SNUB-Launcher is a droplet which means that you can simply drag-and-drop LightWave scene files onto the DLI_SNUB-Launcher icon in the Finder or in the Dock, whether it is running or not, to have DLI_SNUB-Launcher launch ScreamerNet lwsn in standalone mode -3 and render the scenes using the custom settings that you’ve set with the DLI SNUB Launcher interface.


Opening Scenes for Standalone (Mode -3) Rendering

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Open Scene for Standalone Rendering Button

In addition to dragging-and-dropping scenes onto the DLI_SNUB-Launcher icon in the Finder, you may also open scenes to render by clicking on or dragging-and-dropping scenes onto the Open Scene for Standalone Render -3 button as well as using the File->Open Scene… menu item when DLI SNUB Launcher is open and running.


Standalone (Mode -3) Rendering with the FREE Lite License Version

Only the registered license standard STD and professional PRO versions of DLI SNUB Launcher save the custom settings between launches, other than the lwsn Path. You may use the FREE Lite version of DLI_SNUB-Launcher as a droplet, dragging-and-dropping scenes on its Finder icon without first launching DLI_SNUB-Launcher and changing settings each time. But you’ll need to be sure to use one of the two default locations for the -c Config Folder. These two possible locations are a custom Preferences folder you may create inside the LightWave3D folder, or if not found, the default Config Folder for your version of LightWave such as:
/Users/CurrentUser/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015/

You’ll also need to set the proper Content Directory in LightWave Layout so that it is saved in the Config File.

If you wish to use any custom settings with the FREE Lite version, you need to launch DLI_SNUB-Launcher first, and set the custom settings in the interface. Then while DLI_SNUB-Launcher is still running, drag the scene to the DLI_SNUB-Launcher icon in the Finder, the icon in the Dock or the Open Scene for Standalone Render -3 button in the open interface window. Or you may select the scenes with a file open dialog by clicking the Open Scene for Standalone Render -3 button or selecting the same menu item. As long as DLI SNUB Launcher is still running it will use your custom settings. Once you quit DLI_SNUB-Launcher, the FREE Lite version will revert all settings other than the ScreamerNet lwsn Path back to the initial defaults.


Multiple Scene Standalone (Mode -3) Rendering

When opening scenes for standalone rendering, you may select multiple scenes at once. When multiple scenes are selected a separate instance of ScreamerNet UB lwsn will be launched in Terminal to render each scene concurrently. This may be useful for rendering multiple scenes on multi-core or multi-CPU Macs where you set the Config File’s render threads to fewer than the available cores/cpus. For instance, with this method you could render two scenes at the same time on a 12-core (24 thread) Mac Pro with the render threads set to 12 each (using half the available threads each) or you could render 4 scenes with render threads set to 6, etc. In current versions of LightWave3D this is not as useful as it once was because you can use the built-in render Q panel to render multiple scenes in LightWave 3D Layout itself. DLI SNUB Launcher’s multiple scene standalone rendering can still be useful if you need to continue working in Layout while you also render scenes in the background at the same time.


Content Folder Verification

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Content Folder Mismatch Dialog
When opening a scene for mode -3 rendering DLI_SNUB-Launcher scans the scene’s path to determine what the Content Folder should be set to (based on where objects are found along the path). If this doesn’t match what’s set in DLI_SNUB-Launcher or in the Config File it will warn you about the mismatch and provide the opportunity to change the content folder.


Output Folder Verification

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Output Folder Error Dialog
DLI_SNUB-Launcher verifies the output folder set in the scene file and produces a warning if the specified output folder can not be found. In that case you should reset the output folder in Layout. LightWave stores the output path in the scene file as an absolute path, even if it is in the Content Folder. So you must reset the output path when moving the scene to a different Mac.


Scene Settings Window

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Scene Settings WindowOnce the Scene Settings window opens it will display two non-editable fields for the Scene File path and the Output Path as currently set for the scene. These read-only fields are intended as a final check where you may decide to proceed with the render or to cancel it. If you need to change them you should re-open the scene in LightWave Layout, make the necessary changes and re-save the scene.

This window also contains three editable text fields for the render frame range that was set in the scene file giving you the option to change them if you wish. The First Frame should be set lower than the Last Frame if the Frame Step is positive. To render the frames in the reverse order set the First Frame higher than the Last Frame and use a negative Frame Step.

When done click the OK button to launch lwsn and render the scene or click the Cancel button to cancel the render.

Batch/Network (Mode -2) Rendering

DLI SNUB Launcher may also be used to configure and launch multiple ScreamerNet lwsn render nodes for use in a batch or network mode -2 render farm. Run one DLI_SNUB-Launcher on each Mac that you wish to launch lwsn nodes on. After launching all the ScreamerNet nodes for mode -2 rendering, you would then use LightWave’s built-in network render panel, or a third party render controller to manage the render queue and send the scenes to the render nodes.

For more in-depth information about batch and network ScreamerNet rendering, see Batch Rendering with ScreamerNet MacBasic Network Rendering with Mac ScreamerNetAdvanced Network Rendering with Mac ScreamerNet from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet lwsn on Mac OS X white paper.


Batch/Network (Mode -2) Settings Drawer Button

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Open Batch Render Settings Button
Click the Open Batch Render Settings -2 button or select the Settings->Open Batch Render Settings menu item to open the Batch/Network Render Settings drawer. This drawer contains additional settings that are only available for batch/network (mode -2) rendering. The text on the button will change between Open/Close as the drawer is toggled open and closed. For more information about any of the batch/network settings, see below as well as Batch/Network Mode (-2) Command Line Syntax from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet lwsn on Mac OS X white paper.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Batch Settings Drawer


First ScreamerNet Node # Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher First ScreamerNet Node # Field
Enter the node number in the First ScreamerNet Node # field to use for the first (or only) ScreamerNet UB lwsn instance to run on this particular Mac. You would use different node numbers on each different Mac if you are setting up a network render with more than one Mac. This is the number used after the job & ack ScreamerNet command line arguments.

The FREE Lite version allows numbers from 1-2. The registered standard STD license version allows numbers 1-10 and the registered professional PRO license version allows virtually unlimited node numbers 1-99999999.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


Through Last Node # Check Box & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Through Last Node # Check Box & Field
The check mark button allows you to optionally enable/disable multiple ScreamerNet UB lwsn instances for this Mac. Enter the node number in the Through Last Node # field to use for the last ScreamerNet UB lwsn instance to run on this particular Mac when running more than one instance on a multi-core/CPU Mac. If running multiple instances on the same Mac, be sure to set the Config File’s render threads setting appropriately. This option is not to be confused with the last node used on more than one Mac. If setting up multiple Macs for network rendering you should use sequential numbers in the First ScreamerNet Node # on each individual Mac as each will typically only run one node instance for each different Mac in that case.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher will launch instances numbered from the First ScreamerNet Node # field to the number in the Through Last Node # field consecutively on the same Mac. The first node # must be lower than the last node #. This is the number used after the job & ack ScreamerNet command line arguments.

The FREE Lite version allows numbers from 1-2. The registered standard STD license version allows numbers 1-10 and the registered professional PRO license version allows virtually unlimited node numbers 1-99999999.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.


Command Folder Button & Field

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Command Folder Button & Field
Click the Command Folder button or drag-and-drop a folder from the Finder to the button or text field to set the path to the Command Folder that ScreamerNet UB lwsn will use to read/write commands in the job/ack files. All ScreamerNet render nodes must have read/write access to this same folder and your ScreamerNet controller must be set to use this same Command Folder. This is the path used for the job/ack ScreamerNet command line arguments.

For more in-depth information about the Command Folder see Managing LightWave’s All Important Config Files – Command Directory from our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet lwsn on Mac OS X white paper.

This custom setting is only saved between launches for the registered license versions of DLI SNUB Launcher.

Render Tutorials with DLI_SuperBalls Benchmark Scene

3D Photorealistic CGI Rendering + Illustration of SuperBalls

In order to provide a sample scene that could be used to configure and test ScreamerNet with DLI SNUB Launcher I created the DLI_SuperBalls Benchmark Scene and included it with the DLI SNUB Launcher download. I also used this scene to benchmark the speed of our computers and to test LW11’s nodal textures for SSS subsurface scattering and built-in instancing with randomly colored balls. You may use this scene to test setting up DLI SNUB Launcher as well as to benchmark the speed of your own computer’s rendering abilities.

NOTE: The DLI_SuperBalls scene may be used to test your ScreamerNet lwsn setup on LightWave 9.6 through LightWave 2015+. Just be aware that on versions prior to LW11 it will report two missing plugins, one used for LW11’s built-in instancing, instance-info, and one used for LW11’s composite buffer export, LW_CompositeBuffer, used for extra DOF control in post-processing. In this case you can ignore the missing plugins and the scene will only render one ball rather than all the additional instances.

The download package contains three different versions of the scene as follows:

DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-LowRes.lws – Renders in about 4.5 minutes on a 12-core Mac Pro.
25% resolution with lower AA, DOF and Radiosity settings. Exports a JPG image.

DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-HighRes.lws – Renders in about 2 hours on a 12-core Mac Pro.
100% resolution with full AA, DOF and Radiosity settings. Exports a linear HDR EXR image (and optional HDR depth buffer) ready for HDR post-processing in HDR compositing software like Shake, Fusion or After Effects.

DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-Anim.lws – Renders frames in about 1.5 minutes on a 4-core MacBook Pro
25% resolution with much lower AA, DOF and Radiosity settings. Exports as JPG images.


SuperBalls Standalone (Mode -3) Render Test Tutorial
  1. Open DLI_SuperBalls/Scenes/DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-LowRes.lws in LightWave3D Layout 11 or later.
  2. Set the Render Globals->Output: Save RGB checkmark button on and set the path to the DLI_SuperBalls/Render folder. (This step is necessary to set on each machine because the output path is saved as an absolute path in the scene file and will break if the Content Folder is moved to a new machine).
  3. Save the updated scene file. This saves the output path to the scene file. Then quit Layout.
  4. Move the DLI_SNUB-Launcher application into your LightWave3D folder if not already there.
  5. Launch DLI_SNUB-Launcher. [If this is the first time it is run it should locate lwsn and LW’s config folder by default. If not, just drag LightWave’s bin folder, or lwsn file to the lwsn Path field on the DLI_SNUB-Launcher window and drag the config folder to the Config Folder button or field.
  6. Drag the DLI_SuperBalls folder to the Content Folder button or field.
  7. Now drag the DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-LowRes.lws scene to the Open Scene for Standalone Render -3 button to render it in lwsn. Click OK when it asks to render from 1 to 1 step 1.

For additional step-by-step tutorials on how to use DLI_SNUB-Launcher for standalone rendering please refer to our in-depth white paper Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X.


SuperBalls Batch (Mode -2) Render Test Tutorial
  1. Open DLI_SuperBalls/Scenes/DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-Anim.lws in LightWave3D Layout 11 or later.
  2. Set the Render Globals->Output: Save RGB checkmark button on and set the path to the DLI_SuperBalls/Render folder. (This step is necessary to set on each machine because the output path is saved as an absolute path in the scene file and will break if the content folder is moved to a new machine).
  3. Save the updated scene file. This saves the output path to the scene file.
  4. Set the Render Globals->Render: Multithreading to half of the threads available on your Mac because we’ll use 2 nodes for this test on the same Mac. For example on a 12-core/24-thread Mac Pro set it to 12 Threads or on a 4-core/8-thread MacBook Pro set it to 4 Threads. Note: This is the number of threads that will be used to render on each lwsn node, though each node will spawn additional threads for other purposes. (Don’t forget to set this back to automatic when done with this test.)
  5. Quit Layout. This saves the multithreading setting to the Layout config file.
  6. Move the DLI_SNUB-Launcher application into your LightWave3D folder if not already there.
  7. Launch DLI_SNUB-Launcher. [If this is the first time it is run it should locate lwsn and LW’s config folder by default. If not, just drag LightWave’s bin folder, or lwsn file to the lwsn Path field on the DLI_SNUB-Launcher window and drag the config folder to the Config Folder field.
  8. Drag the DLI_SuperBalls folder to the Content Folder button.
  9. Click the Open Batch Render Settings -2 button to open the Batch Render mode -2 drawer.
  10. Set the First ScreamerNet Node # to 1, Turn on the Through Last Node # check mark button and set the field to 2.
  11. Click on the Command Folder button. Choose the DLI_SuperBalls/Commands Folder.
  12. Click the Launch ScreamerNet UB Nodes button. This should launch Terminal, open two windows each launching an lwsn instance. They should both report “Can’t access job file…” because there are no job files yet.
  13. Re-launch LightWave3D Layout 11 or later.
  14. Open the Network Render panel.
  15. Set the Command Directory to the same DLI_SuperBalls/Commands folder.
  16. Click Yes when asked to reinitialize and OK when told that 2 available ScreamerNet CPUs were detected. Both lwsn nodes should now be reporting that they are Ready. (Maximum CPU Number needs to be at least 2 for this test. It defaults to 8 so we didn’t need to set it.)
  17. Click Add Scene to List and select the DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-Anim.lws scene file.
  18. Click Screamer Render and the lwsn nodes should start rendering frames 1 and 2.

For additional step-by-step tutorials on how to use DLI_SNUB-Launcher for basic network rendering and advanced network rendering please refer to our in-depth white paper Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X.


DLI_SuperBalls Render Benchmarks

DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-LowRes.lws

12-core 2.93GHz Mac Pro: 4m 36s (276.4 seconds)
(MacPro5,1: Mid 2010, Dual Six-core Intel Xeon X5670 Gulftown)

8-core 3GHz Mac Pro: 10m 9s (609.8 seconds)
(MacPro2,1: Mid 2007, Dual Quad-core Intel Xeon X5365 Clovertown)

4-core 2.2GHz 15″ MacBook Pro: 13m 6s (786.0 seconds)
(MacBookPro8,2: Mid 2011, 4-core Intel Core i7 2720QM Sandy Bridge)

DLI_LW11-SuperBalls-HighRes.lws

12-core 2.93GHz Mac Pro: 2h 9m 53s (7793.5 seconds)
(MacPro5,1: Mid 2010, 2x 6-core Intel Xeon X5670 Gulftown)

8-core 3GHz Mac Pro :6h 19m 43s (22783.9 seconds)
(MacPro2,1: Mid 2007, 2x 4-core Intel Xeon X5365 Clovertown)

4-core 2.2GHz 15″ MacBook Pro: 6h 34m 55s (23695.9 seconds)
(MacBookPro8,2: Mid 2011, 4-core Intel Core i7 2720QM Sandy Bridge)

DLI_SNUB-Launcher Version History

Version 1.8 – Tested for LightWave3D 2015 & Yosemite – 12/15/14
  • Tested with LightWave3D 2015 & Mac OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite
  • Updated documentation and moved to DreamLight’s new WordPress web site
Version 1.8 – Tested for LightWave3D 11.5 – 05/29/13
Version 1.8 – Updated for LightWave3D 10&11+ & Lion – 05/12/12
  • Updated for LightWave 3D 10/11, Mac OS X Snow Leopard & Lion
  • Added new auto-configuration of default paths for lwsn and config folders for LW10/11 changes.
  • Moved -t command line argument to main panel for use with both mode -2 & -3 rendering.
  • Enabled drag-and-drop folders on buttons/fields to activate any associated check mark buttons.
  • Added drop-down triangle button to the Close Batch Render Settings button.
  • Added new Content Folder verification code for mode -3 rendering to detect mismatches and allow changing the Content Folder on-the-fly.
  • Added new Output Path verification to detect and warn of incorrect Output Folder.
  • Included new DLI_SuperBalls LW11 benchmark render test scene.
Version 1.5 – LightWave 11 Testing – 03/03/12

Tested with LightWave 3D 11 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8. Works fine but NewTek changed the name of ScreamerNet to LWSN and changed its location to the bin folder, so manual configuration is required because the defaults are no longer valid. I’m currently in the process of updating it for newer LightWave 10/11 defaults and testing for use with Lion. The update and will be posted once available.

Version 1.5 – LightWave 10 Testing – 02/01/11

Tested with LightWave 10 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.Works fine but NewTek changed the name of ScreamerNet to LWSN and changed its location to the bin folder, so manual configuration is required because the defaults are no longer valid.

Version 1.5 – LightWave 9.6 Update – 01/10/09

Updated and tested with LightWave 9.6 UB. Also fixed a minor bug where editing some text fields would not update the actual value if the panel was closed while the field was still being edited.

Version 1.25 – Leopard Update – 04/16/08

Recompiled in XCode 3 on Mac OS X Leopard version 10.5.2. Added a version check to prevent it from running on Mac OS X versions older than Mac OS X Tiger, version 10.4.0. Previously it would launch on 10.3, but generate errors due to missing components in that version of the OS.

Version 1.2 – Bug Fix – 04/15/08

Fixed a minor bug where dragging & dropping scenes onto the Open Scene mode -3 button or the DLI_SNUB-Launcher icon while the mode -2 drawer was left open could try to render the scenes in mode -2 instead of mode -3. Fixed it to close the drawer first, so that it would be in the proper mode.

Version 1.1 – Enabled drag & drop of items directly to fields – 01/07/08
XCode Version 1.0 – for LightWave 9.3.1 ScreamerNet UB – 12/26/07
Initial AppleScript Mode -3 Droplet Test Version – 9/22/07

Support & Troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble getting ScreamerNet UB lwsn to work with DLI_SNUB-Launcher, please test rendering the included DLI_SuperBalls test scene tutorials first. This will show you how to use DLI_SNUB-Launcher properly by testing it on known content in a known configuration. Most problems turn out to be problems with your custom content or custom configuration, often with network access and/or read/write permission issues to your network content.

Next review our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet for Mac OS X white paper, going through all the included tutorials to be sure that you’re configuring ScreamerNet and preparing your scenes correctly for ScreamerNet rendering.

Also verify that all nodes are using proper paths that are valid for all nodes and users across the network and that read/write permissions are set correctly for all users, files and folders.

All settings are saved in the DLI_SNUB-Launcher preferences file:
~/Library/Preferences/com.DreamLight.DLI_SNUB-Launcher.plist

If you’ve verified that your configs and scenes are set up correctly, and you’re still having problems with DLI_SNUB-Launcher, the next thing to try is to delete the DLI_SNUB-Launcher.plist preferences file to verify it hasn’t become corrupted. Then launch and set up all your DLI_SNUB-Launcher settings again.

What DLI_SNUB-Launcher does is build the ScreamerNet command line and then launch lwsn. Once lwsn is launched and running DLI_SNUB-Launcher is no longer involved, in any matter whatsoever, so if lwsn is crashing or having other issues like not saving images, that wouldn’t be related to DLI_SNUB-Launcher itself but would most likely be a bug in lwsn itself, the content being rendered or possibly plugins that are being used or network/permissions issues.

Technical Support

Registered users may contact DreamLight by e-mail. Only DreamLight SNUB Launcher specific questions may be handled. We cannot debug your scenes or custom setups. Please send a complete description of your DreamLight SNUB Launcher specific problem, including a complete profile of your system, via our DreamLight contact form. For general ScreamerNet questions, please refer to our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet for Mac OS X white paper.

Due to the low cost of this software, telephone support is not available. No phone calls please.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher License

TM & (C) Copyright 1987-2014 DreamLight Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher™ is exclusively intended for use by the original purchaser and is non transferable. By downloading DLI_SNUB-Launcher you are agreeing to these restrictions.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher is a commercial utility. It is not in the public domain. It remains the property of DreamLight Incorporated. It may not be distributed, redistributed, posted for downloads, sold, used as an inducement to purchase any other items, bundled with any other items or altered in any way without the express written consent of DreamLight Incorporated.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher is licensed to a user for a single site (physical location). A separate STD or PRO license is required for each additional site that it may be used at. It may be used on the licensed number of computers (10 computers for STD version, unlimited [99999999] computers for PRO version, up to the LightWave limit) at a single site. Use at additional sites requires additional licenses, one license per site.

DLI_SNUB-Launcher is provided as-is. Use at your own risk. DreamLight makes no warranties whatsoever regarding this item or its use in any way. DreamLight’s liability is limited exclusively to a refund of your DLI_SNUB-Launcher license fee, if any.

Created, Designed & Programmed by Michael Scaramozzino – LightWave 3D Artist Profile
Author of Creating a 3D Animated CGI Short & Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet for Mac OS X

DreamLight and the DreamLight logo are registered trademarks of DreamLight Incorporated. DLI_SNUB-Launcher, the DLI_SNUB-Launcher logo and drag-and-drop-dead-easy are trademarks of DreamLight Incorporated. LightWave is a registered trademark and ScreamerNet is a trademark of NewTek Inc. Macintosh, XCode, Aqua, Mac OS X, Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S., and other countries.


If you find DLI SNUB Launcher or our Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet (lwsn) for Mac OS X white paper and tutorials useful, please support our continuing efforts by registering DLI_SNUB-Launcher, by purchasing our Award-winning 3D CGI Short Film – BlastOff!™ Special Edition DVD, by purchasing some of our BlastOff! Merchandise or award-winning DLI SNUB Launcher logo merchandise or by buying our book: Creating a 3D Animated CGI Short.

Thank you for your continuing support!

BlastOff! Special Edition DVD - Includes Behind the Scenes Videos & Over 20 Pages of Plans & Photos

DreamLight wrote the book: Creating a 3D Animated CGI Short. See what we can do for you.