Right now, I have both my laptop and desktop rendering away on the HD version of The Beast, with the main files housed on the laptop (they’ll be transfered to the workstation later). Both Blenders just hit the shot file over the network. Now, on to the Linux stuff. While both machines are on teh Internets via wireless, I made a cross-over cable (Cat5e) today and just wired them together for significantly faster network throughput. There’s no sense going both ways over the air and through the cheapo Linksys router if you don’t have to. I was pleased with the ease of setup of the multi-homing solution in Ubuntu. I was able to use the GUI tools and not drop down to command line level. So, cool.
However, the Connect to Server option available from the Gnome desktop isn’t reachable via command line, it seems, or really mounted anywhere, so I could access the other machine across the network with it. I had to go to the command line, where a “mount -t smbfs …” command did the trick. One for two. Oh well.
Anyway, I’ve found that I’m not only impressed with Blender’s rendering speed under Linux, but it also seems to make significantly better use of my graphics card (nVidia Quadro FX 550) than Windows ever did. Scenes that were frame skipping while panning in 3D on Windows are just cruising along. I tweak some of the first shot’s animation in Linux, and the response time when working was so much better, I’ll be booting into Ubuntu for animation work from now on.