Version 4

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro

     

    Andy Clark Workshopshed was sent a Bitcope Blade Quatro (for free) as part of our RoadTests & Reviews.
    After completing his RoadTests & Reviews he was able to keep his BitScope Blade flexible power and mounting solution for a single Raspberry Pi and HAT Quatro, with this in hand Andy has begun building a 3D Render Farm with his Bitscope Blade and Raspberry Pi. It is not the fastest rendering farm in the world but provides an amazing demonstration of cluster computing with the Raspberry Pi.

    We have combined and linked the whole series below for your reading pleasure!

     

    If you want a bit more of a grounding about the BitScope Blade flexible power and mounting solution for a single Raspberry Pi and HAT Make sure you check out his Roadtest here:

    Roadtest: Bitscope Blades - Review

     

    Or the specifications here:

    BitScope Blade QUATTRO Specification

    44-FB26K-02.jpg

     

     

    Render Farm Overview

    Element14 invited me to take a look at these blades so I started by reading the above page. One of the suggestions was for a render farm for the open source 3D modelling and animation package blender. This seemed like a great way to prove out the system in a real-world scenario.

     

    My farm will consist of 4 Pi with one acting as a controller node. That will connect to the USB external disk and have a secondary network connection (possibly wifi) so I can copy the files to be rendered and download any packages needed.

    Building a Render Farm Series:

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro - Plan of action

    The Bitscope Blade is from the same people who make the Bitscope Oscilloscope & Analyzer tools. It's a host board that allows you to host one to four raspberry Pi and provides power and connectivity. You can stack a series of blades into a chassis and power these from a shared supply.

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro - Hardware

    I'm building a small render farm for Blender using the Bitscope Blade. I decided to mount all the components on a sheet of wood so that I could pack the whole thing away when I was not using it.

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro - Pins

    Following a discussion from DAB's review of the Bitscope Blade Uno, I thought it was worth quickly mentioning the different sockets and pins you get on the bays of the blade.

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro - Setup of the nodes

    In this part of the project, I'm looking at the setting up of the nodes.

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro - Setup of the controller

    Setup of the controller node

    Building a Render Farm with a Bitscope Blade Quatro - Running Blender

    Now we can actually get on with installing and using Blender.


    The final output rendering with the Raspberry Pi, Blender and Bitscope Blade Quatro.

    You can follow Andy's progress and content by following his blog:

    Workshopshed