DW Artifice, Inc.

Installing and Running Radiance on MkLinux for Power Macintosh

Kevin Matthews with Artifice staff.

By using the Radiance Online automated Radiance rendering service provided by Artifice, you can access the power of Radiance without confronting the complexity of Unix. However, there is no question that the ultimate in control and performance can be achieved by running your own Radiance rendering machine, with a Unix operating system.

The instructions below are specific to installing Radiance on an MkLinux system. Artifice also provides instructions for installing Radiance on a Power MachTen system, as well as notes on which Unix for Radiance might best fit your needs.

Directions for Radiance on Power Macintosh with MkLinux

Here is a functional draft outline of how to get going with Radiance at native speed on Power Macintosh, using available tools exactly as they exist right now. It is aimed primarily at people who want to be able to use Radiance for rendering and lighting simulation with architectural models built using DesignWorkshop.

1) Download MkLinux for Power Macintosh from Apple Computer, Inc. or purchase it on a low-cost CD-ROM, and install it on your Power Macintosh, with 32MB RAM as a preferred minimum. With 300MB of disk space available, you can comfortably install both MachTen and Radiance, and still have file space for a few medium rendering projects.

Note: The specific details of the MkLinux installation and setup process are beyond the scope of these pages. The best information resources are Apple itself, plus the many independent supports of the Linux freeware Unix movement.

Learn a bit about MkLinux from the documentation that comes with it, and get some kind of internet connection established to your MkLinux Power Mac.

2) Create a new user account for yourself, following available instructions, and use it to learn how to perform basic file operations within the MkLinux filesystem, and how to edit MkLinux text files using Pico or vi, or by editing on another Mac in the Mac OS, and then uploading the results by ftp using Fetch.

(BTW, I personally like to use NCSA Telnet to log on to the MkLinux system for general use, treating it as a remote host. )

As long as your MkLinux Unix system configuration remains intact, you don't need to learn a lot of Unix in order to just use Radiance as a power rendering system. But it will still be necessary to get acquainted with some basic Unix commands.

3) Download the Radiance installation archive.

Connect to the Radiance FTP site across the Internet, using UNIX-style ftp, to download the current Radiance installation archive into the root directory ("/") of the Unix file system.

4) Download the Radiance installation archive, and then build Radiance on your MkLinux system. This section is the heart of the installation process.

a) The Radiance installation archive can be downloaded from the Radiance web site, from the Radiance ftp site, or by manual ftp from the Unix command line to "radsite.lbl.gov", with username "anonymous", password (your name), where in the rad/ directory you'll find "Radiance3R1P4.tar.Z".

However you choose to download the current Radiance archive, you should end up with the compressed binary download package in a convenient Unix directory such as /tmp.

Log in to UNIX using the "root" account, go to the directory containing the downloaded archive file "Radiance3R1P4.tar.Z" (or newer), and use the command "uncompress Radiance3R1P4.tar.Z" to decompress the archive file of the main Radiance distribution.

b) Use "tar -xvf Radiance3R1P4.tar" to extract the Radiance distribution into your MkLinux filesystem.

c) Build Radiance on your system, using the "install" command.

We had to edit two build-related files for the install command to work successfully on our MkLinux test system:

I) First, edit the file /usr/local/bin/rmake so it reads exactly like this:

	exec make "SPECIAL=" \
        "OPT=-O -DSPEED=120" \
        "MACH= -Dvoid=char -DDCL_ATOF -DALIGN=double -DBIGMEM -I/usr/X11/include /X11 -L/usr/X11/lib"\
        ARCH=PowerPC \
        "COMPAT=bmalloc.o erf.o strcmp.o" \
        INSTDIR=/usr/local/bin \
        LIBDIR=/usr/local/lib/ray \
        CC=gcc "$@" -f Rmakefile
There may be some modifications to be made to this file for further improvements, but a file like this works (though it gives lots of errors). II) Second, exactly one line of the file ray/src/common/error.c must be edited.

The line:

	extern char  *sys_errlist[];   /* system error list */
Should be:
	/*extern char  *sys_errlist[]; --980406.maw*/   /* system error list */

After making those edits, the Radiance build and install process should run and complete properly.

d) Either you can install the traditional man pages, if you know how, or you can just make a bookmark for your web browser to the Radiance documentation master pages at LBL, and use the documentation in that form.

e) When these steps are complete, Radiance is almost ready to run on your Macintosh.

5) Log in to your MkLinux user account (not root), and edit the ".login" file for the account, so Radiance can find all the things it needs from within the account:

a) Adjust the PATH variable in the ".login" file of your new user account, by editng the line defining PATH so it reads exactly like this:

setenv PATH ".:~/bin:${PATH}:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/ray"

b) Add and define the RAYPATH variable in the ".login" file of your new user account, by adding a new line near the top, defining RAYPATH so it reads exactly like this:

setenv RAYPATH .:${HOME}/mylib:/usr/local/lib/ray

You may want to compare your completed edits to a complete example of a good Unix ".login" file (also suitable for use as the user account template file (in MachTen, "/usr/share/skel/dot.login")).

6) Working from your user account, test the system. If you have a proven combination of geometry and .rif file from previous work with Radiance, use that for your first test renderings. Otherwise, create a new scene description for rendering from DesignWorkshop:

a) Choose a DesignWorkshop building model to render in Radiance. Open the model in DesignWorkshop or DesignWorkshop Lite, set up the view you want to render, and use the File menu Export 3D > Radiance Scene command to create the Radiance geometry, material, and command files for rendering.

b) Then you can transfer transfer the rif file, the geometry file, and the materials file into the Radiance user directory of the MachTen file system. (If the Radiance "rad" command has trouble reading the files, it may be due to a Mac/Unix line feed inconsistency.)

To begin learning Radiance if you're a new user, follow the more detailed online instructions for running Radiance itself, and for building the "rif" file to go with your exported DW model.

7) Then you're done! and you have one of the world's finest rendering tools, running on your own friendly Macintosh.

When you've got the system working smoothly for rendering basic images of simple models, you may wish to explore the various kinds of Radiance information linked at the UO Architecture Rendering page. . You can also follow the sequence of projects in the Radiance lighting simulation seminar at the University of Oregon to gradually build your knowledge of more advanced Radiance features. These pages at the Uniersity of Oregon also include links to the main Radiance site at LBL, which holds the offical general information on Radiance, technical papers detailing how Radiance works, international discussion archives, links to other Radiance web sites, etc.

Testing Needed

- There are probably a number of unknown problems with these procedures.
- Reports of verifiable problems are greatly appreciated.

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Information on using Radiance:

Radiance Quick Start Notes , Radiance Materials Overview , Example Simple Image

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© 1995-98 Kevin Matthews, All Rights Reserved. This document is provided for on-line viewing only.

Posted 98.05.02 KMM, rev. 98.08.20