“Network rendering”, as described in this document, is synonymous with command line rendering. It is a way to render 3ds Max scene files without loading the 3ds Max UI. Render farms, render managers (like Deadline and Backburner) and 3dsmaxcmd.exe render scenes this way by default.
tyFlow RENDER is an optional build of tyFlow designed for network rendering. Its purpose is to provide network render machines with the same multithreading performance as tyFlow PRO, without requiring a tyFlow PRO license. It is still subject to the no-GPU-acceleration and no-tyCache-export limitations of tyFlow FREE, but those should have no impact on network rendering in general (because GPU-accelerated simulations should always be cached prior to rendering, to avoid inconsistencies between frames rendered by different machines).
Any machine you wish to run a GPU-accelerated simulation on, or export a tyCache from, will still require a tyFlow PRO license.
If your machines all have a tyFlow PRO license, there is no need to install tyFlow RENDER. If you ever plan on network rendering with unlicensed machines, then you should install tyFlow RENDER.
To avoid rendering inconsistencies, always make sure the version of tyFlow RENDER that you’ve installed matches the version of regular tyFlow that you’ve installed. In other words, if you are using tyFlow RENDER, you should update it every time you update your version of regular tyFlow (both builds will always be released simultaneously).
tyFlow RENDER (tyFlow_2XXX_render.dlo) should be installed to the same folder location as regular tyFlow (tyFlow_2XXX.dlo). No conflict will arise when both files are installed and loaded simultaneously, from the same folder. In fact, if you’re installing tyFlow RENDER you should always install it alongside regular tyFlow in the same folder (just in case you ever need to open 3ds Max in UI mode and load a tyFlow scene, since 3ds Max will skip loading tyFlow RENDER in UI mode).
Failure to install regular tyFlow and tyFlow RENDER to the same place could result in ‘duplicate Class ID’ errors while network rendering.
On a network, the installation folder can be a shared directory seen by both licensed and unlicensed machines. No issues will occur if a licensed machine tries to load tyFlow RENDER from the same place as an unlicensed machine and vice versa. The licensed machine will simply skip loading tyFlow RENDER (because its license already unlocks full performance while rendering), whereas the unlicensed machine will load it normally.