Todays guest blog posting is from Alex York of Atelier York Studios. Alex has kindly wrote an article on setting up the apache web version of 3ds max‘s backburner monitor. But why would would you want to do this? Well, it enables you to access this data from any internet enabled device, anywhere in the world. Alex has even got this happily working on his Apple iPad. Surely that’s reason enough to try it? (See the screen shot below – click to enlarge.)
First of all, who is Alex?:
Atelier York is an architectural visualization studio based in London, UK, with over five years of experience in the field, working with some of the world's largest architectural practices, interior designers and developers, from Foster & Partners to Richard Rogers Partnership, MMM Architects to John Pawson and Barton Willmore amongst many others. Founder Alex York is a council member of the Society of Architectural Illustration. Alex’s work has been published in the Architects Journal, Building Design, 3D World and in various architecture/design books and publications, both in print and online.The studio's specialities include computer-aided 3D design for the architecture industry, architectural photography and digital image manipulation, covering everything from luxury high-end residential projects to offices, public realm and planning work (masterplans, eye-level planning shots etc.)"
“Backburner Web Monitor is (or can be) a very nice way of accessing backburner from any machine on your network or any machine/ipad/iphone/smartphone from anywhere in the world.
This guide is for Windows 7 64-bit systems but it’s easy enough to tweak the directories if you’re running a 32-bit system. Quite a bit of this has been copied from Autodesk guides and reworded to work with 64-bit systems and the new Apache folder structures introduced in recent versions. It looks long and complicated but it literally only took me 30 mins or so from start to finish and is well worth the effort.
Here’s how to get it installed and access it with auth mode enabled (rather than read-only - what’s the fun in that?!):
*NOTE: I don’t accept any responsibility whatsoever for what you do while going through this guide. If your network dies, your machine melts or you spill your coffee all over your 3d Connexion as a result of any of this, it ain’t my fault. Do carry on!*
1) install Apache from http://httpd.apache.org (you want the version without SSL eg. httpd-2.2.19-win32-x86-no_ssl.msi)
2) install it with all the default settings
3) open a web browser and type (without inverted commas) “localhost”. You should see “It Works!” If not, re-install and check your installation settings.
4) install backburner as normal (or skip this step if you already have it installed). But double-check that it’s working normally. Start your Manager.
5) Navigate to the folder where Backburner is installed, by default C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\Backburner.
Copy the entire backburner_html folder to C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\htdocs.
Rename the backburner_html folder you copied in step 2 as backburner.
Copy the following files from C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\Backburner to C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\cgi-bin:
6) Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\cgi-bin, and then open the monitorCGI.cfg file in an XML or a text editor such as Notepad.
Locate the following line in the monitorCGI.cfg file:
<!-- Default Manager Hostname -->
Replace the value for localhost in this line with the full computer name of the workstation running Backburner Manager. For example, my main workstation running the Manager is called GIGABYTE.
Locate the following line in the monitorCGI.cfg file:
<!-- Port that the manager is running on -->
If necessary, replace the value in this line with the port number used to communicate with Backburner Manager. Check the Backburner Manager General Properties dialog or the backburner.xml file if you are unsure what port number is being used by the Backburner Manager; see Configuring Backburner Manager. Note: The default Backburner Manager port number is 3234. Changing this port number is not recommended.
Save and close the monitorCGI.cfg file.
7) Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\cgi-bin.
Create a copy of the monitorCGI.cgi file in the same folder, and then rename the copy monitorCGI-auth.cgi. Your folder should now contain two files named monitorCGI.cgi and monitorCGI-auth.cgi.
Create a sub-folder called auth in the main Apache folder. You should have a C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\auth folder. Next, set up a password file for the Backburner Web Server in this folder.
Open a command prompt (DOS) shell, and then navigate to the bin folder by typing the following:
cd “C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\bin”
You use the htpasswd.exe utility in this folder to set up usernames and passwords for all Distributed Queueing System users.
Create a password file that contains the username and password of the first user. Type:
htpasswd.exe -b -c ..\auth\backburner.auth <username> <password>
where <username> and <password> are the respective username and password.
A text file called backburner.auth is created in the folder. This file contains the list of usernames and encrypted passwords for all network users.
Set the username and password for remaining users by typing the following for each network user:
htpasswd.exe -b ..\auth\backburner.auth <username> <password>
8) Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache 2.2\conf and open the file httpd.conf in notepad. Enter the following at the END of the file, save and close.
AuthUserFile “C:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\auth\backburner.auth”
<Limit GET POST>
8) RESTART THE APACHE SERVER.
(Click to enlarge the above image)
9) To test the Backburner Web Server from a machine on the local network, open a Web browser and enter the following in the address line:
If the Backburner Web Server is working, the Web Monitor appears in the browser. All users on the network can use this Web address to access the Backburner Web Monitor.
10) To get this all working on any machine/device remotely (not on the LAN) you need to firstly go into your router settings (i.e. Belkin/Netgear/Bebox etc.) and set up port forwarding to forward port 80 (the default Apache port) to point to your workstation that is running Manager. In my case, port 80 now forwards to GIGABYTE.
11) You now need to open Windows Firewall from Control Panel and go to Advanced Settings on the far left. On the far left of this window click “Inbound Rules”. On the far right, click “New Rule” and add port 80 for both UDP and TCP. You should end up with TWO port 80 rules, allowing both to be incoming.
12) now find out your WAN IP from your router (or go to whatismyip.com and it will tell you). Open a web browser and go to *yourwanip*/backburner. If everything has worked, you will be presented with your login screen. Log in and.... Enjoy! “
You can contact Alex here: (or why not just say thanks for the article)
A big thanks to Alex for supplying this information, and I hope its inspired you to try this version of backburner in your studio.