Farmer Joe Render Farm is Back! and for 2.8 too!

Farmerjoe was a popular, opensource, Blender render farm software written for Blender 3D versions 2.4x in 2006 by Mitch Hughes. It stopped working in Blender 2.5x and beyond because Blender changed, the Blender python API changed and because Python itself changed. You can see the original project here

This new version for Blender 2.8x was born out of frustration that there weren’t any simple render farm solutions available and also my memory of how good Farmerjoe was when I used it for my master’s films in 2010/11. With help from Mitch I have got it going again, fixed some bugs, added some features and written a Blender add-on which submits jobs through the Blender interface.

Features include:

  • Rendering frames (any image format blender supports)
  • Using project subdirectories for textures or baked information etc.
  • Rendering the resulting frames to an AVI JPEG, AVI RAW or FFMPEG file.
  • Rendering a single large image by splitting it into parts, rendering on separete computers and recombining them.
  • Specifying a directory in the root of the Farmerjoe share where AVIs or composite images will be rendered. Different people can have different directories.

You can use it on a single computer to queue jobs overnight or on a multicomputer system.

Check it out on it’s Github page and if you have any questions I’ll check this thread or message me. It would be great to have your feedback and any comments or problems.
Up loading it now.

Updated ******Some quick troubleshooting information:

*Addon does not appear when I try and install it – the Addon is not zip file, you have to extract the contents of the zip file and the addon is the file.

*Everything set up but not much happens – have you put the ip address of the master computer in the Farmerjoe.conf file?

*Jobs start rendering but nothing seems to be finished – see if the Node computers can write to the farmerjoe share. If they can’t frames can’t be written.

*Webserver (–appserver) keeps crashing – move it onto a computer that is doing less work.

*For Render by Parts - the resolution % Percentage needs to be 100%, otherwise you get a composite of little pictures :slight_smile:



This is great news - i’ve been looking for a simple solution like this for ages.
I liked the idea of blender netrender, but unfortunately they skipped it in favor of Flamenco.
Netrender could have been a good solution for small environments.

But now i have Farmer Joe!
I’m going to try it out over weekend.

So far, i have one request for the features list:
With cycles you can render a bunch of samples (on one machine), then start a bunch of samples (later or on another machine) with a different seed and combine these to a higher sampled image.
Would be great to have this as a feature inFarmer Joe!
Guess you render out an image or image sequence and find out you should have chosen more samples. Instead of re-rendering the whole image, just add some more samples with a new seed.

1 Like

Interesting, I’ve not heard of that. I mostly use eeVee. Does it have a name, the process, or do you know of any tutorials about it so I can get my head round it?

1 Like

I didn’t know the original project, but it’s great to see some more tool of this kind for blender! I agree with you, it’s frustrating there are not many simple solutions of this kind around, just high-end expensive render farm software.

Does it support render passes?

I hope I’ll be able to try it soon, I’ll let you know how it goes!

And of course, thank you a lot for sharing this! :slight_smile:

It has been mentioned by Pablo Vasquez in Blender Today.
Up until now there is no GUI for it, but can be done on commandline, and i guess in flamenco render farm.

Don’t know a name for it, and don’t know if I will be able to find it in the blender today vids (more than an hour each week…).
I think it was something with “layers” in the name, which is pretty useless, as “layers” is used in so much different contexts.

If it can be done from the command line then it should be possible here. I’ll have a look when I have time. Thanks

You should be able to use any of the standard features. Farmerjoe just copies the blend file and any subdirectories over to it’s shared directory and the Nodes render the blend with the command line.

1 Like

I have several questions derived from my use of Sheepit as a regular render farm:
A).-I’ve found a severe limitation the size limit of 500MB for a project.
Does your addon have such a limitation?.
B).-a).-I have in one room in one city: one computer 32GB RAM system and in one computer I have only 4GB of RAM system. Can I send a job to the worker with only 4GB RAM System?.
b).-In another city I have two computers, both with 16GB RAM system but in one PC I can use a nVidia GTX960 graphics card and in the other computer I can use a nVidia RTX2060 SUPER graphics card . I suppose that I could use both graphics cards despite the project is bigger than they VRAM?
c).-Could I use these both computers through the Internet without creating a virtual LAN , fixed IP , etc?. (This would be awesome).
Thanks in advance.

Sincerely appreciate your efforts to bring back ‘FarmerJoe’s’ render farm. I have downloaded the zip, unpacked it, and attempted too install the addon. I do get info at the base of the Blender Screen indicating that it has been placed in my Addons folder, and I went in and assured myself that it is indeed in the folder, but . . nothing shows up in the interface. I tried it on two machines. It doesn’t show up in a Search of the Addons?? and not in the Output Panel, below MetaData and PostProcessing?? I am running the latest build from Blender, blender-2.81-c73a99ef902b-windows64 from this morining 11/13/2019. I am looking forward to being able to test, and use this crucial piece of software. Any suggestions??
Yes, I am running 2.81, as it includes the best practices.
I have now created an file, placed it in the file and it now shows up in the Addons correctly, and changed the Blender version to 2.81, but I do get an error, as I really don’t have the ‘Code Savvy’ to correct this, or whether this is what is needed to get it to run in 2.81. I did some research on Google and the already installed Addons in the Blender Official Folder to generate this file.|attachment (1.9 KB)

Traceback (most recent call last):
File “C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender-2.81\2.81\scripts\modules\”, line 351, in enable
mod = import(module_name)
File “C:\Users\paulhart\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.81\scripts\addons\”, line 51
for cls in classes:
IndentationError: unexpected indent

Sorry you’re having problems. I am away tonight but will double check I have put right files in zip tomorrow. Anyone else had this problem. You should be able to install addon and see it in the output panel with out anything else configured

Just a thought, are you trying to install the whole zip as an add-on? You have to extract the zip and install the file.

Yes, I did unpack the, and then installed the included As stated, by including a file in the install, it does show up in the Addons list, but Errors when trying to enable the Addon, with the message I included, and I don’t have the savvy to correct this. Thank you for your response.

There is no file, the add-on is made up of a single python file
I will check again what I uploaded tomorrow but I downloaded it on my phone and it looks like the right file.

Hello José,
A - what it this 500MB limit.?. my last blender 2.80 project was over 600MB. I have not tried it in Farmer Joe but it should work. Farmerjoe just copies the blend file and renders it on another machine.
B - connecting computers between different cities? Try it!.. I do not know what will happen and much will depend on your connection. Theoretically the communication between the addon and the master should be ok because the traffic is minimal. The Nodes run blender and the project over the network so if your project is big, this could be very slow and break the system. The webserver might have problems. As long as the web server is on the same system as the master (the same city) you might be OK because the webserver only talks to the master. Let us know how you get on.

Basically it copies the blend file and runs it on other machines so most things should work.
Hope it works for you

1 Like

Great! I used Farmer Joe to render my first short back in '08.
Very simple to use and perfect for small scale projects. It’s awesome to hear someone has revived it.


1 Like

You had already answered my question above, but thanks for being so nice and answer twice! :smiley:

I still didn’t have time to test this unfortunately, I hope I can do it soon, but it’s a bit of full on period! I’ll keep you posted on the results as soon as I can try!

Hi, i have some question after try to use farmerjoe. every progress look fine but when render image finish
it look like not merge file on render_parts. how i can do for that?

Hi there, is it not producing the final composite image or is the final composite image wrong?
One thing that can go wrong is if you have ‘Percent’ or ‘%’ set to less than 100 in the Output/Dimensions tab. Then all the parts that are glued together are the wrong size. The other thing to look for is in the Master terminal window. When the parts have been rendered on the Nodes the master will do a command line render which glues them together with the VSE, You can see if this command is successful.
Hope this helps but upload a picture if not.

1 Like

Hi, Larryboy thx for your help last time. this time i have new question to ask. when i render by part finish in folder get image by part but when program merge every part i get image same attached (each part image it’s correct). it’s happen when use more than 1 computer help render if use only one it’s working