Faster Cycles Rendering - V0.4.1 of Crowdrender released

Hi there :blush: So, me and the guys at Crowdrender have been quiet of late, but we’ve just released another update to our distributed rendering addon for Blender. It’s a neat way to speed up rendering without having to use hacks, or special/custom builds of Blender as its an addon and just works with the official 2.93 and 3.0 builds of Blender.

First, a bit of a spoiler, V0.4.1 is not available for free, at least not at the moment. We’re using a similar model to what HDRI haven has used where the latest builds are available to paid supporters of the addon, but as the amount of support increases, we unlock more recent versions. Good news is we’ve made V0.3.1 available for free if you want to test Crowdrender out. It’s compatible with Blender 2.93 as well.

If you’d like to know more about this release, and watch a tutorial on how to install and get Crowdrender setup, I’ve written an article and filmed a tutorial which you can find using this link to our website → Making Blender Faster with Crowdrender V0.4.1

Take care and happy multinode Blending :smiley:

Sounds interesting but what is it?? is it like E-cycles or K-Cycles? is it render optimizations, is it a render farm? is it networked rendering? what is it?

I think the title is just clickbait. I didn’t read of any speed up in the article. As one who has contributed to the cause, I can say futzing with the slicing concept in this controller has been a time-waster for me. An obviously useful concept for large individual files, a colossal hassle for animations. Chasing some line in your image is just not what one’s time should be used for.
I look forward to them offering one image per rendering node. Animations can be done much more efficiently this way.

Hi there, I am one of the devs/co-founders at crowdrender, sorry for any confusion there. No, this addon is not related to E-cycles or K-cycles. It is software that will allow you to distribute a render in cycles across multiple computers. So yes, its network rendering.

This speeds up rendering because each machine handles a smaller part of the total image. At least that is the way we do it anyway. This is called tile splitting by the way. The speed up you get depends on the hardware you use.

For example if you had two computers about the same specs, you’d expect to see not quite twice the speed, or a little more than half the render time. Three computers and you’d get not quite three times the speed, and a bit more than a third the render time and so on.

The reason you don’t quite get perfect scaling is that there is overhead which can’t be distributed, like syncing the cycles render kernel, and transferring the finished image tiles from each machine.

So this approach is quite different to E-cycles and K-cycles which are different versions of the Blender program. Our software is an addon so it can be used with official Blender versions. It possible can also be used with E-cycles and K-cycles, but I’ve not personally tested this thoroughly enough and to be honest some pll have informed me Crowdrender doesn’t work all that well with E-cycles.

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Hi @UnCommonGrafx,

I am a bit disappointed to read this. First, click bait wasn’t intended, I 100% support you voicing your opinion, but I truly believe its not a fair call in this case. Click bait would imply intentional deception on my part. I’d like to offer my side of the story here, and why I believe labeling the title click bait is a bit harsh :worried:

First, Crowdrender does speed up cycles rendering, and second, V0.4.1 has been released. I don’t see anything misleading about that title as it is merely stating what is true as far as my experience goes. When I wrote that title I 100% believed it to be true because I tested the release myself and saw a real speedup. My fault for not specifically putting that in the article though, but that is an easy fix, and I will update the article to state the speed increase.

I also admit, however, Crowdrender doesn’t work brilliantly for everyone out of the box. We do get a lot of support requests asking for help getting the addon to work. If this was your experience, and it seems to be, then I understand how you might feel the title didn’t live up to its promise. If that’s true, I’d genuinely like to know why, and I’d like to have the chance to do something about it.

And I have made an attempt at this already. I have replied to your comments on our forum with a question about why you think tile splitting is a hassle. I am genuinely wanting to help you get the most from the addon, and, I’d love it if you’d consider continuing the conversation, either here on our forum, I defer to your preference.

Lastly I admit to being a little upset about the click bait accusation, :cry: not going to hide that. What gets my goat is being accused of deceptive practices, cause that is not me. Please believe me, I don’t want to create confusion or mislead people. However, once a comment like this gets made, its hard to remove the stigma associated it, and trying to do so takes away energy I have for development, because I feel I have no choice but to spend it defending myself. I just want you to imagine being in my shoes for a second and having a similar accusation made against you. I can testify to the fact that it is not a pleasant feeling. :worried:

I want to defend myself with care too, not to react harshly or rashly, but with reason. I think I may understand something of why you made that comment, especially given you’re experiencing troubles which cause you to doubt Crowdrender speeds up rendering.

When all is said and done, I still want to help, if you are still interested in using Crowdrender, albeit with frame splitting rather than tile splitting, I am very grateful and happy that you do. I’d like to talk and learn more about your particular requirements too, this helps me make the right choices when designing such a feature.

And I do want to design such a feature, others have asked for frame splitting, so it would be silly of me to deny it or put it off any longer. I am planning on creating a prototype build of a frame splitting mode which I’d be happy to share with you once its working.

wishing you all the best

James :slight_smile:


I was looking for a free version of Crowdrender for Blender 3.1 and found this on Google, which felt slightly “click-baitey” to me, as it led me to believe there was some free version for testing when I found this. However, while I am here, I just wanted to mention something, which applies to all Blender add-on developers as well.

I think you guys are doing a great job developing this great software. It’s just a pity that if I had to pay for every addon that I wanted or needed, I would have to be a very wealthy person or a successful business/corporation, which I am not, rendering this addon option unatainable for artists like myself unless I use an earlier version of Blender, which will in turn deprive me of the updates that version 3.1 would offer. Please don’t get me wrong. I mean this respectfully when I say that charging individuals for addons is, to me, a little cheeky and kind of inconsistent with the spirit of Blender, being open and free to all.

WordPress is the same with their plugins for building websites, but most of those developers are starting to realise the same, and they allow use of their premium plugins for free now, but without support and automatic updates, which sounds 100% fair to me. Then they can concentrate on charging cooperatives and businesses that can afford it, rather than small artists trying to compete in a world where free is not actually free in all aspects of free software.

I understand that this will probably get your back up slightly to hear this, and I would feel the same if I spent hours developing something that I intended to charge for, but I hope that you can consider this option one day, as staying in Africa is hard enough for people like me, and many will never get a chance to compete as artists, even when the software is free if the add-ons are not.