Make rendering faster?


People have talked about rendering farms and stuff, I don’t really understand what they are. Could someone explain what they do? Are they free or do all of them have a monthly fee?

Thanks for answering, I’m just asking because I think it would be nice to have your animation come right back to you as soon as you send it off.

A render farm is a group of computers that break up a rendering job so they can all share the load. That way, instead of having one computer render one frame at a time, you could have, say, 100 computers, each rendering one frame at the same time, so the animation is effectively finished 100 times faster.

I have never used one, but supposedly is a good one with good prices. Search around the forum and you should find some more information.


Put it this way… the crowd scene in “Shrek 2” when the garlic carriage pulls up to the castle with all the clapping fluidic people? on PDI/Dreamworks dual P4 workstation with dedicated, customized hardware… about 24 hours per frame.

But sent to the queue of a 3,000 processor renderfarm; nearly real time. Parallel rendering is different, multiple machines rendering a single frame, but the concept is the same - more power = less time.

I get a kick out of the fact that at night @ PDI they still reboot the normal workstations and make them slave nodes for the renderfarm… it’s so… well, hippy. Grassroots. As if they couldn’t afford another few thousand and a few hundred terabyte array. (Hell, as if someone would just give them that to be allowed to run a few co-branded ads and be in the ending credits - “rendered on BLAHBLAH hardware.”)

Raaaaas, a 3000 processor renderfarm? That’s colossal.

It’s only money. :stuck_out_tongue:

Heh, true. And the amount they must earn from the films will make spending money on a renderfarm seem like throwing a penny at a hobo. Although I’d never give a penny to a hobo.

Thieving bastards.

Give a little, Mr. Englishman. :slight_smile:

Find an alternative to OSA. That really speeds things up.

How? (i’m typing this now because of the damn char limit)

maybe blur the whole image in your favorite image editor. but only blur a little! i haven’t tried this yet, but it seems like it would work fine.

Yep that works pretty good. And you can push areas you want more blurred that way.

I’ve found that if you use blur, say in photoshop, the pixels are still visible, especially if a line is 2x1 (if you imagine a 45degree angle as 1x1, i can’t think of a better way to say it).

Nah, blurring it won’t work. If you blur it enough to make the aliasing go away, it’ll be too blurred to be worth it.

I’ve been working the past few months, off and on, with Apple’s Xgrid application. A couple folks out in OSS land have developed Java based Agent and full client programs, all one needs is the controller (A computer with Apple’s Xserve OS) which I have an older 1Ghz G4 Powermac to serve that function.

I’ve been helping my old man do some work with the family farms (he’s in his late sixties and doesn’t need to be out on a tractor 10 hours a day moving dirt by himself) and I’m getting ready to move so I cancelled my HSI otherwise I’d have a free grid system up and running at the moment.

Anyway, I’ll have everything up and running about august as I have a contract on my condo now (I’m heading off to Law School).

My Local test grid I’ve been using are my Dual 1.25Ghz powermac, 1Ghz Powermac as server/controller, my 1Ghz PowerBook part time, then a PIII 500 with 256MB from running FreeBSD 5.2 and an AMD K6-2 running Windows 98SE. All of them connect and render, but don’t always deposit the finished frames at the right place. It’s a little problem that I haven’t gotten around totally yet…but I’m working on it…

At anyrate, once I get moved and my HSI connection back, I’ll put the system up for folks to use. I think there is a limit of about 128 users at one time, maybe it’s 256…has something to do with # of sockets available. Price will be free: but a $20 a year “tip” to help pay bandwidth and slush fund for new hardware would be highly recommended.

Sorry but blur is not AA, the only way to achieve AA is to blur ALOT and then scale down the image.

There are many internet based Renderframs available, but i don’t think any is completely free. However these is a working project to create a community based render farm (distributed computing) that renders blender animations. It is currently in Alpha.

What’s stupid is AA is such an incredible killer. A simple anim I’m doing now is 10 secs per frame no AA and 1min 45sec with AA set to 5!

It’s almost faster to use gimp and gauss blur every frame by hand. :frowning:

Post blurring to replace AA is not a good way to go about it. Bluring will diminish the quality of your texture/materials and unless you do an outstanding job it will be pretty obvious that it was blurred in Gimp or Photosho. Personally I wouldn’t complain if a render takes under 2 minutes a frame, that’s test render speed for most. When you’re render times are 30-40 minutes per frame on an animation then you’ll want to find something to speed it up. If you’re doing stills then what’s a little render time, use to go jogging or spend time with the family. :slight_smile:

Surely if say you had a piece which was wallpaper sizewd 1600 by 1200 and used ray and AA and it took 1/2 an hour, if you turned AA off and increased the image size by 4-8 times, it would only take 10-15mins. At this point use a medium controlled blur on the image then set to overlay then a fine controlled blur and overlay it, that should work. If that is to strenous for anybody Im sure that someone could make a script for it in gimp if needed…

It would work but rendering a 1600x1200 image at 8 times the resolution is way too insane, 12800x9600!!! The sheer size of the frame buffer is unbelievable(500mb assuming using 10bit RGBA). I guess it comes down to personal taste…

For me, i usually render everything at 2x the desired resolution with 5x AA. The quality is usually very high and everything (texture, shaders) are antialiased sufficiently.