Render from several computers

(Kim ) #1

Hi! Im about to render the house I’ve built and I am familiar with that it might take some time. I have not done this before so hence my question probably. At school they have several Imacs for the students to use, and I got the idea of rendering my scene from several computers at once! But: how do I do that? is it as simple as loading Blender on every computer, starting let’s say from frame 1 to 200 on one computer and then start from 200 and so on on the next? This would help a lot since my film are probably ending up being about 10-12 minutes long (and hence loads of renders to be made).

Edit: Would I stumble upon problems when adding all image sequences back to one computer to make the film out of it?


(zeealpal) #2

Combining the images can easily be done on one computer, with Blender if you wish.
If your school’s iMacs have Adobe CC you can use Adobe Media Encoder in a pinch, very quick/easy to convert image sequences to a video

Are the computers able to read from one shared folder? You can render on each iMac from and to the same shared folder, and if you turn on placeholders blender puts an empty file and then each computer will render the next available frame.

There is also a basic network render add-on in Blender, it’s quite easy to use and should do what you need.


(Kim ) #3

Thanks for your quick reply! Will check that out. I’m making quite a simple thing, “just” a house/structure that the camera will move around in. But rendering one keyframe took 30 minutes so this task seems to be an endless one, as I would need around 14 000 keyframes haha


(zeealpal) #4

If you can show us the scene or provide a sample file we might be able to help to get the render time down, depending on the lighting setup, render settings etc… That’s quite a long time to render (73 days on 4 computers)


(joseph raccoon) #5 here is an example of how to use dropbox (or any shared folder) to do that, now with each instance you will need to make sure that it navigates to the shared folder (a must with dropbox, so go down from c/users/…)

Other then that you can just make sure you stagger them a little and you can start them all from 0. If you have a cluster on one network and another cluster on another network you would not do bad to have them start on a batch together, but with all of that being said you need to make sure you enable placeholders!!! The placeholders will be empty files, do not let people open them, explain to them that those are files in the process of being rendered and tell them not to open them.


(Kim ) #6

The file are on that file, its around 340 mb. No idea why it’s so big but I could cut down on that particles which is a bit too ambitious. I guess the lightning are crazy as well. Hope this is a fine way of sending the file, let me know if I can do it another way.

Edit: I guess some baking will help a bit, it’s not baked at all now. But I was a bit surprised that it will be this slow since to my eyes there are no ”extreme” complexities going on, but my bet is that the lightning is a problem and some of the downloaded objects perhaps.

Thanks for all your great help, I really appreciate it!


(CarlG) #7

Sounds like an understatement.

Yes, assuming your students doesn’t mind being without a computer for a while :smiley:

Why not use Eevee? And of course testrender and adjust proper using Workbench prior to committing.


(dgorsman) #8

I wouldn’t recommend rendering everything all in one go, even if split over multiple computers. Break it down into chunks that are both easy to edit together after, and can render overnight/over weekend when the stations aren’t in use. A couple of test renders should give a fair approximation of the time require per-frame, per-station.


(zeealpal) #9

Just downloaded it, I will have a look tonight, the share worked fine :smile:

Definitely the scene or geometry complexity can slow down a render, but sometimes lighting complexity can happen in a geometrically simple scene.

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(zeealpal) #10

Had a quick look, textures didn’t unpack correctly, so I’ll have to fix a few of those so I can understand how it’s meant to look before trying to change much.

My first suggestion would be to try break your scene up into different layers, so you can hide as much of the geometry from bring loaded, the render inside probably doesn’t need the grass to be loaded, you can have any combination of scenes visible, so splitting it and turning off the parts not needed should help.


(Baze) #11

You could try sheep-it.