Renderfarm.fi really isn't all its cracked up to be?

Firstly - I have absolutely no intention of starting a flame-war, I understand if you are on a low-end machine it can be useful.

My point is - many of us here have quite high end pc’s - My pc has two gtx 480s - and as far as I can tell it is pretty much the same speed as putting my blend on renderfarm.fi

What I am saying is maybe (please don’t kill me for saying this) there should be a paid option to utilise a larger chunk of the pc’s subscribed to renderfarm - hence gaining a faster render time. Or even it might be a good idea for renderfarm to buy a few heavy duty workstations, and have the option to use them as well for a small price?

Just my 2 cents,
TS

I’m not a fan either. Wish they did still images.

That’d go against their philosophy, they want to free CPU cycles for the people, etc. I mean, for you of course you could probably beat their cluster and that’s great, congrats for having a cool rig man, but for others it’s really something they can use and benefit from. I know people sitting on a little Radeon 4000 mobility running Cycles and they can really benefit from renderfarm.fi’s services greatly.

If you look at the gallery it becomes understandable, I think. There are a lot of test renders, people playing around, that’s cool. Then there are people who seem to be making their own little demo reels to get jobs or show off their work or whatever, and I think that for those guys that’s really (for now) the best benefit.

From their “about” page:

Renderfarm.fi is the most accessible distributed rendering platform on the Internet. It is – and always will be - a completely free service that enables its users to render their animations or stills by using the computing power of volunteers from around the world. Renderfarm.fi encourages everybody to take part in both the online community and the collaborative rendering.

Emphasis not mine.

I don’t know if there are Cycles alternatives out there (I know that you can cluster render Blender stuff elsewhere, Octane and the like, but Cycles in particular I’m not sure if renderfarm.fi is first or what). If there are paid alternatives I would definitely suggest you check into those instead, or maybe ask the renderfarm.fi guys to start a secondary service through some other renderfarm (ie, license the tech that they made for commercial purposes to another service). Otherwise I think that they should keep doing what they’re doing because it’s just an awesome philosophy. Not to get too preachy. :stuck_out_tongue:

There are plenty of paid renderfarms out there methinks, seems like a new one pops on a bi-monthly basis (and lets people know about it here) so, as they say, ‘right tool for the job’…

Anybody know any paid render farms that support Blender?

I found these guys: http://www.respower.com/blog/?page_id=193

Supports Cycles too.

edit: this one too: http://www.rawzor.com/

(Not sure about Cycles on that one, just looking around really, not affiliated with any of these dudes.)

I tried Greenbutton.net for a while. Slick integration via client side Blender add-on. However, a large number of failed renders, lag behind Blender releases, and failure to follow up on support issues forced me to find alternatives.

I like the idea of Renderfarm.fi even though I havent used it yet. I have my computer subscribed to the service but would feel a bit cheated if they took money for using my computer to render other peoples image. As it is now they make the platform possible for free and I donate some renderpower for free (my computer is running anyway right) -> good karma etc.

But I too would like too use renderfarm.fi.
Problem is I do 99% still images. I dont know why they do not support that?

Yeah, my dinky little HP 2.10GH DualCore does ok for simple to moderate stuff, but once i turn on AO or ray tracing, im looking at 3mins per frame.
For that reason, I never use particles. I use Sony Vegas to cheat a lot of that stuff with its noise textures and lighting effects and render in multi passes. I never tried render farm though. I’ll be sure to give it a go for my next complex project.

Hi,

I’m currently the lead developer for renderfarm.fi. The last few weeks we have seen an enormous increase of submitted work, but the increase in volunteers doing the computing hasn’t been as big. This has resulted in the render queues getting larger faster than we can crunch.

With Cycles integration we have the possibility of doing still images, since we can divide the work of stills in a useful way that allows the user to render them on our grid. I have explained the main process here: http://www.renderfarm.fi/blog/jesterking/cycles-rendering

The best way to get more power is to have people join the project as volunteers to render. Currently our grid has around 500-600 active machines doing the work, but considering the size of alone the Blender community we could have a significant increase in computing power, benefiting everybody on the grid.

We’re working on several ways for volunteers to give project/community preferences on our grid. This means that a user could ‘like’ a certain production, or a community/project for their sessions. Whenever such sessions are accepted on the grid, then their machines would first get work units based on these preferences, before getting work units from other sessions.

We are aware of some mechanisms that submitters could use to get increased performance, but currently they are not relevant yet, as we’re still concentrating on bringing the service quality forward on many fronts. Renderfarm.fi is still a research project as well (currently through http://www.sci-bus.eu), working out many aspects of doing what we’re doing.

Being a free service remains also a top priority, that won’t change. That said, it is not impossible that someday it could possible to buy more processing power for your sessions.

We keep working on the cool stuff. Cycles has finally been integrated in a way suitable for desktop grids, and more of the cool stuff is coming.

Thanks for considering http://www.renderfarm.fi . Remember, more volunteers means more computing power!

/Nathan

ps. if you decide to volunteer for computing, don’t forget to join the best team http://www.renderfarm.fi/team_display.php?teamid=198

Nathan, thank you for your post from Renderfarm.fi!
It’s great to see that you guys are starting to include Cycles in your abilities.
My question is this: will Renderfarm.fi ever render Cycles ANIMATION files? If so, I would think the site would suddenly explode in popularity, and probably volunteers as well. Although a lot of people use Cycles to make realistic stills, the hard part for Cycles is in making animation. That looks to be changing, as Brecht has recently turned his attention to speeding up BVH buildtimes, which will significantly increase the speed at which Cycles can turn out animation.
So, will we start seeing Renderfarm.fi turning out Cycles animation workloads in the future?

@AdamEtheredge, there are heaps of Cycles sessions on the farm already.

The very first successful cycles animation render on the farm, with the different division techniques at the same time in use: http://www.renderfarm.fi/animations/7853

Division techiques are 1) dividing frames into physical parts (i.e. render in four blocks) and 2) render subsample frames.

http://www.renderfarm.fi/animations/8102
http://www.renderfarm.fi/animations/8322
http://www.renderfarm.fi/animations/8420

Currently you can see in the status page that many Cycles sessions have been submitted and are either waiting to be released on the grid, or are already rendering: http://www.renderfarm.fi/status.php

All in all, Cycles sessions have been possible for around 2 weeks now, and we’ll continue to render them, naturally.

As I already mentioned in my previous post, since a few weeks we have seen massive increase in submitted sessions. Now we need also the extra volunteers to do the crunching too :smiley:

/Nathan

THANK YOU! Finally I can try it out!
PS. I volunteer. How do I join a Team?

@ejnaren, when you have logged in to the site, go to http://www.renderfarm.fi/team_display.php?teamid=198 and find the “Join Team” button :slight_smile: I have my team link in my signature too (jesterKing Crunchers), in case you need to find it later on again :slight_smile:

Thanks for volunteering!

/Nathan

@jesterKing: Roger Over :wink: