Renderfarm over the internet and with guiless nodes


I have not used Blender in a while, but want to get back on and do some video work, and bring a few other people in to work as a team. I know there is a render farm built into Blender now which I will give a go, but I had a few questions:

  1. Guiless nodes - is it worth setting up a Ubuntu guiless install to use as a render node (how much will that increase render times on Hybrid) and is it even possible (or would CUDA not work if you don’t have a GUI install or something like that)?

  2. Is it possible to set up a renderfarm server for the Blender network renderer that doesn’t actually act as a node? The reason for this is I have a low powered server that always stays on that runs on ProxMox that I could set up a VM or container for a server, but I wouldn’t want to render on it.

  3. Is it possible to have the sever as a web interface? That way I could just set up a login and allow my mates to log in and set up their render jobs etc as well, and I already have a reverse proxy set up that can deal with that.

  4. Is it possible to have the server not on a VPN (I could set up a VPN for it, but would be nice to not have to worry about that and just use to point to the server)?

I have 2 alienware laptops and one or 2 other machines, my mates have some high spec desktops, one of them even a HP server with a bunch of Xeons and 256GB ram, so it would be nice to be able to use all these resources in a render.


You can do some of this with Blenders network render addon, which has a web interface IIRC. It was a while ago, but I did have a set running on AWS, a low powered master and higher powered slaves.

You had to use the command line to connect them to the master, I had booted the master first and then created a .blend that pointed to the internal IP address and launched the slaves in the same VPC.

Interesting, I will have to install and give it a go. Sounds like it may be complicated to get a node connected, but that may be something that could be scripted or the like.

Are there any good sets of documentation on the built in network renderer? I haven’t really been able to find instructions etc.

Not sure, this was back in the 2.6x days that I did this, just looking at Blender it seems it was dropped for 2.8… Guess that’s not at option.

That’s a pity! Maybe an option would be for a web based server that can look into the blend file to get details and then a node thats a basic script that just connects to the server and runs blender command line? These days there must be an easy way to set up a render farm you would think.

If there is nothing out there, I may think of starting an opensource project to deal with this. Maybe something that will do more than blender.