Recently I’ve found that there is no simple way to render using cloud (like GCP/Amazon) - everyone actually buying some hardware and building ~$3000-5000 render farms or using some proprietary net-rendering solutions, which are unstable or have none security to be somehow used in a cloud environment.
So I decided to build the “BlendNet” addon for blender 2.8 with GCP provider support - “preemptible” instances could be really useful for the rendering purposes and could offer ~$0.5 per quite complicated cycles frame. GCP is offering $300 for anyone to play with and it’s easy to setup the project and actually run your render without any man-in-the-middle. If the addon will become useful - there is a number of things to add, like cost estimation, another providers to support, etc. So hopefully it will help you guys.
Here you can find the addon sources and some documentation: https://github.com/state-of-the-art/BlendNet/
- Tested only on Linux - hopefully should work on MacOSX and maybe will work on Windows (but expect errors).
- Initial configuration is quite hard for someone who never used GCP gcloud utility
- Tested only on GCP with default project - so if you have some interesting configs, it could fail
- Agents will have external ip to download external resources (updates, blender binary)
- Some settings are not working - for example you can’t specify the existing manager IP, so only dynamic creation on GCP
- Auto-shutdown of the Manager - so you have to stop it manually
- Save of the Manager/Agent tasks information between runs - do not shutdown Manager until you get all the required information from it
- Simple auto download the results - right now they are downloaded only if you previewing them
- Not tested render with dependencies (images,caches) - so could contain some minor issues
- Interface is responsive - but relies on user interaction, so if it’s not updating - just fly mouse around it
- Providers interface is not looks good - will be rewritten
- Animation (multiple frames) tasks creation glitches (sometimes stuck for some reason on some frames) and slow, but could be used somehow)
- No Manager tasks control Addon interface
Please read the documentation and HOWTO’s on github repo Wiki to try to use the addon properly.