If you are looking to build a render farm, you need to build a cluster. Go to your local computer repair shop and see if they have 10 old computers that Work and are at least 1 Ghz in speed. Offer them about $200-300 bucks. Then you build a cluster with them. Then you install Brender. You will have more power then you need if you set them up correctly. There is allot to find on Google. Start there, plan your system and your good to go.
Has anyone used virtual desktops/servers such as those available at CloudMyOffice or App4Rent for blender rendering purposes? If so, what has been your experience? I like the fact that they are a flat fee of around $35/month instead of metered like Amazon, Microsoft, or Google cloud clusters.
I’ve been investigating render farm solutions for my upcoming project. Raypump looks promising, but my initial thought, since it was free, was that it was some sort of community cluster solution. Not sure if that term is correct, but what I mean is basically like what you get with those scientific/math simulation programs where a client runs on your system and contributes computing power to solve some equation that might take years. Anyway, it seems to me that it might be possible to do something like this for Blender, especially with the stand-alone rendering capabilities coming up. Has anyone thought of this? I imagine you’d be able to set how much CPU/GPU you’d allow to be used when you are not doing any work and it would automatically find other clients on the network and utilize resources as they are available. This could provide massive improvements in rendering time all for free. Thoughts?
For what it is worth, I was super Happy with render.st and for short quick things it was fine to spend a few hundred bucks, but I am working on a much longer project and suddenly I was going to be shelling out a few thousand dollars so I built a rig instead - knowing that at least after this project, the several thousand dollars would still be useable. For $3800 I built a intel i7 6-core with 3 x GTX780ti in it and it punches out cycles renders crazy fast. I was being billed for nearly 3 hours for 260 frames that take only 45min on the new machine - the only difficult part is lining up all the short renders in a good que, which was easy on render.st
Exactly my point. Those render farm prices are ridiculous. Not only did they take 4 times as long to do your render on a “render farm”, but the cost per hour is likely far more than what that machine takes to operate. But seriously, 3 hours on what is supposed to be a huge array of computers versus the single rig you built yourself? That’s such a rip-off.
I am considering using a render farm to work on my latest model, I need a lot of samples to clean the image up, and my MacBook Air will take several days to process a high resolution render. I know this is going to be a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type of question, but what order of magnitude are the time savings that people experience by using a render farm? Note that my scene will have to be rendered on CPU…
Thank you all for your recommendations. We are trying to provide a service at professional levels for the Blender community, and all feedback is appreciated.
tomjscott: I believe that a correction is necessary. First of all, digitalcoleman’s job was indeed billed nearly 3 hours of rendering, but it was delivered in approximately 1.5 hours. And he had three similar jobs running in parallel on our farm, which added up to approximately 8 hours of total rendering. And they were all delivered in 1.5 hours.
Of course, we don’t have servers with 3 GTX780 boards, and there is no farm on the market that has such hardware. But if we do the math considering all the renders from that batch, our farm was still faster. And should the animation have been longer, RenderStreet would have been even faster. This is because how our internal allocation algorithm works, and we have achieved accelerations up to 450x compared to the machine the user had at home in some particular cases.
Moving to the money part, the cost of rendering 3 hours on our farm is between $8.97 and $13.47, depending on the plan. Of course, if you have access to one or more fast machines at home, it will always be cheaper to render on them. And you have to keep in mind that we are providing a service, not renting servers in a datacenter and letting you do all the setup.
In the end, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice, and a few of the cases in which a farm can be of service can be found on our blog here: http://blog.render.st/start-using-a-render-farm/ .
Blender Matt: we do have CPU servers, and one such server should be at least 3 times faster than your Macbook Air. If you use our ‘split image’ feature, we could probably deliver even faster. I suggest you create an account on our site and use the bonus to make a test.
I used render.st quite a lot and their service is reliable if something goes wrong they replied via emial quickly explaining what went wrong and most important I never was able to render with my 570 as fast as render.st did.
what most of you who talk about render at home need to realize is also that over long time you have to pay for electricity as well. Just buying a pc and the card is not everything. little cents add up to big dollars at one point.