The Ultimate Blender Render FarmTutorial, Network Render + CGRU + Loki Render w/ Tile

If network render doesn’t meet your Blender project needs than this is the tutorial for you. Have up to 100 slaves/nodes/grunts work on one frame at the same time for complex scenes.

I run through how to setup network render via command prompt or cmd.exe, how to setup CGRU, and how to setup Loki Render with tile support and run grunts/slaves via command line with the ability to save logs on slave nodes. Sit back, relax, grab a coffee, spend the next hour with me and learn all you need to know about getting your Blender renders faster and your render farm efficiently automated with command line instructions with free open source software because Blender should be free to use to it’s full extent.

Table of Contents:
00:00 - Introduction
01:12 - Networking Diagram and Explanation
05:24 - Blender Network Render Setup and Command Line
18:47 - CGRU Setup and Command Line
33:40 - Loki Render Setup GUI and about tile renders
44:30 - Loki Render Command Line Setup
01:06:19 - Recap and Final Remarks
01:11:35 - Outro

Blender Network Render Commands:
blender -b master.blend --addons netrender -a -noaudio -nojoystick
blender -b slave.blend --addons netrender -a -noaudio -nojoystick

Loki Render start grunt command w/ fail safe:
del .loki.runningLock & java.exe -jar lokiRender_062b.jar blender.exe 2>&1 | tee log.txt"

Tip: If you don’t want to install blender on every node just point to a copy of the blender executable on the network drive but make sure to copy the entire blender folder.

Tip: Loki Render works with Cycles and Blender render engines.

Tip: Loki Render will not work with multiple network adapters enabled

Tip: CGRU only will work on 64 bit systems

Tip: Network Render Baking on Network is broken don’t use it

Tip: Loki Render doesn’t use gruntcl as an argument even though recent documentation states it does the argument should be the location of the blender.exe file


You can download tee for windows here copy to System32:
Note: I renamed wtee.exe to tee.exe

If you have Windows Home you can get task kill here copy to System32:

If you have Windows Home you can get tasklist here copy to System32:

Download Java Here:

Download Loki Render Here:

Download CGRU Here:

Download Blender Here:

Can’t get remote desktop on Windows XP Home try AvidError’s tutorial:

Don’t know how to share folders on your LAN?:

Thank you to Royalty Free Music… B…s for the royalty free music:

If there is enough need for it I will do another tutorial of starting grunts/slaves with Loki Render for Linux and Mac OS using terminal as well.

Hope you enjoy this extensive tutorial :smiley:


Very cool tutorial Lilly. I think that it should be possible to extend this so that you can use Amazon’s EC2 clusters as render slaves but that is probably a bit more complex :slight_smile:

Thank you for the tutorial.

Hello NinthJake,

This is already possible with Brenda for Blender.
You can find the addon/software here
How to set it up
Not sure about it supporting tiles but you should be able to get it going with those resources.
I was more interested in doing a tutorial on how to do this using your own hardware that way you don’t have to pay for renting computers or leasing computers from Amazon.
I think I’ll probably do a tutorial on this in the future at some point :slight_smile:


These project in the future is possibile translate in italian or other language?
I’m whant translate this project in Italian. Contact me for translating in Italian!

Thanks Lilly! Now, I need to be able to send .blend files directly from the command line to the rendering farm, without opening Blender. Seems cgru is the only one that can handle that or?

Did anyone successfully set up cgru on Mac OS?

Hello harmonizer,

I have create an install package for CGRU version 2.0.3. You can find it here:

Video broke. Says user no longer a youtube user.

Did some male a backup of this? I would like to see this before I start tinkering on my own (again).

I’ve tried using CGRU with Blender 2.76, but i cant seem to install the addon in blender. does anyone have the same problem?

I looked on the wayback machine and it had a snapshot of the page, but no video.