Now that you know what a render farm (for example to render a 3D configurator) is from our previous article, we`ll explain in the following article what you need to know to use a render farm.

Who uses a render farm?

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The main users are probably the movie studios. If rendering a movie to a typical home computer would take 16.000 years and rendering would exceed life expectancy, rendering at home is no longer a reasonable choice. After all, users expect breathtaking special effects.

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As 3D technology became more accessible and affordable, different categories of people started using 3D rendering farms. These include production agencies, post-rpoduction studios, architects, industrial designers, and 3D artists. The majority of users are professionals who make a living from it, but there are more and more students and hobbyists who are choosing 3D. This is especially true for Blender, as it is open source and therefore easily available to all users free of charge.

Should a render farm be claimed?

Everything depends on the specifics of your workflow and the projects you are working on. It may be that you are using them for some of your work or that you are a normal user. Here are a few scenarios where the users of a render farm could help:

  • The modeling is complete, you`ve started rendering and noticed that it`s taking too long and you`ll miss the deadline.
  • You need to render an animation and the whole rendering time is going crazy.
  • You need to show the client the latest changes now and your computer isn`t fast enough.
  • You have a frame that takes 24 hours to render and you need the computer for something else in the meantime.
  • When rendering, your computers make the same amount of noise as a hair dryer – they disturb the working environment.

These are just a few examples from my own experience. There are probably many more situations where a render farm would be a great help.

Do I need special skills to use a render farm?

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Older render farms were notoriously difficult to operate and advanced computer skills were needed to do that. But the latest generation of render farms have very inituitive web interfaces and even plug-ins that integrate directly into the 3D software interface. This means you can get started in no time and in some cases you don`t even have to switch to another application to send your project to the render farm.

Where can I get one?

Whatever 3D software you use, there are a lot of online render farms on the market. You just have to google the keyword “online render farm” and you will come across a lot of different search results. You can also ask the question in a forum – with the advantage that you can get some recommendations from users and make a more informed decision.

In the collaborative area, is the most popular. If you want to create your own, BlenderCookie has good tutorial material and there are many more on Wikipedia.

For paid solution, RenderStreet is recommended. Behind the simple interface is a fantastic technology. But of course you don`t have to follow the recommendations. The best way to get information is through the social media.