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What Is A Render Farm?

Many people think a render farm it’s one large, powerful computer. In reality, its many computers connected together to process large amounts of calculations as quickly as possible. The primary use is for the 3d animation software like 3dsmax, Maya, Cinema 4d, Blender, and more, to generate lighting and realistic photo-real computer-generated images/animations.

How Does A Render Farm work?

For example, if you are rendering a 3d animation and require 1min of footage at 30 frames per second. Your computer will need to render 1800 frames. If your computer takes 15min to render each frame, it will take your computer 450 hours of nonstop rendering. You could send it to a render farm, and they can spin up many systems similar to your computer. Let’s say the render farm spin 500 systems. They will be able to render your project out in under 1 hour. The process works by sending the first frame to the first computer, the second frame to the second computer, and the third frame to the third computer until all 500 computers are rendering 500 frames. Once one system finishes its first frame, it will take the next available frame (501) and start rendering it until all 1800 frames have finished.

Why Do You Need A Render Farm?

If you have a 3d project that takes your computer 450 hours to render out and a customer that requires it tomorrow, you will need to send the files off to be rendered by a render farm. A render farm will turn your project around within hours so you can composite everything together, just in time for your deadline. There are many reasons people use render farms, and here are the most common.

  • – More reliable than a single workstation. Imagine you set the computer off for five or more days and come back with a failed error message.
  • – Heat risk with a fire hazard. Your CPU will be running at 100% capacity. Without suitable cooling and ventilation, this can cause all sorts of issues with the components inside the system, at the very least.
  • – Free up your workstation. If you are rendering for five days, that means five days you can’t use your workstation, and time means money!
  • – You don’t have to spend vast amounts of money on new systems to build your own render farm.

Are Render Farms Worth It?

Yes, render farms are worth it in many cases. You may have tight deadlines and need to speed up the rendering process, or you need to free up your workstation and don’t want to deal with all the issues rendering a large project.

Are Render Farms Free?

No, you will struggle to find a free render farm, but you might be able to utilize deals or signup for free credits to run tests on a render farm.

Can I Build My Own Render Farm?

You will need networking and IT knowledge to connect several systems correctly. You will need a render manager to submit render jobs into a queuing system. The other computers on the networks will require the same software licenses and plug-ins on each computer to render correctly, and that’s just scratching the surface. Building your own render farm is quite a big task. Keeping it up to date and running whenever needed is like spinning plates, requiring constant maintenance and upgrades. RenderNow has its own in-house render farm with experts just at the end of a phone call to help render your projects. Using RenderNow would be a fraction of the cost and time it would take to build your own render farm and learn everything you need to know to keep it going. We created RenderNow, so you don’t have to worry about building your own render farm. 

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