Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 42

Thread: Online render farms - are they any good?

  1. #1
    Lightwave junkie stevecullum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reading UK
    Posts
    3,061

    Online render farms - are they any good?

    I've been giving some thought to buying a couple of render boxes, but before I do I wanted to find out if anyone has used an online render farm before?

    If you have any experience and can answer 1 or more of my questions, that would be appreciated.

    • Are they good value for money?
    • What happens if you are using plugins such as turbulence or nextlimit manager?
    • If they do support them - how do you upload the massive amounts of data needed to render the results - kind of seems impracticable if you got 80gb of cached data! Or could you use the farm to sim the data first?
    • What happens about intellectual property rights - by uploading to a farm do I need to sign over the rights to use my content?



    Thanks
    i7 X3930/32GB/Quadro 4000

  2. #2
    Registered User stevenpalomino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    607
    I'm actually in the same place right now. I'm looking more at just buying a couple boxes though. You could buy a couple good boxes (just for rendering) for about $1000. Coupled with either RenderPal or Butterfly Net Render (I'm going with the first), I think this just makes it easier for me to have access to things whenever I need them. Just do some research on networking and what to buy (I mean for those times when you have 80GB of cached data to transfer). Although, if you have some stuff you need rendered like..yesterday.. you might consider a render farm just because they usually have more than a couple boxes and they're pretty fast. I'm not sure of any prices and stuff for that though.. I just know for me it'd be more practical to have 24/7 access to my files because my work schedule is sometimes not 9-5.. anyway.. hope this helps any.

  3. #3
    Lightwave junkie stevecullum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reading UK
    Posts
    3,061
    It would be interesting to know how much time $1000's would get you on a render farm. I see prices like 3.9c per GHZ hour but how that relates in the real world I don't know. I guess if I have 3ghz x 12 normally, and 1 hour renders me 3 frames then it would cost me 3.9c x 36 per hour to match my proposed setup. So that's $1.40 per 3 frames on the farm. So if I have 5000 frames to render, that would cost $2333! Something must be off with my maths!
    i7 X3930/32GB/Quadro 4000

  4. #4
    Super Member Hieron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,684
    Not per se. Your current setup (X3930? does that exist?) would take +- 70 days to render that. Not quite a trivial shot we are talking about. If you have only 2 days to pull it off, your choices are:

    -Buy 35x your equivalent pc (dual Xeons == 12 threads?) (I'm roughly guessing 100k $ if lucky)
    -Spend $2333 and try to get it pushed through some big renderfarm
    -Tone down on the rendertime per frame
    Last edited by Hieron; 09-15-2012 at 03:52 PM.

  5. #5
    J.D.Lowe ShadowMystic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    453
    Quote Originally Posted by Hieron View Post
    Not per se. Your current setup (X3930? does that exist?) would take +- 70 days to render that. Not quite a trivial shot we are talking about. If you have only 2 days to pull it off, your choices are:

    -Buy 35x your equivalent pc (dual Xeons == 12 threads?) (I'm roughly guessing 100k $ if lucky)
    -Spend $2333 and try to get it pushed through some big renderfarm
    -Tone down on the rendertime per frame
    If I was rendering something that would have 5000 frames at 3 frames per hour, I'd hope $2333 would be in the budget for rendering.

  6. #6
    Lightwave junkie stevecullum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reading UK
    Posts
    3,061
    Quote Originally Posted by Hieron View Post
    Not per se. Your current setup (X3930? does that exist?) would take +- 70 days to render that. Not quite a trivial shot we are talking about. If you have only 2 days to pull it off, your choices are:


    -Buy 35x your equivalent pc (dual Xeons == 12 threads?) (I'm roughly guessing 100k $ if lucky)
    -Spend $2333 and try to get it pushed through some big renderfarm
    -Tone down on the rendertime per frame
    3930k details if your interested - http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/...up-to-3_80-GHz (not strictly 12 cores of course)

    I suppose when you look at it like that, a couple of thousand dollars vs 70 days wait isn't such a bad thing!

    And yes on 5000 frame animation the budget would indeed have to cover the render time.
    i7 X3930/32GB/Quadro 4000

  7. #7
    Globally Illuminated The Dommo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    764
    Simple.
    www.GarageFarm.net

    I swear by them. Speedy and very cheapy.
    BRACE MEDIA
    Ensuring every picture tells your story.

    New Brace Media website

  8. #8
    luxowaver silviotoledo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    1,803
    http://www.garagefarm.net/ <---- try it!

    I'm happy with results.
    I use to render on EXR file format wich gives-me 25 mega per image, but their upload/download works great throught FTP.

    You also see the data when images are in rendering and you may also render test 1/4 resolution for free.
    Silvio Toledo
    Brazil

  9. #9
    i recomend Garagefarm too.
    imho best thing is to have enough machines to deal with most jobs, and in my case 10 nodes + 5 workstations (which become nodes by night or during we) are pretty enough. for all other needs i rely on GarageFarm, price are nice and it will always be faster than an internal farm - unless you buy A LOT of machines/blades.

    Paolo

  10. #10
    Super Member Hieron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,684
    nvm
    Last edited by Hieron; 09-16-2012 at 03:29 PM.

  11. #11
    Super Duper Member kopperdrake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,990
    I'll third that, Tomek at garagefarm.net has pulled the stops out for us on several projects now. He's a true star, a pleasure to deal with and is very reasonable.

    Whilst you could buy a couple of render nodes, you have to ask yourself how quick do you want your animations rendered? For us, a farm that can render out a sequence in a day on their 30+ PCs is so much better than having 2 of our own nodes that would render them out in 15 days. And to have 30 nodes just sat idle waiting for a project is a waste. It comes down to how quickly you need your renders doing.
    - web: http://www.albino-igil.co.uk - 2D/3D Design Studio -
    - PC Spec: Intel i7-5960X OC@4.2GHz | 32Gb | GeForce GTX 1080 Ti + GeForce GTX 970 4Gb | Windows 10 Pro -

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    malaysia
    Posts
    276
    I have used ranchcomputing and rebusfarm. Their main advantage is they are very fast. Most of the time, it takes me longer to download the files than for them to render it. Some caution though,

    1. Each farm has its own way of charging, in term of priorities etc. So make yourself familiar with the workflow before sending it a big job. You don't want to pay more than what you need.
    2. Make sure the plugins that you are using is supported. Whenever possible, try bake things first (deformation, radiosity solution) etc before sending. Always test before sending the full render.
    3. I am sure each render farm says that they will not use your assets for anything else other than rendering but honestly, I have not gone through all the legal fine prints. If you project is truly sensitive, you may want to reconsider.

    Render farms are so useful for me that now I don't have an in house rendering nodes anymore but like anything, they are tools. You need to know how to use them properly.

  13. #13
    I haven't used any myself but I know the lead artist at one of the studios a work with a lot said he uses one a lot. ResPower I think he said and was quite happy with it.
    ~~Phil Nolan
    www.philnolan3d.com - Twitter!
    Win 10 Home x64, Core i7 3.4 GHz, GeForce GT 640, 16GB RAM
    Laptop: Win8 x86, Core 2 Duo, 1.5 GHz, GeForce 8600M GS, 2GB RAM

  14. #14
    - Are they good value for money?
    Depend of your budget and depend of your time.
    Just finish 6000 Kray HD frames for 3000 euros. For this project, I couldn't imagine render them on my little local farm. Do not have the time.

    - What happens if you are using plugins such as turbulence or nextlimit manager?
    Plugins need to be share with them for safety render.

    - how do you upload the massive amounts of data needed to render the results - kind of seems impracticable if you got 80gb of cached data! Or could you use the farm to sim the data first?
    I'm a Ranchcomputing and RebusFarm user and both do not permit to cache the Gi. You have to send the data. Yes it can take long time. But it's faster to send than render at home.
    (I'm not familiar with Maxwell but i saw a special button for maxwell project into the Rebus manager. Other software have a single same way to send project.)

    - What happens about intellectual property rights - by uploading to a farm do I need to sign over the rights to use my content?
    i can't imagine they get the rights because they render it.

    Hope it help.

    Just a tips: You have to package project for safety sending on external farm but Lightwave Package scene do not copy images instances (image clone in the image editor) ... so don't use them or some of your surface will be empty textured.
    Last edited by papou; 09-20-2012 at 05:24 PM.

  15. #15
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    6,548
    I agree with Pavlov: if you're a small 'indie' studio, buy a handful of dedicated render boxes to handle day-to-day work and use a third party render farm for heavy duty work during a crunch.

    At home we recently replaced our old render farm with four 'render-only' boxes that cost about $750 each. These machines appear to be about four times faster than our old machines and they run very quietly and much cooler. (Considering the heatwave we just went through here in Los Angeles, thank goodness for that last point.) About two weeks ago we re-rendered 'Happy Box' at HD res as a test for our new farm and the entire task took about two days using only these four machines. 'Happy Box' runs about 1,500* frames from start to finish, with multiple layers for each shot, so I thought that was pretty decent for a small 'personal' render farm. That said, if we were doing a similar production for a paying client and a tight schedule, we'd probably use our in-house farm mainly for testing and proofing the shots, and sending the final 'full res' renders to a commercial render farm. Needless to say, this third party expense should be figured into the job's budget.

    G.

    (*'Happy Box' is actually less than 3,000 frames long but we rendered on twos. When we rendered the movie the first time, almost a year ago, we rendered on two's because we were desperate to save time, but we wound up liking the slightly stuttering result so we kept it for the new HD version.)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Online render farms
    By Philbert in forum LW - Community
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-08-2008, 08:01 AM
  2. Online Render Farms?
    By Filmdesigner in forum LW - General Techniques, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-06-2008, 11:58 AM
  3. Render Farms
    By gpdesigner in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-17-2006, 06:09 PM
  4. online render farms
    By smcstravick in forum LW - PC
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-15-2005, 12:12 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •