Render farm in animation and VFX production
In this article, VFXRendering finds out about render farm in animation and VFX production.
Rendering 3D animations and visual effects is generally slow and painful. It usually takes a long time to render complex scenes, particularly high-end productions with lots of visual effects. The rendering process can take days, weeks, or even months to finish, which eats up your computer and patience. Besides, you often do not have time to wait because your deadline is coming up.
What is a possible solution in such cases? The answer is an online render farm that allows you to offload your animation and VFX projects to the cloud and to be rendered by thousands of render nodes.
What is a render farm in animation and VFX production?
A render farm is a high-performance computer system built to render computer-generated imagery (CGI), typically for animation and VFX production.
This is how a render farm handles your scenes.
After uploading to the render farm, the render farm manager (software) will break down your project into smaller tasks. One frame or a range of frames in an animation, or tiles in a still image. The render farm manager will then distribute small tasks to available render nodes. A large amount of render nodes will process and render your projects at the same time, cutting down the time.
Do you need a render farm?
The developments of hardware capability and the rendering software itself over the years have reduced the time needed to render an image. Now, artists and designers can easily adjust the settings, modify the scenes, and see them updated quickly. The render time is also much faster, especially for simple images or lower-quality scenes. Meanwhile, it still takes a longer time to render very realistic images and complex, higher-resolution scenes.
However, the clients want both – the highest quality work in a short time.
Therefore, a render farm in animation and VFX production is necessary. It not only renders the highest resolution but also renders very fast, enabling you to meet the production timelines.
Benefits of render farm in animation and VFX production
So, high quality and fast render time are two outstanding benefits of using a render farm in animation and VFX production. But it is more than that.
There are a wide variety of advantages to using an online render farm. Let’s discover below.
Fast rendering speed
Using a render farm has a major advantage: it makes rendering much faster. When you render large 3D projects on your local computer (usually one machine), it can take hours or even days. But with a render farm, you can distribute the rendering task across many computers. As a result, cut down the rendering process multiple times, from hours to minutes and from days to hours.
The render farm’s fast rendering speed makes you more productive. This means you can finish your work more quickly and create more complex and high-quality projects, making more money.
Online render farms generally use more advanced rendering algorithms and techniques. Therefore, by using a render farm, you are able to produce top-notch 3D animations and visual effects with more realistic and detailed visuals.
Moreover, you can render your scenes at the best quality and resolution without having to worry about endless rendering time.
Another great thing about using a render farm is that it can save you a lot of money. Setting up and maintaining a local rendering system in your company or at home can be pricey, especially for small, and medium-sized studios and freelancer artists.
Render farms are a more cost-friendly option since studios and artists easily scale up and down computing resources as per their project needs. And they also do not need to buy expensive hardware and software, reducing costs significantly.
- Remote rendering.
- Better collaboration.
- Minimized risk.
Factors to consider when selecting render farm in animation and VFX production
With plenty of benefits listed above, render farms are an excellent solution to speed up the process. But there are hundreds of render farms out there. Which one should you choose?
Well, there are several factors you should be aware of. Let’s find out below.
It is vital to choose a render farm that is compatible with your project’s requirements. Does it support the software, plugins, and the version you are using?
Speed and performance
Will a render farm deliver the renders before your deadline?
Render node’s hardware, the number of nodes available, and the occupancy of the render farm are a few factors that determine how fast it will render your projects.
Budget and Pricing
Render farms come with a range of pricing options. So it is important to keep your budget in mind. Some render farms charge per frame or node, while others offer fixed-pricing packages. In addition, some render farms might have a minimum commitment or extra charges for rush jobs (priorities).
Easy of use
Does the render farm provide any application or plugin that simplifies the process of uploading your scenes?
How straightforward is it to navigate and use the rendering service?
Does your project require complete control over the rendering process? Or do you prefer a simple and streamlined workflow?
Is your software and plugin setup standard? Or do you use uncommon software and plugins?
The answer will determine which types of render farm you should choose. Find out more:
- IaaS vs SaaS render farm: which is better for rendering your projects
- SaaS vs IaaS Render Farm: Which is better for large-scale projects?
Security and data management
The secure and responsible handling of your data is a must when entrusting your renders to a third-party rendering service. Therefore, you should select a render farm that provides secure data storage, robust data transfer protocols, and options for data encryption and protection.
Support and Communication
There are issues arising sometimes when you work with a render farm. So, effective communication and support from a render farm are very important.
A render farm that offers responsive and supportive customer and technical support to resolve your issues is what you should look for. Additionally, multiple support channels (such as email, phone, and live chat) are a plus.
Best render farm in animation and VFX production
Among hundreds of render farms out there, below are the best render farm in animation and VFX production in general.
In conclusion, a render farm in animation and VFX production is necessary for anyone who seeks both speed and high quality. However, there are a few important factors you should be aware of when selecting your render farm.