Should I Use A Render Farm For My Projects?

Most of us don’t have the top-of-the-range hardware required to render an image in minutes. Some of us can only use laptops with minimal capabilities for 3D modeling. There is a solution, though, in the form of render farms.

 You can choose to use a random farm to successfully render your images and animations using someone else’s machine. This can be beneficial if you are working on a specific project that requires you to achieve results in a certain amount of time. It’s also helpful when your own machine cannot render your target scene.

Using a render farm can alleviate some of the time you have to focus on other parts of the project or even other projects entirely. But should everybody use a render farm for their projects?

How Does A Render Farm Work?

The concept of a render farm is simple. First, you create an account with the people that own the render farm, and then you upload your target render, whether that be a single image or an entire animation.

That project will then be rendered from the render farm without your device having to do any heavy lifting. But, of course, the critical downside here is that you don’t know when the actual render will be complete.

And the second downside is that in most cases rendering your images and animations using a render farm will cost money.

To summarise the process, you sign up with an account for a render farm of your choice. Upload your project and then pay for the render. When it’s complete, you can then download the render, whether that be an image on animation for personal or commercial use.

You Should Use A Render Farm For Your Project If…

Let’s take a look at a few reasons you should consider using a render farm for your projects.

Your Hardware Is Not Powerful Enough

The most common use case for needing a render farm to complete your projects is when you are using a device that is either incapable of rendering an image of your built scene or if rendering on that device would take an extraordinary amount of time.

For example, say if you used a laptop with no dedicated graphics card. With Blender, we can render our scenes using either our CPU or GPU. However, in most cases, the GPU is a much faster option.

Most laptops do not have GPUs, but mobile version CPUs are not as significant as the desktop versions.
As a result, rendering on a laptop’s mobile CPU can take substantial time, even for simple renders.

While this is almost an extreme case, it is not uncommon. You may still require or consider using a render farm if you have a desktop with older hardware, such as an old CPU or GPU.

You Are Working With Time Constraints

Another common reason you may require a render farm to complete your projects is that you are working with time constraints.

Many 3D artists who learn Blender then use it for personal and professional projects. For example, you could be in a situation where you are building up a scene or asset for a client, and you need to send off test renders of your project for the client to look over.

Your client could also look for an animation you created within Blender. In both of these situations, you are working within a time limit.

Sending your renders off to be completed in a render farm is a way of increasing the speed of those renders and allowing you to continue other parts of the project since it frees up your device to do other things.

The Reliability Of Dedicated Hardware

A third reason you may wish to test render farms is reliability. In rendering and animation projects, Blender is always at risk, however small, of crashing and closing.

If Blender were to crash while you were rendering a movie file, then all of the time spent rendering that file would be wasted.

You would then be required to restart your render from the beginning.

There are, of course, workarounds within Blender, such as the ability to render your animation as an image sequence, first completing the animation on a frame by frame basis and then re-importing that image sequence back into Blender to be converted into a movie file.

However, if you don’t want to do this, you can send off your project to be rendered at a data render farm, where the machines used to focus specifically on 3D rendering.

If you want to learn more about Blender you can check out our course on Skillshare by clicking the link here and get 1 month free to the entire Skillshare library.

You Should Not Use A Render Farm If…

While there are certainly times when you should consider using render farms, there are also times when you should consider just rendering using your personal device.

Your Hardware Is Powerful Enough To Complete The Render

One of the main reasons for using a render farm is if your hardware is not powerful enough to complete the render. However, if you have decent hardware, such as an up-to-date graphics card, you should not have much problem with rendering your projects.

This is especially true if you are only rendering single images, which take a lot less time to complete than full animations that can comprise hundreds if not thousands of images.

It Is A Personal Project That Has No Time Constraints

If your projects are personal rather than professional, it may seem a bit of a waste to spend money on having them rendered elsewhere. However, from a business standpoint, investing money into something that will not bring any return on that investment doesn’t make sense.

Even though render farms offer excellent rates for their rendered images, it may still not be worth it to you in your current situation to use a render farm that requires a financial transaction.

Your Scenes Do Not Require That Level Of Hardware To Complete

The very concept of the render farm is to help speed up the rendering process for chopped here animations that would eventually hit the box office. In other words, it’s an idea that has come from the very top of the industry and worked its way down.

But the average 3D artist is not likely to be creating the next best Pixar quality animation film. In many cases, we might just be creating relatively simple scenes with basic materials and lighting.

If this is the case, then those scenes will not take that long to render, regardless of the device we choose to create them on.

Are Render Farms Safe To Use?

Nearly all render farms will be safe to use, although there are different types and many different companies that provide services such as render farms. The end goal of a render farm is the same. You upload your project data for it to be rendered, and then you can download the final result.

At the time of writing, we have never come across any render farms that were not what they claim to be. As with any service that you’re not sure about, you should always do your research to see if anyone else has used a render farm and their opinions on using the render farm from that specific source.

While the pricing between render farms can vary, most of them will offer very competitive rates. So keep an eye out for any vendor forms that offer extortionate rates, as these will fall outside the norm, but they are also sporadic.

What Types Of Render Farms Are There?

They were predominantly two different types of render farms that exist. These can be self-made render farms based in someone’s basement or entire data centers run by commercial companies using the cloud.
The vast majority of render farms that you will come across will be these commercial data centers that you can pay a premium for to render your projects.

There are also community-based render farms constructed from the devices of individual community members within their own homes.

When using a community-based render farm, your project may be sent off to someone else’s device somewhere in the world, and then your project renders on their machine.

Depending on the render farm setup, you can earn money when doing other people’s projects, or you can earn points to request renders from other artists.

Which Render Farm Is Best Suited To Me?

A common question will be which render farm is best suited to your needs, and the answer to that is that we don’t have the best suitable option. Old render farms pretty much work in precisely the same way. Your project is sent off to be rendered on another machine and sent back or made available for download.

The best render farm for you may be the cheapest render farm. For example, you may decide to go with a community-based render farm to don’t have to pay anything. Another option may be to add computers within your own home and have those spare computers act as your render devices. However, this solution is going to cost far more than anything else.

For Blender artists, there are a couple of render farms that we recommend using. The first render farm is the blender grid. I sure will undoubtedly have guessed Blender Grid allows us to render our images and animations and is dedicated to rendering from the blender software.

Blender Grid

As a result, it is exceptionally reliable for blender-based artists to complete their projects. However, it should be noted that Blender grid is typically more expensive than other solutions.

Another solution we recommend is garage, which is another render farm dedicated to the blender software and rendering blender-based projects. When we have used render farms in the past, this has been our typical go-to choice.

Thanks For Reading The Article

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