What is a Cloud Render Farm?
There is always a lot of demand in creating special effects, both in the past and now. But actually making special effects is not the slowest, rendering is the slowest. Even with a very high performance computer, the time required to render a frame can still take up to 48 hours! In addition, rendering slows down the computer. If rendering is happening in the background, the special effects artist probably won't be able to work with that computer. For a variety of reasons, special effects artists often don't get their work done on time because of rendering problems, and the manpower, material, and electricity needed to keep the computer rendering can be a significant cost to the production company.
The traditional solution to this is render farms, or distributed parallel cluster computing systems, which are supercomputers built with existing CPUs, Ethernet, and operating systems.
Special effects studios can render by renting a render farm. However, there are some VFX companies that have funds and a lot of rendering needs, so they choose to set up their own render farms. For example, Pixar, DreamWorks, etc. But this is all beyond the reach of small VFX studios, and that's why years ago we only saw high quality VFX in big budget movies.
Nowadays, technology is becoming more and more advanced, and services using cloud technology such as cloud computing, cloud storage, cloud rendering, etc. have emerged. So, render farms are optimized and cloud render farms emerge, which can be seen as a combination of render farms and cloud technology.
With cloud rendering, your material is uploaded to the cloud and then rendered remotely using a cloud computing system. When using a cloud render farm, you only need to prepare the scene files that you need to render and then put the files into the desktop client or its online platform. This way, the render farm will automatically analyze what plugins your scene files use, if there are any missing maps, etc., and upload them to the cloud render farm's servers if there are no issues. The servers are the thousands of computers which will then be distributed to render your files. If you have 50 frames for one action, then maybe 50 machines will be assigned to you to render those 50 frames at the same time. If you use your own computer to render these 50 frames individually, it will take you 500 minutes to render all of them if one frame takes 10 minutes. But the cloud render farm uses multiple machines to render at the same time, so it only takes 10 minutes to render all 50 frames. This can save you a lot of time.
Another advantage of cloud render farms is that some of them are equipped with high-speed transfer software, so you don't need to send the files to the server room yourself, and your files can be automatically downloaded to the directory you set after the rendering is done. Isn't it very convenient?
Is there any cloud render farm recommended? Fox Renderfarm is a very good cloud render farm, which has rendered works from more than 50 countries and has more than 200,000 users. It uses Raysyn for high-speed transmission to allow real-time file upload rendering. The excellent work Mr. Hublot was rendered using Fox Renderfarm. It supports popular software, plugins and renderers for both CPU and GPU rendering. It offers a special program for those who work in the education industry and students: GoCloud Program.
If you need to use a cloud render farm, in order to avoid the final cost exceeding your budget, it's better to test how much a frame will cost in advance to estimate the total cost. Fox Renderfarm now offers a US$25 free trial to new users who sign up to help you check the price. Just try it!
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