Suppose you are looking for the most efficient way of rendering your latest animation project without sacrificing the quality required from it. In that case, you may be aware of the concept of render farms.
The amount of time required to complete a render through a render farm is based on the following factors.
- Priority assigned
- Average time in queue
- Image or animation
- Number of frames
- Frame detail
- Render engine
For many artists that use mid to low-level hardware at home, render farms can often be a much faster alternative to completing the render process yourself and frees up your own time to work on other projects.
Are Render Farms Faster Than Using Your Own Computer?
Rendering is one of the final parts of the process of your project. It takes place after you have completed all of the objects in your scene, assigned materials, and textures to them, and set up your lighting.
3D rendering is also one of the most graphically intensive tasks that you can perform on Evie or CPU or GPU. But, of course, we all have different setups, and some of us have more powerful computers than others.
But what about the computers that are used in render farms? How do they compare to the devices that we use at home?
What do you surrender? Farms is a constantly growing business, and there are many options out there, and for a good reason. As a business model, it almost works like a pseudo subscription model where users of the service can take up a full subscription every month or use a pay-by-render basis depending on what they are trying to render and how they want to render it.
Most companies that run these render farms will try and use the best hardware available to them. Some farms will even use different levels of hardware and price them accordingly.
For example, one winter farm can allow you to choose from rendering between a GTX1080 or a GTX 3070.
The 1080 graphics card is still, to this day, a strong card, but it doesn’t quite compare to a 3070, especially when it comes to rendering. So selecting a 1080 can be considered the cheaper option, and then using a node/computer with a 3070 can give you faster results, but you may need to pay more of a premium.
Most render farms are transparent about the nodes used to render your projects. Therefore, you can check to see what hardware the vendor farmers are using and compare it to your own.
Whether a render farm is faster than using your computer depends primarily on what your own computer is.
How Long Does It Take To Render An Animation Using A Render Farm?
Much like with a single image, the amount of time it takes to render an animation using a render farm depends mainly on the hardware that the render farm uses. However, a crucial advantage for rendering and animation through render farm is not possible with a single image.
With some render farms, you can choose to use multiple nodes to render the frames of your animations. A node is used to describe a single device used for rendering.
The more devices attributed to a single project, the faster that project is going to be completed. For example, by assigning five nodes to a single animated project, you can dramatically reduce the time to render default animation, as each node will take up 1/5 of the workload.
So the two factors that will determine how long your animations will take from render farms will be the hardware that the render farm typically uses and the number of nodes assigned to complete your animation.
How Big Is Pixars Render Farm For Their Mainstream Movies And How Long Do they Take To Render?
The render farm concept was devised to create the highest quality animated content possible at the box office. The most famous animations, mainly from Pixar, include the likes of the Toy Story series.
What may surprise you is that each frame of an animation like Toy Story 3, for example, probably took hours to render on high-end machines. It’s common practice at the highest level of the industry to ensure that every frame of an animation is of the highest quality.
Animation companies like DreamWorks and Pixar, to name a couple, will have their own data centers for rendering their 3D animations, and these will always use the most up-to-date technology throughout.
Pixar is reported to have a data center housing over 2,000 computers and 24,000 cores for rendering.
Despite this vast array of hardware. The Monsters University movie took approximately 29 hours to render per frame.
Even many years later, it would be impossible for a single computer, no matter how powerful, to render an entire movie of that quality within a single lifetime.
Why Do People Use Render Farms?
The main reason you would want to use a render farm instead of your computer will be if you are in a situation where you cannot complete the projects with your own device.
This could be due to a lack of physical hardware such as a powerful enough graphics card with video memory or if you do not have the time to complete the rendering process, which is more common when creating a full animation.
Do I Need A Render Farm To Render Edited Movies From The Sequence Editor?
If you already have a completed animation that needs to be edited using the video sequence editor, you will not need a render farm at all.
The sequence editor is a traditional video editor that is stored within the blender software and allows you to perform basic edits to the finished product, such as the ability to trim unwanted content or add overlays.
When you complete your editing process, you need to re-render the animation as the finished product. However, you will find that rendering it after editing in the video sequence editor is 100 times faster than typical rendering from a 3D scene.
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