Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Demystifying Render Farms

The term render farm could evoke a confused response from readers who are not familiar with the graphics industry. A render farm is a cluster of computers used to render computer generated imagery or CGI in a method which is processed in batches. It is used particularly for visual effects seen commonly in television and movies.

Render farms have been created to assist clients to have access to visual tools such as animations, 3D Maya graphics, etc. in their clusters. They provide CG artists with the opportunity to access good quality images at a competitive price and in less time, through the use of sophisticated equipment. A queue manager is used to manage large farms. It automatically distributes processes to many processors. Each process could entail the rendering of one image, a sub-section of an image or a few images. This automates the process and integrates it. There are also other software which makes the communication between the many processors and the queue managers smoother.

Maintaining a physical farm is expensive. You need to purchase and maintain high performance servers and graphics software. This process is also time-consuming. Also, a physical farm would occupy a lot of space. It must be hosted in an environment which is conducive. All these factors lead to additional overhead. If a computer graphics artist can do away with these overhead problems and cost, more money and time could be saved to focus on the creative aspect of the project which would eventually lead to more profits. For all these reasons, an online Render Farm is a must to a CG artist.

Now that you know why an online render service is preferable, how can you go about identifying a reliable provider? A reliable provider should provide a trial service. If trial service is not offered, it is definitely not a good choice. This is because rendering service is a commitment in the long term. A provider who is sure of his capabilities should be able and willing to prove his competency in the industry. The only way to do so is to offer trial services to clients. By this way, prospective clients would be able to judge the quality of his services and his professionalism.

A reliable provider should offer good customer support. Some questions to think about are how reliable and resourceful would the support team be, would the support team be always reachable, what is the procedure for a response, would they be friendly and approachable, how long would it take for a response and a resolution. If these questions do not render satisfactory answers, the provider would not be reliable.

A reputed provider would offer you security for his solution. He must assure you the safety of your system with them. Before signing any contract with the provider, make sure you are briefed about the security measures put in place by the provider.

Fox Render Farm is one of the highly reputed online render farms in the world. They have got over 2,000 Render Nodes standing by. You could submit render online in the cloud. Their services have been approved by lots of CG production companies. Hence, you can be assured that you would be offered excellent service at a competitive price.

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