If you are new to animation, CGI and modeling, you must be wondering what the term render farms means and what exactly the purpose of this particular thing is. Of course, since it is used in the niche of animation it must be something related to graphics; maybe a technology that helps in optimizing the animation process or some tool used for animation. If you have even the basic understanding of computers, the concept of this term is not hard to understand. Furthermore, while reading about these farms you will come across another term; the render nodes.
Here’s how you can understand them both: when you are doing animation and when the animation reaches rendering process, it needs a lot of working. Rendering takes place when you have a model (a model is a picture, scene or any graphical image defined in a particular language but not in its graphical format as you see it) and by using a specific computer program you convert this model into an image. If you go into the details of rendering you will find out that it’s an intricate process and computers programs have to perform the rendering of these models pixel by pixel or some other method might be used.
Today, the animation industry has gained a lot of recognition and it has now become an important part of TV programs, movies and games. However, with the type of rendering that is required today i.e. very speedy and quick, the old computers are not enough to perform this particular task. Only fast or precisely super fast computers can do this work. Since the real super computers can’t be accessed by animators and modelers for various reasons, the concept of render farms was introduced to help these people in meeting the demand of current times.
With this background it’s now easy for you to understand that a render farm is nothing but many computers integrated in such a way that they all perform collectively to complete the process of rendering. The objective of so many computers in one place doing the same job is to expedite the process and meet the needs of today. These clusters, known as render farms, may contain computers of same or varying specifications since their compatibility is not an issue. Each computer in this cluster is named as render node. A server is used to control the distribution of rendering work among these computers.
You can download various programs and applications from internet at very affordable prices to work on farms. These farms are created by big companies and they are compatible with almost any type of software that you might be using for rendering. There are thousands of render nodes working at the same time to meet your rendering needs. The services provided by online companies actually make you work in an online cloud environment so you have a constant access to their farms for fast rendering. Prices for various programs and services may vary greatly so it’s always better to do your research before paying to any online company.