Sunday, 21 April 2013

What are Render Farms and How to Choose One

The phrase “render farms” could invite a puzzled response from people who are unfamiliar with the graphics industry. Render farms are clusters of computers which are used to create computer-generated imagery or CGI in a method that is processed in batches. It is utilized mainly for visual effects which are commonly observed in movies and television.

The Benefits of Render Farms

The creation of render farms has taken place so as to help clients for having access to visual tools which could be 3D Maya graphics, animations, etc in their clusters. They offer CG artists with opportunities to access quality images at competitive prices and in lesser times, through the use of sophisticated instruments. For managing large farms, a queue manager is used. It automatically arranges for the distribution of processes to several processors. Each process entails the rendering of a single image, a few images or the sub-section of an image. This causes an automation of the process and integrates it. There are several other software which make the communication between the queue managers and the several processors smoother.

Why it is not advisable to purchase a render farm?

It is expensive to maintain a physical farm. You got to purchase and maintain several high performance servers and software which handles the graphics. Such a process is also very time-consuming. Also, a lot of space would be occupied by a physical farm. It needs to be hosted in an environment that is conducive. All such factors cause additional overhead. If a computer graphics artist could do away with such overhead problems and cost, additional time and money could be saved for focusing on the creative aspects of the project which would lead to higher profits. For all these reasons, online render farms are a must for a CG artist.

How to Choose a Render Farm?

Now that you are aware of the reason why it is preferable to have an online render farm, the next question is how to go about identifying a reliable provider. Such a provider should offer a trial service. If there is no trial service being offered, it is not a good choice at all. This is because a rendering service acts as a long-term commitment. A provider who is confident of his capabilities should be willing and able to prove his competency within the industry. This can be done by offering trial services to clients, using which prospective clients can judge the quality and the professionalism of the provider. A provider of such rendering services would also be able to offer unrivalled customer support. Some questions to ponder about are the reliability and the resourcefulness of the support team, the reach-ability of the support team, the protocol for a response, the time taken for a response and resolution. Think over these questions and choose a reputable provider of rendering services.

One such provider of online rendering services is Fox Render Farm. They have got a couple of thousands of render nodes on stand-by. Rendering tasks could be submitted online in the cloud. Their work has been approved by several noteworthy CG clients and you could rest assured of a quality work.

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