Happy Winter/Summer Solstice by the way!
Depending on which side of the equator you are, its either the longest or shortest day today. If you are exactly on the equator, well I guess it makes no difference :D. Anyway, all this talk of equator, mercator and all things planetary, leads me to tell you why we wanted to give all you lovely people a glimpse of something we've been working that is made with blender and crowd render.
Umm, what is this exactly?
Think of it as a tech demo, we needed a project to put our addon through its paces so that we are reasonably confident come release time of what you can expect. The still frame above is from a 1000 frame animation that was rendered totally using the crowd render addon. I had three laptops and a desktop render the first non-composited passes in one evening getting about 40 secs per frame. I later re-did some frames on a single machine which saw render times at 2 mins 40 secs. Then came the interesting part!
So, compositing support when using crowd render?
Its been a rough journey for us (and anyone else for that matter) to get advanced compositing to work properly. The render engine API in Blender (which we use to show your renders to you when they're done), doesn't support loading multi-pass images as render results. Sadly that is exactly what you need when you want to produce effects as seen in the image above.
Not wanting to give up we designed a workaround which you might have seen in our video demo (link to which is right here - https://youtu.be/vI5uQtKGzRU). However this workaround originally was not tested to work with animation.
We've now completed the final production render of our nano short (yep, I am making terms up as I go along) and we're putting a short ambient sound track behind it.
How can you learn how this was done?
Well as a matter of fact, there is a tutorial planned that shows how this nano short (there I go again :S) was created. After we release the video, we'll put together a detailed tutorial showing all the steps required to get compositing to work.
And what version of crowd render was used exactly?
Ah, good point, so time to confess, yes this was 0.1.2, which isn't out yet. We're still testing away and fixing a few important bugs/user interface stuff. Though we are open to you testing a pre-release build. A few keen artists have been kind enough to test for us, if you'd like to get your hands on a pre-release version, you can simply e-mail us at email@example.com and let us know your operating systems you use. We'll send you the latest build. Remember though, there is no such thing as a free build! In return we pretty please ask you for feedback and to send us log files if there are any bugs you find.
Until next time, happy rendering :D