New Release - V0.6.4 | 3d Rendering addon for blender
How does CrowdRender help with 3d Rendering in Blender?
This might be your first time coming across our project, if not, skip ahead. Otherwise, welcome to our distributed or network rendering system for rendering in Blender. Our addon is a simple tool used to accelerate 3d rendering in Blender’s cycles and eevee engines. We support rendering using CPU or GPU or both, Blender’s compositor is fully supported too and our addon will work on Windows, linux and macOS.
What’s in this release?
Here’s the TLDR
Our addon uses other python projects to help get stuff done, we used to bundle these, now we automatically install them when you enable the addon. This means, if you can run Blender you can now run Crowdrender, it also means that we no longer need to issue a patch update just because Blender has bundled a newer version of python.
We fixed an error when uninstalling the addon on windows. If you click “remove” on our addon in Blender’s preferences, Blender would display an error, this has been fixed.
We added a ‘check for updates’ button, now you’ll know when the next version is available, it will show up in the addon’s preferences, the button downloads and installs the latest version you have access to.
Here’s a bit more detail on each feature…
Number 1 - no more bundled dependencies
We used to bundle all our project’s dependencies inside the downloadable install file (.zip file). The wasn’t efficient since we had to bundle compiled python code, some of the projects we use compile their code for speed. This means that those dependencies only work on the operating system, processor architecture and version of python that they are compiled for. So we had to bundle multiple copies of the same project.
Instead, we now have a setup script that runs when you enable the addon on Blender, this setup script uses python’s pip module to install all of the required code, specific to your platform. The total disk space used for our addon is now only 5MB rather than 28MB. The download is even smaller, at only 500KB.
The added benefit is that ALL platforms that can run Blender (versions 3.0 to 3.6) are now supported. Before we had to pick and choose which platforms we packaged for as we had to package the addon ourselves using a script that needed editing for each combination of processor, OS and python version we wanted to support. Many times we were asked if we could support 32 bit machines, well, now we do.
Just in case you prefer reading to watching (here’s the URL a video showing this - https://youtu.be/IHY8z4RSItE)
Download the addon from https://discovery.crowd-render.com/download
You’ll need to have a Pro level subscription or above to access it
The addon installs via Blender’s Preferences > addons tab > install button, select the zip file that you downloaded from our downloads page
Enable the addon and install the dependencies
All the required code to run needs to be installed after enabling the addon.
Open the addon’s preferences, you should see a button labeled install dependencies, click it to install the dependencies. This should not take long, typically 4MB of data. These are projects we rely on to help us not reinvent the wheel.
Restart or reboot
Most of the time you can get away with simply restarting Blender. However, some background processes will not close on restarting Blender, if you’re comfortable using task manager/activity monitor or the ps command, you can simply kill all instances of blender and then restart. Make sure to save your work before you do this in case you have more than one blend file open at once. Otherwise, reboot, it’s just easier!
Number 2. Uninstalling the addon works again on Windows
Before V0.6.4, uninstalling the addon would cause an error on windows. The new packaging and installation changes we made mean that now you can easily remove the addon from Blender, just be aware that there will be some cleanup required if you want to totally remove all of the software we install.
To completely remove all of the software, you can navigate to your user or home folder, there you’ll find a folder named ‘cr’. You can delete this, and all traces of Crowdrender will be removed from your system.
Number 3. Check for Updates button
We’ve added a new button to our addon’s preferences panel in Blender. This button will download and install the latest version of CrowdRender that you have access to. Access is based on your subscription level. If you’re subscribed at the Pro tier or higher, then you’ll have access to the latest stable build, basic tier has one version behind.
This should save you a bit of time, you'll of course need to have your addon logged in to your cloud account (cloud accounts are free, so is this update service). The main point of this feature though, is to pave the way for automated and remote updates. So you'll be able to update as many computers as you like without having to attend to each individually.
Try it out?
If you are on a "Pro" level subscription or higher, you'll already have access to V0.6.4. Head to the downloads section of our website by clicking the button below. You can also subscribe there too if you'd like to give it a go. Our software is GPL licensed, so once you download it, that particular copy and version is yours for life.