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Why you should build a render farm

December 6, 2018

Image courtesy of Antonio Arroyo and Oliver Villar 



In this article we'll explain exactly why a render farm is important using real data.


We'll get to the bottom of why they are the only way to render some projects and how you can create one using free software.



An Explanation - What is a render farm, how does distributed rendering work?


Render farms are basically groups of computers that do distributed rendering, which is where you render either a single frame or multiple frames using several computers instead of just one. We're going to go into more detail about why this is faster but for now we'll spell out the basics.


There are two main methods for distributing rendering. The first and slightly easier method frame splitting. This is where an animation is rendered by distributing its frames over several computers (those several computers make up the render farm).


Each computer renders some percentage of all the frames in the animation. We've made a simple example to follow along to where an animation of nine frames is to be rendered on three computers (three computers is not a huge render farm, but much faster than just one computer!).