V0.3.1 is out! Support for Blender 2.93, 3.0
So, new version is out and as a result, V0.2.9 has been made freely available. V0.2.9 supports Blender 2.91, so we're slowly creeping back towards having a free version that supports the official build. We're close to that, but still some ways to go :)
Why this new version?
The title kind of explains this, but...
Blender has been pushing hard with their development and as a result had upgraded their bundled python interpreter to python 3.9. This meant that both Blender 2.93 and 3.0 require any addon that uses compiled code to support python 3.9
The previous version of Crowdrender only supported python 3.7 and 3.8, we needed to rebuild and test our addon to make sure that it worked find with python 3.9 and with the latest changes in 2.93 and 3.0.
What's new then?
Since this is a patch update, not much, the only change was to make sure our addon supports Blender 2.93 and 3.0, other than that the features are still the same.
We have been busy doing a ton of testing though, and this might be useful info for knowing how to get the most out of crowdrender when it comes to tuning it for rendering. As you can see, on our twitter feed, we've been sharing the results of testing a few of Blender's benchmark/demo files. Some went really well, like this one which optimised super quickly (for Crowdrender at least).
And some took a lot longer, requiring more than 25 consecutive render attempts before finally reaching a stable minimum render time. That was the story for the Victor benchmark.
What this has given us is a good sent of baseline results to improve upon, and improve upon them we will! We have a passion to drive down render times and get good scaling across multiple computers.
Scheduled for release over the next couple of months is V0.3.2, another patch update to support cycles X. After that we have V0.4.0 which has a review of how files are transferred between nodes. It's a pretty big update in terms of code changes, and has a slight performance improvement. The real change though is that the code is much simpler, and now uses only one network socket for file transfer in both directions.
The big news is that there is an entirely new addon being worked on. At first it will not really do much new on the surface, but it allows for far more rapid development and extension underneath which will allow us to deliver on our promises.
If you'd like to support our work, check out our development fund page where you'll find a number of different ways to help us out :)
We've been super fortunate to have Mwave Australia supply us with modern hardware, like our Ryzen based workstation with an RTX2070 Super GPU and AMD 3950X CPU. This equipment has made the development of our software possible like never before. We've been able to develop support for Optix rendering in cycles and also support Optix and CUDA based hybrid rendering.
If you're in Australia check out their website for pre-built workstations, gaming computers and components/accessories for building and enhancing your computer life :)
The new update is currently in early access, so you'll need to have an active Crowdrender dev fund subscription, there are yearly and by the month subs available, and all subs have some perks attached to them :) You can learn more on our development fund page.