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Old 24-10-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
David
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Default Render Farm

I'm thinking of setting one up any interest?

I'll post more details later for now i want to just get a general opinion on what it would take for you to farm your work out.

The basic setup would be 40 Intel based servers (320 cores), top of the line kit. I have access to the hardware and a good DC. At the moment its just an idea that's knocking round my head.

Wanted to gauge interest.

Dave.
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Old 24-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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i built our companys almost 3 weeks ago so my method was i got intel i7 920 for about 200usd plus x58 mobo for 180 usd with a1gb ram for 40usd 80gb sata for 25usd and thermal take for 30usd it all cost 500usd per node
I have 20 nodes setup.
as for my render manager i use backburner(2008) its a really difficult tool kit to setup but totally worth it once you get it up and running

hope that helps oh and be prepared for some insane electric bills (keep it intel, amd is usually frowned upon when building render farms)
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Old 24-10-2010, 06:42 PM   #3
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Thanks, I have the hardware and software sorted out. I've designed render farms before

I was more thinking to offer this one to the members of SimplyMaya. Wondered if people here would find it useful as a commercial service.

Glad to see you got your project up and running.

Dave
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Old 24-10-2010, 10:31 PM   #4
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That sounds really interesting... what kind of price system were you thinking?
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Old 24-10-2010, 10:33 PM   #5
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Not sure if I would need the service, But I think it would be about the costings. If you have all you need to do it then do it. It might bring in more small time animators who would need such a service..............dave
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Old 26-10-2010, 12:26 AM   #6
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Im intrigued. Hands up, I dont really know what a render farm is or anything about them, but I guess it is about harnessing the power of mulitple computers. And if so, would it mean that say, if I had a Maya scene, I couldnt render out on my own computer, youd be offering some kind of sevice that I could use to bypass my own cpu's memory limitation? If so, Im sure I would definitely make use of that. Was only just thinking tonight how good it would be to have less wories memory wise.

...or am I off-track?
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Old 27-10-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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i do not understand how this would work... but i also know nothing about render farms or using them while they are in a different location
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Old 27-10-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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I think it would work like this, you send David your project file with all textures, David remaps the project file then starts the render. I think this would only be worth while for animation of high quality or long duration. Then David send bad the rendered frames.............dave
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Old 27-10-2010, 10:11 PM   #9
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if by 'send dave your project files' you mean use a web app that automatically goes to do stuff or something then that would make sense. it wouldn't make sense to have someone actually physically setting up the projects again on their end and then hitting render themselves, especially since that could be automated and it wouldn't scale up very well at all
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Old 27-10-2010, 10:20 PM   #10
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When I say setup the project again all I am saying is set up the render to find the texture files as they will be on another system with no idear where they are, Im sure this can be automated.........dave

Edit:I still think the main problem will be pricing,in two animations how do you price for one that averages 2 minutes per frame and another that takes 8 minutes
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Old 27-10-2010, 10:39 PM   #11
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If, as I hope, and Im sure it sounds kind of too good to be true, but if... it could be a kind of automated process where you could upload scenefiles by ftp or something, and then be sent back the results when they were done, again, in an automated way, then that would be something Id love to have access to. Pricing wise, I guess its up to David, but if it would work roughly as I say above, then I would pay a subscription fee or on a per-job basis. My concern would be that occasionally Id end up annoying David by clogging up the render queue...
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Old 27-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #12
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I won't post links to any other commercial render farms, but a quick google will answer a lot of questions. I think render farms often price according to GHz-hours (i.e. you pay more if you use more cores and for longer). There can also be tiered pricing based on priority (rush job = moolah) etc etc.

I think the project files would have to be set up with relative references to textures etc so that the project folder is a standalone entity. I doubt David (though I don't want to speak for him) would enjoy going through someone's textures trying to link them all up. Render settings would most likely be set up already (frames and cameras etc) so that the rendering could be started from the command line.

Those are my two cents, sorry David if I've spoken out of turn.
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:06 PM   #13
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i doubt anyone would enjoy trying to link texture files back in :p
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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Originally posted by Chirone
i doubt anyone would enjoy trying to link texture files back in :p
Too true... I was going to a write a script to automate it, but I haven't gotten around to it. Especially since I haven't done a group project in a while
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Old 28-10-2010, 05:55 PM   #15
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It would be a fully automated system we're talking about an initial capital investment of 200k USD

Not a few PC's in my front room. Its a service more aimed at studios but hell not like i wouldn't offer it to my users here with a discount.

Dave
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