Is Cloud Rendering the Best Option for Your 3D Project?


by user

June 30, 2021

Most large-scale animated films are produced with larger VFX departments but rendered using cloud-based rendering services. Films like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are a good example of the amazing visual effects that modern 3D animation has to offer. However, the amount of data it takes to produce a film of that scale can take months to complete on local workstations.

With the advent of cloud rendering offered as a service, it is now an essential tool among animators, artists, creators, and animation studios alike. Furthermore, 3D software now makes it easy for scenes and files to be converted, exported, and rendered separately in frames in an online render farm’s cloud.

Harnessing the efficiency of an online render farm is an awesome way to render images in a fraction of the time it would take a single workstation while working within your production budget. But at what point does using cloud-based rendering become essential? For many new and burgeoning artists or even for smaller production studios, the necessity for a cloud-based service compared to a local rendering workflow may not seem advantageous at first, be it due to cost, project size, etc.

However, the decision to rely on cloud rendering rests on a variety of situations and in many cases, it isn’t just about the project’s size. Whatever the size of the project, many designers and studios rely more heavily on cloud rendering services for other reasons.

When You’re Facing a Time Crunch or Looming Deadline

Expediting a production process in order to meet a schedule, or “crunch time” as game development studios tend to call it, has become a bit of an issue in recent years. If a studio is running behind or has poorly estimated or judged a project’s completion time, or the project’s size has expanded beyond the initial deadline, some teams will remain in the studio until the work is completed. This may include extended work hours and an exhausted creative team. When this occurs, it is definitely time to let cloud rendering help you finish the job.

When Your Local Rendering Resources Are Exhausted

Speaking of exhaustion, if you are already using all of your dedicated nodes, all of your desktop workstations, and no longer have the option of using pre-existing devices, you can either spend more money on acquiring additional workstations or send your files to the cloud for a fraction of the cost while maintaining the high standards of local rendering.

When Optimizing the Larger Aspects of Your Project

Any animation studio or production company with feature-length projects will usually streamline production by splitting up their larger or more data-heavy tasks to be rendered separately through a cloud render farm, while artists use local workstations to continue smaller tasks. This way, they can relegate all of the heavy lifting to the cloud without having to purchase, set up, and waste important computer and overhead resources.

Even when these variables are considered, there are still concerns that many studios and design teams will have regarding their thoughts on whether or not to use cloud rendering.

Concerns about Rendering Large Files

As mentioned above, teams with larger projects will segment major portions of data for cloud rendering. However, in some cases, data containers that are tens of gigabytes may be too large for the cloud rendering service. Splitting those data containers into smaller batches or shopping around for a cloud renderer that can handle large files is recommended.

Repeated Failed Renders (Wasted Render Credits)

With any render farm, local or cloud-based, the potential of failed or incomplete renders is always a possibility. Artists are used to being able to render locally without much concern if there are sufficient local resources. However, when a studio relies on cloud-based rendering, it becomes even more important than ever to ensure that the render farm can guarantee a polished product without any failures or complications.

Try Render Pool for Your Cloud Rendering Needs

Our service, Render Pool, offers reliable support for studios of all sizes. We utilize an extensive number of GPU cores that not only can accommodate any software compatible with AMD’s robust Radeon ProRender plugin (including Maya and Houdini) but are capable of working with Blender’s Cycles engine, making it easier and faster for native Blender users to increase their productivity and optimize their workflow.

With Blender 2.93’s recent release, Render Pool has now optimized its interface to be compatible with LTS users of both 2.83 and 2.93 structures.

Our standard upload file size limit is 50 GB, but we can make exceptions in special cases when needed. We also use a pay-as-you-go system, so you will never have to worry about going over your budget.

Render Pool can offer support, pricing, and availability, as well as provide you with solutions to ease your mind about the caveats of cloud-based rendering and get you focused on finishing your projects. Happy rendering!