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More Distributed Rendering Options


server-room.jpgAfter yesterday's post about Piovra, several great comments were posted discussing other alternatives to distributed rendering.  There are of course other options, probably more than enough to make an educated decision on what's best for you or your company.  So let's take a look five others submitted by BN readers that might peak your interest!

lobo_nz writes:

There are many blender python scripts for distributed rendering, both frame based and bucket rendering. Bucket rendering (a.k.a. tile-based rendering or. Chunk rendering) will allow you to render a single frame faster if it is complex enough to offset the transfer time for files and startup time of the renderer (blender).

Farmerjoe is one that I wrote (lobo_nz), does both frame based and bucket rendering, I wrote it after trying every distributed rendering system I could get my hands on but nothing handled it quite the way I wanted. Thread OR Site.

Also for a completely different approach there is Netblend by quorn. Thread OR Site. And Blenderfarm by ideasman... another approach to distributed rendering with blender.

5to11 writes:

Do it yourself DR's fun but why not just use Respower with an incredibly cheap subscription service (doesn't auto renew) and use their DR and split frame rendering for blender? [$20 for 15 mins frame bronze service] is cheap isn't it, for 700+ machines and up to use of 100 for split frame? What a headache you'd have running anywhere near that amount of power in your bedroom, garage or basement and what about you're power bill!  Plus, no limit on how much one can render per month and that's for commercial projects as well as personal. As already said, insanely cheap and the web front end to the whole system is excellent. Support is very good (email) also even at this rate. You really have to question why bother with DR scripts, pulling hair out over DRQueue etc and all the other overheads of running your own setup.

And of course you can't forget BURP, the pre-alpha publicly distributed rendering system project.  It's not fully operational, but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on. 

After briefly touching on all of these I suppose the best summary of the distributed rendering landscape for Blender is that there are lots of options, from general standalone systems to Blender specific scripts.  The good news is that there are enough options that you can find the best option for yourself or your studio, and with a great number of users and in some cases direct contact with the creator, you are likely never to be alone in using them!

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. Cool...
    Does blender's renderer render differently (even slightly) on different processors, platforms?
    I understand this can be a concern with lightwave at least.
    if a render farm with different setups produces the same sequence, it can have noticeable changes, unintentional flashes...

    Or to phrase this another way: if I render a frame on different machines, optimized different ways, will the resulting images have the same checksum?

    Is this an issue?

  2. Hi!

    In the past, some builds optimized for Intel CPU rendered images brighter than the official version, but I believe that this problem has been solved a long time ago...

  3. I have noticed a few differences testing farmerjoe, I found differences in images so far were bugs, osx rendered reflections different to linux and windows which were identical, in the stable release of blender there is an envmap bug (reported by Alltaken :) that causes linux and windows to render differently too, this is a real pain if you have windows and linux machines rendering - although you can always work around it if you know whats caused it.
    Yafray does render differently on different processors, colours vary slightly, some sort of rounding error from different.
    In generall Blender seems pretty good.

  4. I've been testing out RenderPal ( for our D.R. needs. It's not free, but it's relatively inexpensive; I don't mind paying for software that works. RenderPal supports any command-line renderer and I have it working in a mixed environment (WinXP and Linux) with the internal Blender renderer, but I haven't got YafRay working with it yet. Anybody else come across this?

  5. "Rendered" has been around for years adn I have used it successfully on 10 machines in my office. You can find it here:

    Some more info and files can be found here:

    When setting it up. I made sure I kept things simple by putting Blender in acommon place on all machines - C:\Blender for instance. You need to have admin rights on all the machines for it to work. You may need to change some odf entries in the config file. I seem to recall i had to comment out an entry to get some of my machines online.
    I found it works quite well. However, I now use Respower for most of my sequence rendering. You just can't beat the web interface and the ability to resubit dropped frames, etc...


  6. In the spirit of distributing renderers, I am also writing one. It will hopefully be ready for use before christmas. It's written in python, and (in my opinion) has some nice features. I will provide details on BlenderArtists, when It's ready.

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