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Green Button Announces Render Support for Blender!

21

Green Button has just announced their rendering services for Blender. Using the python script that they provide, you will have a rendering consul  inside Blender which you use to upload your file to their servers. They currently have access to over 2000 processors in New Zealand and an additional 1000+ in Australia and they are currently  working with some very large data center providers in the US to add more thus giving you major studio sized rendering support.

"The Green Button is the user-friendly front end for industrial strength supercomputing. The system enables applications to run on compute, storage and network infrastructure that would be outside the budget of all but the wealthiest institutions.

Users access the supercomputer directly from Blender - the massive power of our compute clusters are literally one click away, and it costs just 1c per CPU minute.

For a limited time, we are offering new users US$10 (1000 minutes) of free CPU time, so you can experience how much faster your work gets done when you render with Green Button.

Green Button for Blender is developed by Intergrid and marchingCubes.com as a client-side plug-in for blender and server-side scheduling, management, alerting components. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, these kiwi companies are working hard to deliver the power of cloud computing right to your desktop.

In addition to rendering with Blender, Green Button also provides supercomputer acceleration for Biomatters Geneious software, and is planning to add support for other desktop applications across a broad range of industries.

The NZSC (New Zealand Supercomputing Center) and Gen-i provide data center, development and support services to the project.

"Blender is an amazing application, with a fantastic community. It is really exciting to be involved in this project, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the cool stuff you guys and girls render using the Green Button!" - Pete Black, marchingCubes.com

"This all started in 2003 when we needed more processing power to finish the final digital effects for "The Return of the King", the third installment of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. It is great that this sort of processing power is now available today to artists all over world, whenever it is needed". -

Scott Houston,

Founder of InterGrid (& ex-CTO Weta Digital)

21 Comments

  1. This is excellent! I really can't wait to give this a try. The price is also amazing! The thing I'm worried about though is when this service becomes extremely popular, will they raise their prices? If they don't and this can work miracles on my render times, count me in!

  2. I'm impressed that the people who rendered Lord of the Rings have started a Blender render service! Their solution, offering a Python script so you can schedule renders from inside Blender, is very elegant too. I'd love to see a review once people have had time to check this out. You'll know where to find us ;-)

  3. pity they dont offer Indigo service as well...although I did suggest that to some people at one time..

    @bart I think most likely the clusters arent doing very much of late ;)

  4. Great work to all involved. I'm sure once the bugs get squashed, it'll be kick arse! It would be interesting down the track to have LuxRender support as well.

  5. what is a CPU minute? is that one minute of the total CPU capacity or what? and how can you know how much CPU power there is?

  6. clockwork goblin on

    Well- I've runb a test render and it all worked fine at the render end, and I got a nice downloaded zip file with my render frame in. The only issue I had was that Blender locked out as soon as the render was sent. Of course, this is no biggy but it's worth mentioning in case of similar issues on other systems- just make sure you've saved before render in case it happens! The render cost 11 cents, so I guess it took 11 minutes- the same frame took 38 minutes on my home system so that's a decent increase... and that's without me working out how to request more than one core for the render! A very promising service :)

  7. Marijn - currently, a CPU minute is one minute of user time on a 3.2GHz Xeon CPU. We definitely need to be more precise about this, especially as we bring on more/varied data center resources.

    The 1c/minute charge rate was in place before we added Blender support, and I haven't come up with a better metric - kind of had my hands full just getting this far, but we're open to ideas on how best to meter CPU activity on a cluster.

    We're also interested in supporting the community, so if you have work that will contribute back to the community (e.g. educational content, open projects, or things that really push the envelope of what is possible with Blender), please get in touch and discuss possible discounts or waiving of costs.

    We're also looking to run some competitions in the near future - there will even be cool prizes, so watch this space!

  8. Hi mr Cubes,
    It heartening to see a kiwi company wanting to get involved in Blender stuff.( I'm in Nelson)..

    How is queing and priority handled? Can we specify we want our submission to use x processors or such?

    I am thinking for instance if I submit a large Indigo render (in the future...) as a commercial job and want it back say in an hour for a deadline can you achieve that?

  9. This... is... GROOVY!

    Couple of things, though...

    An "Exit" or "Logout" button would be nice. After launching the script there's no graceful way to exit, and thus no way to know if you've successfully logged out of the Green Button connection or not.

    Also, while trying to exit the script I accidentally hit the "Submit Render" button. The scene I was in had nothing in it, but the job submitted anyway, which wasn't surprising. What *was* surprising was that even though I cancelled the job within about three seconds, I was charged $USD 0.01 of my free $10 trial for my misguided click. Sure, it was only a penny... but it made me think about where I'd be financially if *every* mis-click I've ever made cost that much. :-)

    I can't wait to try out the service in earnest once I have a big enough render job.

    Thanks for all you've done to bring this to the Blender community!

  10. Hello,

    this is a very good news.
    But in this version (beta) when i was maked test with particle systeme, i had a very good render without particle.
    Perhaps in the next version.

    Good work

  11. Will this service work with baked fluid??

    Because I have a project with baked fluid files over 1 GB, and I was wondering how it would handle this, given that it is baked to my local machine.

    If it is, I am definitely joining ;)

  12. I already test this service and its awesome the render times.

    Of course it has some small inconvenients, but not bif deal. for example:

    -Just one file, NOT linked files are allowed, wich its very limit for your pipeline workflow, but you can, still make link libraries and then make a final file where you APPEND libs instead of linking. Just a "quick" solution for this inconvenient. but hopes it will be fixed on the future.

    -No BAKE functions, I mean nothing that needs to be cached on disk, for example:
    -Particle Systems
    -Fluid Simulation

    -Just Blender internal Render Engine, but plans to add Yafray and maybe Indigo if its very requested.

    In the cost theme, Im a litle confused about it, cause with a 3 test i did of course with diferent files and number of frames, it was very CHEAP for example to a file with 640x480 with 1150 frames with no OSA and no RAY activated but with a medium complex scene.

    It took 3 minutes on render time, and cost $2.01, WOW, and the final file its 89.3 MB with the 1150 frames in jpg.

    This same file on my PC render in a little more 1hour.

    I think this its a great service wich comes in handy for a profesional jobs but even artist can benefit with it.

    I want to write here my experience here after test the service. I hope it will be improved at least for particles systems render, cause its one of its great features in blender, of course therea are so many more but at least with particles admited could do great FX jobs.

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