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Crowdrender v0.1.3 Adds Easier & Faster Network Rendering


Jamesy writes:

Ok, so let me first thank all of the blender community for taking part in the early access testing we're doing. Its been invaluable to us reaching this point. In return for all this cool engagement, we present, gratis, our third release to date of our network/distributed rendering addon for blender, here's the highlights and a download link ;)

So, What's new?

  • Full integration with Blender's compositor - simply open your file, connect your nodes, press render still/animation - all compositing is automatically added to the output just as it is with native cycles or blender internal engines
  • Optionally disable any render node - something we've been asked for! If you're working on a laptop but can connect to powerful workstations, you can go out into the garden and enjoy rendering with speed without cooking your laptop.
  • Custom render tile sizes - for those of you using the current 2.78/2.79 releases, you can now give each render node a custom render tile size to optimise the performance. This netted one user a 25% reduction in render time ontop of the boost they experienced using distributed rendering.
  • Load balancing that saves the performance data of each machine making it faster at optimising scenes after a restart.
  • Support for 2.79a RC and the 2.79 daily builds - try out new builds of 2.79 with distributed rendering
  • Better efficiency - we've reduced the bandwidth consumed when retrieving render tiles so this step is now faster and scales better to large numbers of nodes
  • Change camera settings like angle of view, fstop and sensor size in real time with no blender file upload

We've also fixed numerous bugs so you should experience a more stable experience when using the addon.

Get the software and try it yourself!

Lastly here's the download link and might I suggest you share this post on social media, it really helps us build a critical mass of users and encourages us to keep developing the addon, we've got tons more cool stuff to come, so if you'd like to help us bring this to blender, simply share what we do via social media and subscribe on our website, facebook page, youtube and twitter.

Happy rendering :D

About Author


I'm a software engineer, I've worked on numerous technologies over the past 10 years. I started out working on full motion flight simulators and then worked with embedded systems. I now work on building an add-on to support rendering using multiple computers over internet/local networks. I started using blender in 2009 and have done small projects with it since then, however, crowd render, our network rendering add-on is by far the biggest adventure with Blender to date.


  1. If you used CrowdMaster for a project rendered by Crowdrender, would the power cause a hole in Planet Earth, or would it produce new worlds never imagined?

    I lean towards the latter scenario. But I'm ready to evacuate the planet, if necessary.

    • Hi Brian,
      Speaking from experience, we'd better start building some space ships...

      In all seriousness, I have used crowdmaster together with crowdrender. It does _work_, however expect time to slow down for an observer close to the project vs one not anywhere near it.

      The issue appears to be in that when blender gets a lot of objects in the scene that certain ui elements slow down. In particular the UI list which is what we use for displaying nodes. I've looked into this extensively and basically its blender's depsgraph system (as far as I can tell) that seems to be doing a lot of calculation in the background when anything in a UI list is change. I say this because with our addon disabled, the same file did the same thing with another ui list (in that experiement it was the list of materials on an object). So we've ruled out any of our code.

      Here are some tips to help you navigate the problem.

      1. if you load blender with crowdrender to use on a crowdmaster project, load the default scene first
      2. in the default scene, add and connect your render nodes using crowdrender.
      3. Load your crowdmaster based project. You might want to load it with "Load UI" unchecked.

      I mention that last one since with "Load UI" on the load time for my test project on a 2015 Macbook Pro (i5 CPU and 8GB RAM) the file load time was *ten* minutes, with it off it was more like 2 mins. Load ui rearranges the UI to match that last saved in the file, and includes messing with the ui elements that are slow.
      Of course if the UI layout is important to your project, you could just hit load and go get a coffee ;)


    • Hi Ricky, the license has all rights reserved, but the addon is free to use for anyone for either personal use or use in projects for which you charge your client for your art.

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