So, its been a bit quiet from us here at Crowdrender. We've not been slacking though, we've been working on a new release, and, though its not quite there yet, I still wanted to share some of the new things we've been working on since they've been inspired by your feedback (if you are using our addon that is, no judgement if you're not though 😉)
The first big headline is speed 🏎, there's more of it thanks to a new "Speed Boost" feature (Check the hero image for this article) for each computer. This mode uses more RAM, but delivers more speed. Our last test with just a single machine dropped render time from 54 minutes to 17 minutes, for about double the RAM usage.
We've done a LOT of work under the hood 🧰👨🏻🔧 to support Blender without needing to package additional dependencies of our code. This means smaller downloads, and less frequent patch updates since the addon now installs what it needs after its activated. The result is a drop in size of the addon from 26Mb to 180kb 💾👇!
The addon usually downloads about 4MB during install, but still, this is a huge drop, and hopefully will mean no more patch updates are needed from us when Blender uses a new version of python.
We've overhauled how the add-on is installed in more ways than this too, you can expect a new button that allows you to install the latest available version. This means far less work when updating multiple machines, and we're also going to make this even easier in the future with automated updates. So if you're sick and tired of updating all your workstations each time there's an update, this is good news.
Also the work I mentioned above will fix an annoying bug that made it impossible to uninstall the add-on from blender's add-on's preferences for windows users.