Ward Trolley Animation, Rendered with RenderStreet

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For me, a true artist is someone who can turn the general everyday into something new and spectacular: taking the subject from a different angle and expressing it differently, or raising an argument that wasn’t there before. In our days, 3D technology allows this approach on almost any subject. Even to things least expected, like hospital trolleys.

This is what Dan Woolley did when assigned with a job to present the newest ward trolley for a medical trade show. He gave this instrument life and transformed it into art. Of course he used some tricks here and there – a creative genesis-like intro, an enticing musical background. But to imagine these things starting from such a sterile brief takes more than mastering Blender, or any other software.

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Benchmarking Blender on RenderStreet, dual CPU and quad GPU

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This February, the Blender Institute published a set of files that are used internally by the Cycles developers for testing purposes. They also released the configuration of the workstations they tested these files on, along with the render times for each configuration and scene.

We get asked a lot how fast are our servers, so we thought to give these files a test run and put the numbers here for everyone to see. This way we give you an idea of what kind of rendering speed we are offering, and how our machines perform. Read more …

Mathilde Ampe, bringing Blender into the car industry

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Mathilde Ampe B&W photo

At last year’s Blender Conference, a title caught my eye in the schedule: “Automotive design with Blender”. I was intrigued and went to see the track. And this is how I had my first contact with Mathilde – a young and talented artist, who drove the adoption of Blender in Tata Motors’ UK design center. Read on to find out what Blender is used for in the car design department, and what are some of the challenges of a product design pipeline.
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Celebrating RenderStreet One – enter to win one year of free rendering

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Concept art Flying cat

Update: see the winners!

It’s been one year since we launched RenderStreet One, our flat fee rendering program, and it was a great experience to see it evolve and attract more and more users. We decided to take a risk when we came up with this program, and we’re glad to see that it paid off and the program provides real value to budget-conscious users.

Contest and prizes: We decided to celebrate RenderStreet One’ anniversary together with the Blender community and have a little get-together in form of a skill contest. The challenge will bring the winner a one-year subscription for (what else?) our all you can render—RenderStreet One—program. For the second and third places, the prizes are 6 months and respectively 3 months of access to RenderStreet One, and we’re also giving a one-month subscription for other 3 mentions. In total, this adds up to 24 months of free rendering for some talented people looking to get the rendering stage out of their mind and out of their homes or offices. And to top that up, The Cycles Material Vault is sponsoring the contest and granting to the 1st place winner a copy of their all-new materials library. How does that sound to you?

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Guest post: My Career with VFX Software (or, Your Software Is Not the Best)

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I first met Sean a couple of years ago and I remember that I enjoyed listening to him telling stories from the VFX world on the other side of the ocean. He’s a good storyteller too, so pretty quickly he had a captive audience around the table.

The story he is telling today is about his career so far, and I’m really glad he agreed to do it on our blog. If you are working in the VFX industry or are considering a job in this field, read on, I believe you’ll find it interesting.

Sean Kennedy with Bill Westenhofer, Erik-Jan De Boer, & the visual effects Oscar for “Life of Pi”

Sean Kennedy (middle) with Bill Westenhofer, Erik-Jan De Boer, & the visual effects Oscar for “Life of Pi”

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We’re sponsoring the Weekly CG Challenge!

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Weekly CG Challenge cover

The Weekly CG Challenge organized by AgenZasBrothers

AgenZasBrothers’ Weekly CG Challenge is a contest that has been picking up momentum due to its open nature—there are no restrictions regarding the software you use for the art—and the interesting themes. It’s a great way to test your skills, build up a portfolio, and hopefully enter the hall of fame. Besides, there are some cool prizes at stake!

For the next weeks, we’ll be supporting the Weekly CG Challenge contest and award the winner with a one-month subscription for RenderStret One —our all-you-can render program for Blender. There are other prizes too, so be sure to check out the contest page.

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Interview with Zacharias Reinhardt, from AgenZasBrothers

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Zacharias ReinhardtWe’re starting our 2016 interview series with Zacharias Reinhardt who has been playing around creating Sci-Fi movies since he was a teenager. Now, at 26, he is a Blender Certified Trainer and, together with his brother Vincent, is the owner of the AgenZasBrothers agency.

As you will learn, Zacharias now puts his efforts mostly into tutoring—doing workshops, Blender video tutorials, in-house training for companies and even remote teaching. He has made more than 180 Blender tutorials which are free on YouTube. But Zach is also into doing his own films, and his project Repto108 is now in the pipeline. Read on for some cool answers from Zach. 
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RenderStreet—facts and figures for 2015

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Another year has passed, and we’re again drawing the line to sum things up. We worked hard to follow the path we chose for RenderStreet and its mission—to help artists and studios deliver awesome 3D work—to the best of our abilities. We were able to secure the resources and bring to life the second edition of our RenderStreet for Artists program, extending the free rendering for open projects for another year. We launched RenderStreet One, offering a low-cost alternative for the users that need to keep their rendering budget in check.

Looking-back

Image by Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons

Also, our effort in finding a way to further help small and medium studios had its first tangible results with the custom studio rendering plan released in the second half of the year. This new service tier proved to be a great enabler to studios that have a Blender pipeline or larger rendering volumes and we’ve got confirmation it’s on the right track. It’s invitation-only at the moment, but if you’re doing volumes of pro work in Blender and need an external rendering resource that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, drop us a line.
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Best notebooks for 3D rendering 2015 fall update – Skylake and Geforce 980 Notebook

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At the beginning of this year, I was recommending some of the best laptops for 3D rendering on the market. We’re now close to the end of the year, and in the meantime the hardware has been upgraded with new performance parts. Let’s see what they are, and which notebooks come with the new hardware at this moment.

Intel Skylake CPUs. The 6th generation Core CPU line from Intel has been released and it’s already available in some notebooks from major manufacturers. The CPU that will most likely replace the most popular part in performance notebooks (i7-4720HQ) is the i7-6700HQ. It offers roughly the same performance, but the 14nm process brings a better power profile so it will add a bit to the battery life. Expect to see the 6700HQ as a mainstream CPU in gaming/performance notebooks released starting with this fall.

CES 2015 Intel booth

Intel booth at CES 2015 —Source: Flickr.com

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RenderStreet at Creative Business Cup 2015—Denmark

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We’re soon celebrating three years since we launched RenderStreet—starting off bootstrapped, running our first years as a startup, and now shifting gears into a growing business and reaching out to new markets. Our evolution has been noticed by Creative Seeds, the national partner of Creative Business Cup initiative, who invited us to represent Romania at this year’s Creative Business Cup competition.

Visual identity for Creative Business Cup Creative Business Cup is organized by the Center for Cultural and Experience Economy and started as a national competition in Denmark in 2010. In 2012 CBC opened its doors to entrepreneurs from creative industries from around the world.

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Blender conference 2015 – the concise view

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The Blender Conference is, as you know, the biggest Blender-related event, and probably the only place where Blenderheads from all over the world come together every year. It’s also the place to learn first-hand about what’s coming next to Blender software and see who did what using Blender—there’s no shortage of ideas there, trust me. And finally, for me it’s also a good place to catch up with friends, and to meet some of the people I’ve only talked to by emails and tweets. Because of that, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Blender Conference 2015 edition

Read how this year’s #BCon15 went, after the 2014 highlights and the sparkling 2013 moments. Read more …

Kaspersky’s One Dollar Lesson, rendered on RenderStreet

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One of the valuable lessons of adult life is that prevention is better than reaction. Because many people seem to ignore the risks of digital attacks, Kaspersky Lab created an online simulator showing how things can go wrong when handling money online.

A while ago, our servers rendered the presentation video for Kaspersky’s One Dollar Lesson website. The project was created by Latvian digital agency Wrong Digital and Gunvaldis Urtans has led the creation team that delivered all graphics and animation. Rendering was the shortest part of the process, with everything ready in a matter of hours. The project was a success and it’s been live for several months, but it is only now that the client has given permission to share the details. 

The making-of video is showcasing the 3D journey’s most important moments and how they managed to educate people about the risks of online payments:

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Render all you can during #bcon15

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Make 3D art. Skip the render time.

We’re celebrating this year’s edition of Blender Conference with a special treat. During 23-25th of October we’ll be giving you access to our all-you-can-render program. Yes, you heard it well. Three days of rendering, for just $1.

We’re rolling this through our RenderStreet One program and you just need to pay one dollar at sign up. After joining, you’re good to go: upload your stuff and enjoy three days of rendering (program terms apply). No hidden costs, no bailout fees.
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Render farm vs. small office/home rendering

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Professional or hobbyist, every 3D artist hates waiting for the renders to finish. This causes a continuous quest for finding the best solution to render faster and cheaper, which in turn generates countless pages of discussions in the forums, benchmark comparisons, and of course ‘versus’ debates.

I have answered questions on this subject quite a number of times – some of them general, some of them about specific hardware and some of them about our service. My past series of articles offered a bit of background info and some ideas about what to look at when comparing rendering solutions in general. Now, I’ll try to show a more specific use case: rendering at home or in a small office, versus using a professional farm (like RenderStreet).

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3D Cheerios commercial, rendered with RenderStreet

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We’re thrilled to see how the newest commercial for Cheerios finally turned out. Joel Gerlach and Cobalt Cox, from Studio 229 in LA, created the spot in Blender having to deliver a bold, yet exciting brief: ‘Create Cheeriocraft, Minecraft, but with Cheerios’.

It took the team at Studio 229 only 3 weeks to create the whole world, character, user interface and animation for the 30 seconds commercial. And just a few hours more to complete the rendering on our servers. This is the final cut, which is now screening on TV:

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RenderStreet One: six months after the launch

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At the beginning of this year we launched a solution dedicated to artists who needed an always-on rendering option without worrying about the added costs: RenderStreet One. Half a year in, and close to 1 million frames rendered into the program, we asked our users how they feel about it.

We decided to share these results with you because they represent an independent confirmation of the way the program delivers. The original questions and the aggregated answers are below (figures have been rounded to the closest mark for an easier read):

1.  How would you appreciate the value for money offered by RenderStreet One?

RenderStreet-One-value-for-money

One of the top priorities in designing this program was to offer a good value for money. We know that there is a continuous struggle in each project between ‘more detail’ and ‘render cost’ and sometimes it’s difficult to balance the two. Even in the case of a commercial project when the client pays for the render time, it’s difficult to factor in all changes and previz versions along the way. So we wanted to offer a tool to make this balancing act a bit easier.

Looking at the feedback from this question, I can say that the program checked this requirement. Roughly 90% of our users (the exact figure is 88.5%) consider it to provide a good or excellent value, which is what we were aiming for. Read more …

How does Blender help in industrial design? Interview with Claas Kuhnen

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ClaasKuhnen-2

Maybe the most challenging aspect of our working lives is bringing new things to life and have people using them. This is particularly true for industrial designers, whose job is to combine functionality with aesthetics, and create things others love.

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Claas Kuhnen and learn about his recent challenge: addressing functional design in today’s digital times. Besides running his own studio, Claas is also teaching at Wayne State University focusing on 3D design and fabrication technologies. His work was also present at exhibitions like SOFA, SNAG and SIGGRAPH.

Very excited to learn more about product design from an insider, and see some of Claas’ brainy creations.
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