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).
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:
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?
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 …
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. Read more …
“You guys are great! We rely on RenderStreet for fast, scalable rendering for huge single images, and for animations, using Blender Internal and Cycles. The service is always great, the pricing is fair and the jobs control panel lets us see in an instant where our projects are. We like the Blender plug-in, too: we can launch jobs from within Blender as we work!”
Over the past months we have received quite a few requests to introduce Blender texture baking on RenderStreet. Texture baking provides a way to store color, lighting and other rendering information in UV maps and save this information on the object. This means that, once the information has been saved, the object can be viewed lighted and textured without a big computational effort. The obvious use cases are real-time systems like games and, of course, more realistic scene previews.
We listened to you and now Blender texture baking is available on our farm (for Cycles and Blender Internal). Read more …
Aside from his charming personality and humor, Hjalti Hjálmarsson is one of the best Blender character animators out there. Last year he joined the Blender Institute team and is currently working on wrapping up Cosmos Laundromat—his most challenging project so far.
I was looking for a chance to pick his brain, ever since we’ve been involved in the Gran Dillama short open movie—he animated it, we did the rendering.The following ten questions discuss the secrets of the animation craft, the benefits of Animation Mentor classes he graduated, and valuable insights on what takes to be a master animator.
We’re halfway through the year now and, for most of us, the holiday season is knocking on the door. It’s also a good moment to look both back and forward to the things we’ve done in 2015 and to what’s next until the end of this year.
I know that for most of the 3D artists, one of the items that is always on the ‘to-do’ list is the reel. It’s visual art, and the first step in receiving appreciation for one’s work is showing that work to the world – in a reel. As an artist never stops working, each reel gets a life of its own, as it gets updated and evolves in time.
There are no limits to what you can achieve in Blender. In this next post, you will learn how to design a book cover in 7 guided steps with the author of Blender for Dummies.
Designers, you now have the tools to kick (some more) ass using free software. Show us your first Blender cover in the comments!
Definitely True, by M. J. Guns
Say you’re approached with a request to produce the artwork and design for the cover of a book. The book’s author says, “I want an image of a pair of disembodied pants running around… and on fire.” That same author, for some reason, also requests that you not not pour gasoline on an actual pair of pants (or the person wearing them) and set it ablaze for a photo shoot. Something about the sanctity of human life or somesuch. Read more …
“Renderstreet has saved me many times. It’s the simplest, easiest Render farm solution for Blender and Cycles by far. Their systems are always updated to the latest version of Blender and they have some of the best customer service I’ve experienced. Three thumbs up.”
Open movies have a huge impact for the people in the community: they help improve both the software tools and the personal skills of the artists. Helping to render these movies for free is our way of backing the open source movement and also the Blender community. A new edition of RenderStreet for Artists, our sponsorship program for open movies, just started to roll.
We’re using high performance cloud services around the globe for our render farm and we’re doing this from Romania, a country traditionally associated with count Dracula and the communist regime. Allow us to update that image.
Now, the city of Cluj has been nominated the best city in Europe for air quality and Romania is among the countries with top internet speed. It’s also a software hub for big companies like Adobe, Oracle, and Microsoft. The industry is slowly making way for promising new players—ventures that make it big on the local market, as well as startups that are targeting exits within the large tech companies.
What do you do when you dream of something but you don’t have the ready-made tools for building it? You take things in your own hands and build your own tools.
We continue our guest post series with an exciting story, coming from Radu, the man who built up a 3D scanner from scratch.
Radu’s kid getting 3D scanned by Tulemod’s built 3D scanner
If you haven’t heard about my city, you certainly heard about Trrransylvania! Well, that’s were Cluj is. Nope, I haven’t met any vampires (yet!) but I surely met lots of IT guys around here. With more than 10.000 people working in tech companies, Cluj is also arguably called the Sillicon Valley of Eastern Europe… Funny enough, the startup that I am working on right now was born in the real Silicon Valley. More exactly, in Palo Alto.
Tulemod is the typical tech startup, built by technology enthusiasts, trying to change the world by developing a disruptive technology. Our vertical is the fashion industry and we’re working on a solution for digitizing apparel and enabling users to mix and match looks online with the maximum realism. It might seem an utopia but it’s actually a challenging problem that can be solved using a mixture of computer vision, 3D modelling, 3D graphics and enough programming.
You may have noticed recently that your GPU renders on RenderStreet have been finishing faster. You don’t need to check your samples or resolution, it’s because of a new kind of server we’ve been silently testing in the past week. Besides putting the hardware online for real-world tests, we’ve also run some of the standard benchmarks, and here is the first good news:
It’s been one year since we started interviewing talented people form the 3D industry. Each one revealed a unique connection between their work and Blender. The moment has come to find out where does Blender stand in relation to comics.
John Garrett has been drawing comics since he was five. Today, he speaks about the things he learned along the way. If you read carefully, there’s a lot to learn about character making and how serious making science fiction stories really is.
If you’re an indie, you know how difficult it is to get financing for your movie. The internet is booming with webinars, books and articles that want to teach you the secret sauce of getting the money for your production. At the same time, the checklist that you need to complete in order to have a shot at actually getting any money is getting longer by the day. The investors are looking for more and more insurance for their ROI and the big studios are hard to reach. And once you got a meeting with a potential investor, you’d better have a production manager, an accountant and a lawyer at your side. You’ll need these guys for answering all the questions related to the business plan that you’ve prepared in advance and to negotiate the profit distribution in the happy event that there is one. There are also the options of doing crowdfunding, or pre-sales, and they all come with their own challenges.
Blender is the software of choice for many 3D artists. For some, it was love at first sight, for others it’s just a program they use to deliver the work. For Bassam Kurdali open source—‘libre’ as he calls it—is more than a tool, it is the result of the evolution of human nature that achieved a new level of interaction and cooperation.
In this interview, I’m talking to the director of the first animated open movie ever made. Which is kind of cool, as his Elephants Dream might someday be mentioned in textbooks. Bassam is a wayward on his own pace, following his dreams. I wanted to discover him better, but what I got was a new puzzle. A comprehensive mind that holds so many surprising things to come.