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Articles covering Blender 3D related subjects

Roman Volkov – A 3D hobby taken to the next level

My first contact with Roman’s work was through blenderartists.org forum. Being a car aficionado myself, I naturally took a liking to his art. The things that really impressed me though, were the close-up and outdoor renders. The reflections were just right, the light spot on (pun intended) and the overall look was worthy of a manufacturer’s catalogue. In fact, at a certain point I thought they could be easily mistaken for real photos of a car.
Read on to find out how he works and his very interesting views about modelling and more.

 

Hi Roman, you told me that 3D art is currently a hobby of yours. Tell  us a little bit about how you got into it.

Oh, it’s a long story. From my very childhood I liked drawing and freehand modelling. When studying in school, this passion gradually moved into a digital world.
My first steps in 3D art

The new RenderStreet – new design, better prices, support for Modo rendering

Today we are proudly launching our new website and we’re very excited about the changes that are rolled out in this new version. It’s the most important release since our service has been launched and it’s something that all of you will benefit from. Read on for more details:

  1. New design. If you are following our blog, you should be a bit familiar with the new design concept. You have seen it first published on our blog theme, and now we have pushed the update to the entire public site. In addition to the design, we have also reorganized some of the pages, in order to present our service in a clearer fashion. We hope you’ll like our new looks, and more importantly, that you will be able to find the information easier.

Upload your projects to our farm directly from Dropbox / Google Drive / OneDrive

Update 06 February 2017: Microsoft OneDrive has been added to the list of supported cloud services.

We are aware that many artists and teams are using online storage accounts for their projects. It’s an easy way to work together on the same files and it also has the advantage of being able to access the project from any location.

At the same time, we are aware of the fact that internet connections are not always the fastest thing on the planet. And if your project is already online, it would be a nice shortcut to have it downloaded to our render farm directly from there. So we added support for Dropbox and Google Drive, right in our interface. 

Rendering 3D projects in 2016 – facts and figures for RenderStreet

We’re a couple of weeks into 2017 now, and it’s time for our yearly retrospective. As we are doing every year, we’re looking back to see what we have accomplished, and we’re hinting some of the things to come in the current year. You’re walking the path with us, so we’re sharing the experiences.

2016 has been a year defined by growth and focus for RenderStreet. Those two simple words have brought a number of interesting challenges, which were the driver for a sustained technology push. As a result, we have become even more flexible in addressing your needs and more efficient at the same time. This means we are now very well equipped to handle everything you can throw at us, including those awesome 360/VR images and videos you will be making this year.

Let’s see what this meant in numbers for 2016:

How much does rendering at home cost?

Rendering at home or on the office workstation is how most of us start in our careers. It’s the obvious solution for an easy start and it continues to represent a viable option for every artist during their evolution. And because of these very reasons, most people don’t ever consider the costs associated with it.

Reynante Martinez – the storyteller’s view

Reynante Martinez interview on RenderStreet

I’ve been fascinated by Reynante’s work ever since I first saw one of his renders. Each of them tells a story, and I was curious to know how these stories take shape. Read on to find out how Reynante creates his art, about his entrepreneurial side and about what it meant to launch a product in the Blender world: the Cycles Material Vault .

 

 

Ward Trolley Animation, Rendered with RenderStreet

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.

Benchmarking Blender on RenderStreet, dual CPU and quad GPU

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.

Celebrating RenderStreet One – enter to win one year of free rendering

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?

RenderStreet—facts and figures for 2015

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.

Render all you can during #bcon15

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.

Render farm vs. small office/home rendering

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).

3D Cheerios commercial, rendered with 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:

RenderStreet One: six months after the launch


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.

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

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.