How to cut costs when using a render farm?
Render farms are a powerful and scalable solution to speed up your renders. However, for those with a limited budget, render farms can be expensive. Also, both individuals and studios want to optimize the cost of the render farm as much as possible. How to cut costs when using a render farm then? Take a look at a few options below.
How to cut costs when using a render farm?
Using free render farms
That sounds fantastic! You can use render farms for free and do not need to pay money. But is that true?
Well, there are actually no genuinely free render farms. You will pay in one way or another.
Free render farms, or crowdsourced render farms, rely on people contributing their rendering power to other users while they are not using it. In other words, you offer your computer resources in exchange for rendering resources of free render farms when you need them. These types of free render farms typically rely on a points system. You can earn points by donating your hardware resources over time, such as at night or when your computer is inactive. Then you can use those points to quickly render your own projects when needed.
SheepIt and GradedBlue are two popular free render farms available.
However, free render farms have their limitations. First of all, they normally work with one software and a few render engines. For example, SheepIt only supports Blender and its two render engines: Eevee and Cycles. So if you use other software, you cannot use those services. Moreover, you will depend on other people making their computers available for you to render, which raises questions about stability and security. Lastly, free render farms lack professional support. They usually do not have a technical team and rely on volunteers or their community to support the systems. As a result, if something goes wrong or you have any questions, it is difficult to seek help.
Free rendering programs
Because of the limitations above, most CG artists and studios use commercial render farms to render their projects. Still, there are several ways to cut costs when using these kinds of render farms.
Most render farms offer free credits for new users to test their services. Usually, they provide 25 render credits. But some render farms offer more generously for specific services. For instance, you can get 50 free credits for rendering Blender with GarageFarm.
However, free credits are scarce. So you will not be able to do much more with them than test the render farm, or render a simple project.
Render farms will run promotions a few times a year. Though these programs may have conditions attached, they are a great opportunity to get extra credits to render with the same payment. Big promotions typically take place around the holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s.
In addition, most render farms offer volume discounts. The more you purchase, the more render credits you get.
Also, you can get your projects sponsored by render farms. They may provide a render coupon or even free rendering until the project is completed. However, the projects sponsored are usually for social activism or participating in competitions, film festivals, etc.
Furthermore, there is an educational discount available on all commercial render farms. Students, teachers, or those from educational facilities can enjoy special discounts, typically 50% off for their purchases or academic projects.
Knowing the render farm you’re using
You take as many offers as you can from a render farm. Now it is time to use it to render your projects. But your job is not done yet. You can save money more by knowing the render farm you are using.
Understanding how a render farm works and its tools (such as cost calculator, priority, nodes, etc.) is a great way to cut costs.
For example, priorities at RebusFarm just move you up the queue; they have no effect on rendering performance. Unless there are too many projects waiting at the same time, it’s better to use the Standard priority to save money.
Another example, iRender offers an application to transfer data 2-way between your computer and its servers. Using its app is more cost-effective than using third-party cloud storage services.
Conclusion – How to cut costs when using a render farm?
To sum up, Radarrender presents three possible options to cut costs when using a render farm. Three options are using free render farms, taking advantage of free rendering programs, and understanding the render farm you are using.
Hopefully, those options enable you to save some of your rendering budget.
See more: Online Render Farm: All You Need To Know
See more: Hardware Of Render Farm