Farm Rendering

Written by Stephanie Bilberry
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A rendering farm will be used for high performance computing. Rendering farms are actually a type of specialized computing cluster, otherwise known as cluster servers. Basically a farm rendering arrangement consists of a series of processors that are set up for the sole purpose of rendering. The farm will consist of a number of nodes that will each have up to four processors that together will be able to crunch numbers super-fast.

To create a farm rendering configuration you will need certain components. First will come your workstation, or entire series of workstations, depending on your needs. Next you will need a manager, or rendering server. This will be connected to as many other servers as you need. Each one is referred to as a node. All the various components will be connected together via Ethernet or a fiber channel.

Increasing Artistic Output

The purpose behind this configuration is typically increasing creative workflow. Where a vast number of individual images are required, as in a movie for example, the rendering farm will complete a series of images begun by the operator, who will then be free to move on to other tasks while the machine does the work. This process will be managed by specialized software on the manager server.

There are drawbacks to using a render farm. The initial expense will be a major drawback; this much hardware does not come cheap. Then, some critics mention the fact that rendered images are not always of the quality hoped for.


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