Internet Rendering Discussion

Blender's renderer and external renderer export

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ultrabizz
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Internet Rendering Discussion

Post by ultrabizz » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:04 am

I know many people use LAN rendering with Blender which is great if you have access to a local network of PC's.

Doing it via the internet is usually not an option because the current network render solutions do their renders on a frame by frame basis which means you will be tieing up each remote computer for an entire frame. You may not think it's a problem untill you realise that a frame can sometimes take a few hours to render if you are using radiosity etc and your run the risk of the remote user switching off their computer halfway through.

You would also usually have to copy your .blend file to each remote computer which is a security risk.

Rather than doing it frame by frame, I was wondering if the render calculations themselves can be broken down in to smaller chunks which can then be done remotely by other computers, using a concept similar to the old "seti at home" project where other Blender users contribute their spare cpu time to assist with doing renders.

To clarify, I'm looking at a system where your .blend file does NOT have to be copied to all participating computers. Instead a small chunk of data is sent to an available remote node, to calculate the result which is then returned to the host. No risk of your artwork being ripped off.

A simple point-reward system can be introduced to encourage people to leave their PC's on for remote render use. This means that when you need to render a sequence, you will get access to a larger slice of the current "render pool" of avaiable computers if your have earned above average points by contributing your computers idle time etc.

People with LAN's can then also share their resources and get access to an even greater external resource-pool.

Everybody wins. It just depends on how efficiently the render calculations can be broken down into smaller chunks and how fast you can download the results via the internet.

There will be a finite point where the speed of your internet connection limits your render time but that is also changing fast. ADSL2 is already available in Australia and elsewhere.

Any developers with knowledge in this area? Is there a demand for this?

indigomonkey
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Post by indigomonkey » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:46 pm

Have you seen http://burp.boinc.dk?

ultrabizz
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Post by ultrabizz » Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:01 pm

It looks interesting, but a quick look at how it works shows that your blend file gets distributed to those computers which do renders.

To me thats too much of a security risk for any serious projects.

mpan3
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Post by mpan3 » Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:23 am

not sure what you mean by 'serious project' but if you are working on a 2 hour featured film with blender, you'll likely have your own render farms anyways. But for the rest of, a community based renderer is great. :D

Yay for BURP!

ton
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Post by ton » Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:19 pm

I am not very familiar with cluster based render farm setups (using shared memory stuff via IP?).

What I do know is that there's a substantial amount of preprocessing for more complex frames, allocating a load of memory in advance with all rendering info, before a tile is being processed; that info is easily 1 or 2 gigabytes. To move that memory via sockets (?) to other computers is quite weird... no idea if that work and how.

Blender is an animation tool firstmost, so having each computer doing a full frame is still a good approach for heavy render jobs, provided you have access to a farm of course.
An internet based rendering service I honestly don't believe in... not for serious projects. The complexity of render jobs (like blender version, OS types, all data transfers involved for textures, library files) is just too much.

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