1. Who am I?
2. What is RenderKing?
3. When is RenderKing available?
4. Why am I doing this?
5. How does RenderKing work?
6. Plug-ins available on RenderKing?
7. Help using RenderKing?
8. Rules for using RenderKing
9. Discounts, Special Prices and Favors?
10. Setup and Payment information
I am an ex-3D Animator who for the past 12 years was the Systems Designer for a division of a global entertainment company located in Central Florida. Having been a professional 3D animator, and also having run the computer systems for a billion dollar creative art department; uniquely helps me configure RenderKing for the needs of professional 3D artists. I know what it takes - because I've been in your shoes - on both sides - the creative and the technical; and understand working with both - demanding clients and IT departments that don't always comprehend what an artist needs to get the job done.
This render farm offers up to 588+ ghz of 64 bit 128 quad core with hyperthreaded processing (for 8 total/256 cores) rated up to 288 CineBench http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cinebench/ of render power (each render node 8.92CB avg.)
The render farm supports Maxon Cinema 4D R12.048, 13.061, R14.034 and VRAY 220.127.116.11d (via VRAYforC4D) software. It consists of 32 quad core Intel i7 2600K processors overclocked to 4.6ghz, each render station is equipped with 16GB of fast dual channel DDR3-1600 ram (for an efficient 4GB memory for each processor core) and large, fast SATA hard drives.
All run Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit OS. Dedicated Quad-core Intel OSX, and Linux servers run the various processes on the render farm. Separate MacPro Quad 8-core acts as the "control" system and continuously monitors the farm for proper running programs and processes - reporting detailed feedback or any issues to me via multiple email accounts and text messaging 24 hours a day. All systems are running on Gigabit network with large UPS battery back up systems on every CPU for optimum speed and stability.
Most importantly, these are not "borrowed" corporate, industrial or university computers that are being used by other businesses needs, secretary workstations or college computer lab stations being "hijacked" or used as needed to act as a render farm, with no security or ethical issues in their full time use as render clients.
What I've found in my latest upgrade research is that counting gigahertz or the number of cores are not the deciding factor anymore. A current 4 core i7 can be faster then a year or two old 8 core xeon - and if the farm is built on machines more then a couple years old make sure you know what you are paying for - do your research and compare using CineBench as an unbiased basis of performance.
You can't just count or compare cores anymore to see what is faster. I am amazed that the same 120CPU in Core i7 is nearly 300% faster then 120 cores in Q6600 - amazing performance in the same number of cores. and as always RenderKing is built 100% homogeneous - so no old and new crazy mix of processors, no slightly different processor calculations and performance between render clients - and no render surprises at the last minute.
RenderKing was the first flat rate priced render farm in 2002 - it literally changed the industry as nearly all render farms now offer flat rate pricing now - compared to the cost spiraling ghz hour time based calculations. With RenderKing I've never hid the numbers, always given the specs and the hardware used in the farm so you can make an educated decision on where you spend your render budget. No secret sauce, no confusing credits, no "special" pricing games and endless discount schemes to lure you you in with no clear final price that can blow your budget.
25 Day Subscriptions
Cinema 4D 48 CPU - (R12 64 bit, R13 64 bit, R14 64bit) Access up to 48 cpu, up to 107 CineBench using C4D with 24/7 full user NET Server control over projects and renders with finished render output to your private FTP folder. $889.
Cinema 4D 128 CPU-VRAY - (R12 64 bit, R13 64 bit, R14 64bit) Access up to 128 cpu, up to 288 CineBench, using C4D or VRAY with 24/7 full user NET Server control over projects and renders with finished render output to your private FTP folder. $1489.
Per Frame Render Options
C4D Per Frame Animation - render your desired frame amounts using C4D or VRAY with access up to 128 cpu, up to 288 CineBench. Administrator controlled render with finished render output to your private FTP folder. 95 cents per frame - 200 frame minimum frame charge per each render project, no frame stacking from multiple separate renders. If average frame render time over 2 hours each - will bump up to multiples, so an 4 hour frame render time counts as two frames rendered.
Large Format / Single Frame Rendering
Large Format Render C4D - render using tiled camera in C4D or VRAY with access up to 128 cpu, up to 288 CineBench for 1 scene render for up to 24 hours processing per image. Administrator controlled render with finished render output to your private FTP folder. $99
Per Day - Render Extension
24 Hour Day Rate - The day rate for RK is $169 per 24 hours. You can use this to add additional days to any existing current subscription if you need to extend your expiration date for whatever reason. Days are contiguous and must be added before expiration of the active subscription account.
Subscription Upgrade C4D 48 to 128 CPU - this option allows you to upgrade your existing 25 day subscription from the 48 CPU, 107 CineBench option to the 128 CPU, 288 Cinebench option. Great for those last minute rush renders that need extra render power. Existing subscription dates stay the same. $689
Custom Payment - this option allows an easy way to pay for a Special Request payment situation or other special arrangements if needed. Simply click this buy now button and it will allow you to enter the desired amount for payment.
There are up to 76,800 cpu render hours available per 25 day subscription (32 dedicated render farm computers X 4 cpu X 24 hours in a day X 25 day usage period).
This is a completely dedicated professional render farm - available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Like all render farms RK cannot always make guarantees about uptime or throughput performance at possible peak usage times which will vary based on number of subscribed users and jobs in queue to render.
Jobs are processed in a FIFO (first in first out) order, your deadlines or time frame of your project are ultimately your final responsibility. It is difficult to predict peak usage patterns and cannot make special favors for priority access. I do make sure that balance is kept between users and render jobs, so throughput is as efficient and fair as possible. Technical support will be offered for render problems that directly relate to the render farm only. You have 24 hour FTP access to upload, render and download your files and rendered frames as needed.
Why don't you have an automated plugin integrated into C4D? The view with RK is to prefer a quality tool for each task. Do you use a screwdriver to hammer nails? C4D is used as a tool to create with - and RK's view is that nothing should interfere or negatively affect that use of that tool's performance. I have 20+ years experience in small and large groups of artists and productions - at the peak managing systems and workflow for 85+ artists and 9,000+ projects per year - there is a pipeline in professional projects for a reason - and a method to the madness - the best and proven workflow process is to take your current project and it's settings and do a SAVE PROJECT. This will save a complete copy including editing any texture paths to local references for proper rendering. As a user you should save this scene file or project folder with an identifying name/number to keep track of the shot or project - this gives you a static backup copy and a date/time stamp of the current state of the scene/project and all settings intact - also great for job tracking, backup and archiving - most pro level productions require this for projects and last minute changes or re-renders. Unless you fly by the seat of your pants and don't do any of this stuff...?
From there it is a simple task to drag that project folder (zipped or unzipped) into your FTP window and let it upload to your private user directory on the farm - this works as a complete separate process and does not encumber or slow down your C4D app or affect your working progress on other projects - when uploaded you go to the NET Server web page and click Start. Simple. Too many people try to act like it is an overly complicated process, as mentioned - a pipeline and it's benefits to projects is a proven successful process with many important reasons for the user maintaining final control over the process.
Send a render off to process and go to grab something to eat, or go home to catch some sleep before another busy day tomorrow - check the progress from any common smartphone or laptop etc. Start, stop, reorder jobs etc., a simple web browser available anywhere can keep you on top of your render progress wherever you are. How does an "automated farm plugin" give you progress or feedback when you are not at the workstation?
Another example is, you are working on a project and decide you are ready to render, you use your "automated farm plugin" to send the job, go grab a coffee or a phone call but then not really thinking about it, you make a few more tweaks, (yes everyone does it) a few hours later you get your finished results - the render is good but did you save a copy of that project exactly as it was or did you twiddle the settings and now what is the current state compared to what was rendered? or the render is bad - but "what" were those bad settings and did you change them or not while tweaking? trust me - it does happen. It is a wrench waiting to be tossed into your production pipeline.
Why don't you download finished renders automatically into my C4D while I'm working? Does your C4D ever crash? get bogged down with heavy data sets? Ever need to quit and restart your C4D since it was not acting correctly? that is why. Also more importantly, RenderKing is used most often by individuals or small teams of users on larger projects - often one user will be sending projects to render and another (often at a different location) is the compositor or editor who is simultaneously downloading the render results while they complete for their part of the project - what good does is it if your files are coming back only to you? you then have the additional task to get the data to other users, with RK any specified users are able to access the projects and finished results at any time the user chooses. If you are a hobby user or always work alone and not in a team environment, then sure your data being available only directly to you may be suitable enough for your needs.
Another reason why - ever accidentally delete a file? Save over an existing project with new settings? Doh! it can happen to the best usually during a rush or crazy deadline schedules... You will have a copy of any projects in your user account on RK - just download a copy for your use again - The important thing is when "you" choose to download and delete the files is under your control.
FTP apps are small in resource usage, able to be run on a separate or multiple computers if needed, they are stable, fast, work in the background and easily minimized or hidden and most can also resume a failed transfer should that happen - some advanced FTP client applications can be set to "sync" or other advanced features and they will as your choice download the results to your chosen location during or after a render has completed or whenever you choose. RK just cannot see the value in reinventing the wheel and encumbering the C4D app with these processes and the crash risk or the productivity risk within the C4D app while working.
My real world example (you can do this too) - I can walk around, be at my kids sporting events, or be anywhere in the world with my iPhone or Android tablet, I can check the NET Server at RenderKing and see the status of my renders or start/stop and reorder my render jobs just like I can from my workstation (or what others in my team are rendering). As well as I can log in using an FTP app right from my iPhone or Android tablet and be downloading my rendered files while I drive, eat out at a restaurant, while at a movie, or while I sleep, then in the morning I just plug my iPhone or Android Tablet into my workstation via USB and download my data just like from an external drive. Why reinvent the wheel or have my data stuck at any one single point? Sorry, I have tried with Dropbox but they do not allow custom data pointers which is needed for working with multiple Servers and data locations - I expect iCloud to eventually allow that feature and will implement that when it does (or if Dropbox ever completes the promise of custom data points)
Why don't you have a plugin to show me my render settings before I render? Really? This one always kind stumps me... Open the render settings pane in C4D and look and confirm your choices before doing a SAVE PROJECT (also then giving the benefit of a saved copy of those settings). If an "automated farm plugin" shows you an incorrect setting is chosen- how do you change it? (hint - open the render setting pane in C4D)
This other farm says they have a "dedicated farm" so I don't have to wait or share the farm with other users? This one is really kinda frustrating... The only way this can happen is if they have a complete identical full farm for each and every user or job they run. Example - you need to render - you log on, or call up etc. - oops... they are running a job for some other user - completion is estimated at anything from hours to days? Now what? Are you now waiting or sharing the farm with another user? This bogus "selling feature" is a complete smokescreen and what else are they trying to hide or cover up by this claim? The only farm that is always idle and ready for your project is the one that is either way too expensive that nobody uses it, or has failed so many times that nobody dares risk their projects running there, so they sit idle.
Why don't you show all these big names or logos of people who use RK? Sorry, RenderKing is about getting your renders done. That's it. What does "X" using the farm accomplish for your project? I admit when RenderKing first began I did for a very brief time, put "glowing reviews" or comments up on the web site, I still frequently get them emailed to me and they are very nice to get personally, but, I quickly realized that it was not proving anything to anyone. Looking back, I think this is a natural human way to try to express credibility - like name dropping people do. It did not take long to realize that I was seeing "glowing comments" and names on other render farm web sites that are using RK - so how credible is that? Like a "Best of Award" from ten years ago... yeah, but how are they operating TODAY? And ultimately, RK is not meant to be in the spotlight - it is a back end resource that is here to do it's best to make YOU look good. The user is the star and the project is theirs - not RenderKings to tout as an accomplishment. RenderKing is over ten years old as I write this - that is a long time in the computer world - over all those years and all those users and projects, I've had emails asking for interviews or articles and I've politely turned them all down - I don't want RK to be the focus, I want the users, and their jobs being done to be the focus.
Email me at setup@RenderKing.com indicating you would like to set up an account. Include your name, company name (if applicable), mailing address, desired LOGIN NAME and PASSWORD (minimum of 4 characters please) and what version of C4D you would like to use to render in the email. I cannot setup a new account without this information. To change your PASSWORD on a current account, just email me or indicate the change in your next PAYPAL payment email.
Once you have an account on RenderKing at any time you have the ability to upload or download your files. Simply upload your complete project folder with all your settings set as needed. Make sure to set relative pathnames for textures. All users should be sure to remove any files and rendered frames when completely finished with your job so as not to waste server space. Files left on the server may be deleted immediately when the user subscription has expired.
INSTRUCTIONS for auto ZIP and UNZIP folders
In each ACTIVE user account folder there is a zip_username and an unzip_username
Upload a .zip file into your user folder and when it is finished uploading - move it into the unzip_username folder and it will uncompress itself and put it in a Done folder - Some FTP programs let you drag using a GUI or multiple windows to move folders. if not, then just use the MOVE command in your FTP program on the new uncompressed folder and put in the MOVE path /username (read as"slash and your user account name") that will move the new project folder to the root of your user directory ready to render.
NOTE: please do not upload directly into the zip or unzip folder - the server will keep trying to process the files before they are completely uploaded.
To compress the results of a render - i suggest renaming the finished rendered images folder to something like PROJECTNAME_RESULTS where project name is the name of the project folder that was rendered - then drag using the FTP application GUI or use the MOVE command of the FTP program and use /username (read as "slash and your user account name") and that will move the renamed results folder to the root of your project folder.
Next, drag the renamed folder using the FTP application GUI or use the MOVE command of the FTP program and use /username/zip_username (read as "slash username slash zip_username") once moved into that folder it will compress as a .zip archive and be ready to download from the DONE folder
You can also use these folders to duplicate your texture folders for multiple projects by unzipping an uploaded archive multiple times (move it in and out to repeatedly unzip the archive file) this can be another time saver for uploading multiple scenes of your renders that use the same texture files.
Plug-ins for rendering will be added, updated and supported on an as-needed, and as-requested basis. Stability of the render farm machines for ALL users is first priority. Bake any plug-ins you can before rendering, this in most cases relieves the need for the plug-in to be on the render farm - many plug-ins may not function normally when distributed between multiple processors. Check your plug-in documentation for any concerns or compatibility with network rendering before you submit a job with a plug-in.
For Cinema 4D R12.048 64bit users the currently installed plug-ins are: quicktime 7.7.2, Distance Falloff, SplineSpread 1.1.29 R12, SurfaceSpread 1.00.32 R12, Shadowcatcher, Stormtracer R12 1.38.05, DeGamma .39, Interposer pro 1.9.9r, SteadyCam PRO 3.1 R12, Add the Sea Reloaded R3 R12, Cactus Dan CA Bundle Pro 1.5 R12, TranslucentPro R12, VreelSkin R12, enDOFin 1.0.3 R12, ReferenceShader 2.1.1 R12, Cineview 1.22.011, EdgeShade 1.01.024, EnhanceC4D 1.00.32, Lumen 2.00.171, Zblur 2.00.315, zbDepth 1.00.002, H2N, ScoobyCamTools 5.00.25, AMa Chamfer Maker, welter plugins_dist_2011-01-26_R120, sIBL_Cinema4D_Sept2010, GSG Transform, xParticles 1.2SR1, bodypaint, advanced render, thinking particles, pyrocluster, mocca, dynamics, sketch & toon, hair, mograph, cineman, and any factory included plug ins from the C4D Studio bundle and 128CPU only VRAYforC4D 18.104.22.168 or VRAY 22.214.171.124c
For Cinema 4D R13.061 64bit users the currently installed plug-ins are: quicktime 7.7.2, Distance Falloff, SplineSpread 1.1.29 R13, SurfaceSpread 1.00.32 R13, Shadowcatcher, Stormtracer R13 1.38.10, DeGamma .40, Interposer pro 1.9.9r, SteadyCam PRO 3.1 R12, Add the Sea Reloaded R3 R12, Cactus Dan CA Bundle Pro 1.5 R13, CD_AlignToCamR12, TranslucentPro R12, SteadyBAKEfiles12_F, VreelSkin R12, enDOFin 1.0.3 R12, ReferenceShader 2.1.1 R12, Cineview 1.22.011, EdgeShade 1.01.024, EnhanceC4D 1.01.012, Lumen 2.00.171, Zblur 2.00.315, zbDepth 1.00.002, H2N, ScoobyCamTools 5.00.25, AMa Chamfer Maker, GSG Transform 1.01, ma_TP Partio Plugin 0.14.2, xParticles 1.2SR1, IvyGrower 1.2.1, TurbulenceFD_C4D_v1-0_986, Greebler 1.0.4, bodypaint, advanced render, thinking particles, pyrocluster, mocca, dynamics, sketch & toon, hair, mograph, cineman, welter plugins_dist_2011-01-27_R13, sIBL_Cinema4D_Sept2010, and any factory included plug ins from the C4D Studio bundle and 128CPU only VRAY 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52c
For Cinema 4D R14.034 64bit users the currently installed plug-ins are: quicktime 7.7.2, Distance Falloff, SplineSpread 1.1.29 R13, SurfaceSpread 1.00.32 R13, TrainDriver R13-R14 1.1, GearBuilder R13-R14 1.02, Sidewalk R13-R14 1.00.04, Interposer pro R130 1.9.9u, SteadyCam PRO R3.1 R12F, Add the Sea Reloaded R3 R12, Cactus Dan CA Bundle Pro 1.5 R14, CD_AlignToCam 1.0, TranslucentPro R12 (1.6), SteadyBAKEfiles12_F, VreelSkin R12, enDOFin 1.0.3 R14, ReferenceShader 2.1.1 R14, Cineview 1.22.011, EdgeShade 1.02.045, EnhanceC4D 1.02.143, Lumen 2.00.171, Zblur 2.01.649, H2N, ScoobyCamTools 5.00.26, AMa Chamfer Maker, Flock Modifier .06, GSG Transform 1.01, xParticles R14 1.2SR1, IvyGrower 1.2.1, Greebler 1.0.4, pCache v0.60a, pShade v0.81b, rBoole 0.44abodypaint, advanced render, thinking particles, pyrocluster, mocca, dynamics, sketch & toon, hair, mograph, cineman, welter-de plugins dist 2012-02-19-R13-win, and any factory included plug ins from the C4D Studio bundle and 128CPU only VRAY 184.108.40.206 or 220.127.116.11c
For render farm user account status, access or rendering issues, or any other RenderKing related questions email to help@RenderKing.com the response time will be as soon as possible.
Please render a couple test frames on your own computer FIRST. Please make sure you have tried at least ONE frame on your own machine to make sure it actually WILL render and not crash the render clients with an out of memory error as well as so you know what to expect for render time. Make sure you check your save and texture path names and have included all your textures before you start.
Please be aware of your render settings - a few times lately there have been users with completely outrageous render times and settings. This grinds productivity to a halt and needlessly wastes render time and resources. Please do some testing and try to keep suitable render times for the projects needs and not just turn on every advanced render feature and checkbox "because you can" it often adds little to the scene and complicates things unnecessarily. Recently a project was submitted with 10+ hour render times per frame! with a little tweaking and skilled use of the settings these per frame times were brought down to 1 hour with no noticable difference in the image result. This is a professional farm geared for professional users - please understand that wasteful settings will be handled by administrator control so efficient projects can have fair access to render time. Thank you for your understanding and respect of the use of an open time farm like RenderKing.
WARNING: Please - if using the IR + QMC Net Render option for GI - render and save your GI cache on your hardware, set your project to load SAVED GI file and upload the illum folder and gi cache to the farm for rendering. Maxon's implementation using this GI method is very inefficient and wasteful of processor time. As an alternate I recommend using the IR + QMC Still Image with 99% success in flicker free results. Renders submitted with IR + QMC Net Render may be stopped and evaluated by RK.
IMPORTANT: if using VRAY, change settings under VRAY- OPTIONS uncheck the checkbox for LOW THREAD PRIORITY
IMPORTANT: if using VRAY the farm is based on i7 QUAD processors with hyperthreading - so please change any settings to the proper number of passes (light cache etc)
Admin Info: Abuse of the FTP server (i.e. usage unrelated to RenderKing) or unreasonable or "overkill" high render settings may cause administrator intervention - jobs stopped, reordered in the render queue, up to, or including the immediate termination of your account - forfeiting any balance.
Admin Info: Why do my jobs sometimes change order or start for short times and then stop again? If at times there are multiple jobs waiting in the render queue, to keep balance and fair access of the render farm time the Administrator may need to bump a job up for a variety of reasons; to ensure the job will render properly (i.e. all textures are included, no memory errors etc) to get an estimate or average frame render time so projects can be time estimated and the job queue fairly balanced if needed. Under normal circumstances the job queue runs as FIFO - first in, first out - but some users will queue multiple render jobs at one time - this can create an unfair balance to other users having fair access to render time (e.g. if one user uploaded 10 really long renders at once - and at the bottom of the job queue there was your render project that could finish in just minutes rather then sitting the entire time behind the other 10 very long renders) So occasional testing, or bumping of jobs may be necessary to help the Administrator create an accurate estimate of render time needs to balance the queue and overall user render time access. Adjustment of the render queue may also be done to allow the highest number of renders to finish in the fastest time (e.g. if there is one project estimated to take 20 hours to complete and 4 other projects behind it that all will take 30 minutes each to complete, it is more beneficial to reorder the queue for the fastest overall throughput as possible). The Administrator reserves the right to ensure the render farm is processing all projects - for all users - as balanced and efficiently as possible.
9. Discounts, Special Prices or Favors
Unfortunately I do not offer weekly or daily anymore when requested
Most long time users know I really try to be accomodating and work with everyone... I really tried to do the special request thing for a few years to help people out - but it can easily become a source of abuse, constant administration headaches, and upset the balance of the subscription model... What then happens is too many start asking to just subscribe for a day or a week only - saying that is all they need etc... I understand the specific need but it devalues the subscription premise and client base of the RK... It's like of asking for a discounted price at an all you can eat buffet because you don't want the appetizer or the dessert which comes with the meal.
Since the rates are already so low - it defeats the exteme savings purpose of the subscription model... (think how much a cell phone plan would be if you only wanted it for one week etc - it would essentially be the same cost since the infrastructure costs are still there) Even ONE small to average render at any of the time based render farms is usually the same or more expensive cost then a subscription at RK for a whole 25 days here... so even one render should easily justify the subscription costs.
10. Setup and Payment
Email me at setup@RenderKing.com indicating you would like to set up an account. Include your name, company name (if applicable), mailing address, desired LOGIN NAME and PASSWORD (minimum of 4 characters please) and what version of C4D you would like to use to render in the email. I cannot setup a new account without this information. To change your PASSWORD on a current account, just email me, or indicate the change in your next PAYPAL payment email.
RenderKing.com limits the total number of subscribers at any one time, this is to guarantee a high level of service and always enough available render time. Please email to inquire about the status of RenderKing user account availability or check the Sign Up page. Subscription fee must be paid in advance of your 25 day usage term.
The RenderKing Sign Up page lists the current user subscription status and expiration date. If all slots are filled you may choose to prepay to guarantee the next available spot - current users have first option to renew their existing subscription. If not resubscribed by the day of the expiration date posted the spot becomes available for a new user.
Payment is through PAYPAL merchant account where I have had a Certified Business Account for many years. The payment options are any major credit card, checks and direct bank account transfers. To avoid PayPay spending limits choose to pay with a standard credit card do not sign into the PayPal - instead choose the option "I do not have a paypal account" by the credit card icons. This will be a standard merchant account transaction just like any other credit card payment.
My PAYPAL account is my email address email@example.com
Refunds - Rates are calculated and based off the individual Per Day rate as show above in the listed available render options and also on the RK Sign Up page. Multi-Day and 25 Day Subscription rates are discounted rates calculated based off the bulk purchase of days within the Subscription period. A 100% Refund is available if a user has subscribed early, prior to their start date, or as long as they have not began their scheduled subscription period. All other refunds will be pro-rated and calculated using the Per-Day rate only, negating any discounted bulk rates - regardless of the user having utilized any render activity on the farm or not, due to days elapsed having been occupied by the user subscription.
Go to the RenderKing Sign Up page here
Thank you and I appreciate your honesty and professional respect of this service.