RenderKing Render Farm FAQ
|1. Who Am I?
I am an ex-3D Animator who for 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; 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 sides for what an artist needs to get the job done.
2. What is RenderKing?
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 23,360 (total averaged) CineBench R15 http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cinebench/ of render power (each render node 730CB avg.)
The render farm supports Maxon Cinema 4D R14.042, R16.050, R17.053, R18.041 and VRAY 1.9.0b, VRAY 3.4.01 (via VRAYforC4D) and Cycles 4D 1.0.0163 software. It consists of 32 quad core Intel i7 2600K processors overclocked to 4.4/4.6ghz, each render station is equipped with 16GB or 32GB of fast dual channel DDR3-1600 ram (for an efficient 4GB to 8GB memory for each processor core) and large cache 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 SmartUPS 1500 Commercial grade 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.
If you would like to have your RK user folder assigned as a Drop Box Folder (users can still use the other WEB FTP, SFTP, or FTP methods of connection too) please send me your Drop Box user email so I can send you an invitation to connect to your RK user folder as a Drop Box.
A RK user folder acting as a Drop Box is very convenient for users as they can just drag a project folder to their RK drop box enabled user folder (then let it upload though Drop Box of course), then log into the RK NET Server web page to start their render and then the finished frames will just invisibly stream back to your side into your RK Drop Box folder. The rendered results will go into the Results folder, inside the project folder - it really integrates a user to the farm quite seamlessly.
|It really seems to resolve the issue of a "huge" data pile that for many users is often is a long download at the end of a render. While Drop Box just streams your rendered frames back with no effort to your desktop as the job renders. It is much better then those farms/methods that use C4D itself to manage this process as that means you can't quit/restart your computer or the C4D app during any download, or freezes and crashes of C4D etc will affect/stop the data coming back. Also, if you decide your workstation is better used for processor intensive tasks, with Drop Box you can also set up the receiving Drop Box folder on a central file server or alternate computer location of your choice (can't do that with in app C4D download methods), and you can add other users to the Drop Box account so that all the people who need the data get it automatically - you decide and are in total control.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to think ahead if you are rendering large data intensive renders that you have enough Drop Box storage available! Once your data is copied to your local Drop Box you can easily move it to another location on your hard drive to free up room in your drop box for any other renders. (Note: this does remove it from your RK user folder too, as that is how Drop Box works)
WEB FTP, SFTP, FTP and all other existing RK data transfer methods will still exist, the addition of drop box will just be another option for those who choose it.
From there it is a simple task to drag that project folder into your Drop Box folder or 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 TRS Server web page and click Start. Simple. Too many people seem to want to make it is an overly complicated process, as mentioned - a simple, smooth and efficient 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, move onto your next scene to work on, 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 on literally any platform or smart phone can keep you on top of your render progress wherever you are.
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? Need 100% of your workstation power for Photoshop or After Effects, etc? 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 - ever accidentally delete a file? File suddenly corrupted? Alter or fiddle with some render settings but can't remember what you used for the final render? Save over an existing project with new settings? Doh! it can happen to the best usually during a rush or crazy deadline schedules... You 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.
Drop Box or FTP are industry standard tools you probably already use, 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 can download the results to your chosen location while the render is running for instant feedback and use of the results once the render has completed or whenever you choose.
This other farm says they have a "dedicated farm" so I don't have to wait or share the farm with other users? This answer is really a bit 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. Some huge very expensive render farms can actually offer truly dedicated CPU's by allocating a portion of their render nodes to you, but don't fool yourself, you will pay for it, often at four times or higher the costs of RK (Somebody has to pay for all that hardware and electricty). Even with 1,000's of processors they can still be busy with someone else's massive render who has the need or ability to pay for it. 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? Yes, you sure are. The only farm that is always idle and ready for your project alone is the one that is either way too expensive that very few can afford to use it, or has failed so many times that nobody dares gamble with their projects running there.
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. It's not about boasting or bragging about the farm. 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 think this is a common way to try to express credibility. The first couple years there were some recognition or testimonies from users, but it did not take long to realize that I was seeing "glowing comments" and names on other render farm web sites that were using RK - so how credible is that, did they pay to use that farm or was it a freebie to get the "glowing review" or are they just a user that hops from spot to stop looking for the best deal and a little glowing compliments helped grease the wheels for their special price? I know that happens because i have users asking for special deals all the time - there are a lot of people who want's something for nothing. 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 complete your project to make you, the user look good.
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 included 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