News and Info 2005

Some New Options...

Posted December 18, 2005

After a long time thinking about this, and working on numbers that made sense; today RenderKing announces a bunch of new additions to the services list. The first is the expansion of the Large Format rendering options - with a less expensive C4D tiled camera, addition of Maya 7 large format rendering, C4D and Maya Final Render bucket rendering (Maya waiting for release from cebas) and C4D and Maya Maxwell Render distributed rendering (of course that may need a bit more work from Next Limit to be truely cost effective - but RK is ready when they are!)

Proudly, RenderKing has operated with a subscription based service for three and a half years now - and was the first subscription based, as well as the first commercial fully user controlled render farm out there. This new render option is another first and now for Maya 7 and Cinema 4D 9.5 there is the option for a per frame render price. For 35 cents per frame you can render your animation projects and know ahead of time what your price will be - with no worry about watching the clock. This is a great option for users who may just have that one render to get done and may not need 30 days access or any re-renders. So look out render farm industry - RenderKing has just changed the rules again! Please check the FAQ pages for specific details on the new service additions...

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Updates and Plug Ins...

Posted November 23, 2005

Ok, Maxon released the 9.521 update today that fixes a bunch of bugs in the recent 9.5 release - I'm glad to say that is installed and running on the farm. Along with that update a bunch of new plug ins have been added, Fast & Fur 1.01, Enlighter, ZBlur 1.52, Jenna 2.25, VreelSkin 1.1 and Translucent Pro 1.2b are all on the farm now and available for use in both 9.1 and 9.5. Another very welcome addition is cebas Final Render2 which is installed and running in DR mode from C4D 9.52 version, I'm currently researching adding FR2 to the render farm for user render access through NET, this would be full frame rendering - essentially for FR2 animations, if you have an interest in that please feel free to drop me a note so I can add that to my evaluation.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Updated Prices...

Posted October 22, 2005

Well, I was looking at the Signup page this morning and thinking those prices aren't right in relation to the upgrade scale... When working on the big upgrade I quickly added up in my head a quick number when doing the website to fill in the data and realized they were a bit too high. So the revised upgrade to 50CPU and 50CPU subscription prices are not correct. I even had different numbers in the FAQ page and the pricing math... sheesh - calculators are good to have around - so that is all correct and consistent now. Also, i've been talking with Alias again thanks to a Maya user's persistance and it seems like the original letter from Alias legal was in regard to a Mental Ray usage - which I was not using or offering as a service here on RenderKing - so i'm not sure where Alias gets their legal representation from, but it seems they miss some things... so as soon as I have clarification I hope to be able to offer Maya7 on the renderfarm. Now, getting them to admit their mistake so I can offer Maya software rendering like every other renderfarm out there who is allowed to is seeming to be a bigger challenge then I expected - but what else would you expect from a lawyer.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

RenderKingX2...

Posted September 29, 2005

It has been a very busy past couple weeks for RenderKing. A system upgrade to 15,000 CB has been going on behind the scenes. Upgrades to new AthlonX2 4400 2.2ghz processors, as well as gigabit network backbone has more then doubled the previous render farm performance.

There have been some new software additions to the farm as well - Maxon Cinema 4D 9.5 and Cebas FinalRender2 have been purchased. FR2 will currently be available only for large format image bucket renders - but with feedback and user requests it may be added to the entire render farm for rendering animation projects. Please watch for upcoming news when these are officially installed and available for use.

On top of the increases in render performace - there has been two more computers squeezed in for a total of 25 full time render computers and one additional dedicated XP server to handle the Final Render2 and Maya controls to the render farm. 

Users who continue with the option for the 24 processor subscription are benefiting with an overall 20% boost in render performance - the new AthlonX2 processors are 20% faster per core, 2.2 Ghz and 64bit (7020 CB) - compared to the previous Athlon 2400XP 2.0 Ghz processors (5928 CB) they replaced - with no change in subscription price.

For users with larger or rush projects there is now an option for a 50 cpu 30 day subscription (15,000 CB) at still less then the cost of one average consumer level computer and overall 20 times faster then a top of the line workstation. Should you need more render power mid-subscription there is an easy upgrade path from 24 to 50 CPU's by paying the difference in subscription cost.

Large format renders using either C4D's NET tiled camera or FR2 buckets will be twice as fast as before since now each tile will be worked on by two processors - so render times per tile will essentially be cut in half. As well as a new $99 subscription option for one single large format render setup in either of the two methods.

I hope these RenderKing upgrades help you to produce better work, faster - and provide the necessary render hardware to help you stay competitive in your respective fields. No matter what subscription option fits your needs - everybody will benefit from increased render speeds at still an unbeatable value price.

Please see the RenderKing web site FAQ page or Sign-Up page for more information.  http://www.RenderKing.com

One benefit of RenderKing that shouldn't be overlooked is the entire farm is always the same processor type. No mish-mash of different processor types and technologies from the past few years - so guaranteed same render results, with no rounding errors or variations in image output or render times per cpu.

Thank you to all the current, and previous users of RenderKing; it has been a pleasure, and an adventure working with you for the past three and a half years. I look forward to many more.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Faster connection...

Posted July 20, 2005

I happened to make my montly call to Time Warner today to check on the promised faster speeds they told me about last year and suprise! they are active. So, now the network connection to RenderKing is 5.0 Megabit downstream and 1.5 Megabit upstream that translates to 500K per second upload to the RK server and 150K download from the RK server from the users side. This doubles the previous speed which was the highest I could get until now. I am very glad to finally offer the faster speeds as it will benefit both uploads and downloads. This of course is dependent on the users ISP connection speeds as many "common" cable/dsl speeds are quite a bit under that. I do hope this makes a noticible increase in your upload and download times.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

/3GB...

Posted June 18, 2005

Well, phase 2 of the memory upgrade is complete - along with the increased physical memory, I have been testing the /3GB switch on the farm - after a very successful week of renders - it is now implemented on all the render cpus. What does this mean to you? It means the measly 1.7GB per thread limitation of Windows has been raised to 2.7GB per thread - that means less out of memory errors on your renders that may have been feeling cramped in the default Windows memory space. It also should help prevent render clients from dropping off a render job due to hitting this thread limit, so more cpus will stay active on your job meaning faster renders on big jobs in particular.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Thanks for the memory...

Posted June 11, 2005

I just finished upgrading all cpu's to 1GB of ram. This should help on those bigger renders as well as hopefully add a bit of speed to the VM flush between renders, also upgraded to NOTA 1.4.

I'm researching some more new additions to the farm, two of which are dual core processors and Maxwell Render, we'll see how it turns out as evaluations continue.

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Plugin again...

Posted April 28, 2005

A few more plug ins added to the farm! NOTA 1.31 a great plugin from Renato is here, NextLimit's RealFlow3 can now be rendered on RK from C4D - just let me know so I can set up the special BIN folder in your account and provide the path to put in the RF3 plugin path in C4D. ColorMapper v4 is installed and working fine on the farm too, as well as I updated to Maxons latest release of 9.102 which has some performance fixes.

I'm researching some more new additions to the farm so stay tuned for future stuff!

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

Plugin Extravaganza...

Posted April 2, 2005

Amazing what a good tax return can do for purchases. This week I added DiTools 1.41b and XFrog 4.2.2 - I am looking into purchasing Core Particle Tools as well but not having much luck. Another currently PC only plugin ColorMapping v4 I am hoping will be ported to the Mac so I can install it on the OSX servers running NET Server. I also updated PathDeformer to version1.46

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

More, More Upgrades...

Posted March 1, 2005

This morning I noticed the main server hard drive was acting like it was having a problem - very slow response times and laggy feeling - looked related to a failing hard drive (i'm super paranoid about stuff so I jump right on it) the NET server responded with a garbage html response at 6am this morning so I implemented emergency maintennace to replace it - I keep three revolving backups of data so there was no data loss - just down time while the system backups and the most recent user data (as of 6am this morning) were synced together.

I also took advantage of the time down to upgrade the firewall router to a bigger/better one with support for 8 VPN's if i ever have need to implement that feature for end to end encryption security. i had hoped to include gigabit ethernet in this planned future upgrade but that will come on it's own schedule now.

NOTICE - one change for the users is PASV is not longer needed on FTP - if you turn that off it should restore FTP service if it seems to stall after connecting.

This should yield better FTP speeds and also takes out the PASV ports that had to be open on the older style firewall for better safety and protection all around. some older stagnant FTP and NET accounts were cleared out of the lists to simplify future admin maintenance - simply renewing your subscription when needed will reactivate your FTP and NET accounts if it is now deleted.

The NET servers are all up and running now - all user data is replaced so there should be no difference to you from the last time you connected.

I also added two plugin updates as of now - the StormTracer NET 1.11 update and a new plugin request called PathDeformer 1.45

Thank you for using RenderKing.

dann

oh, just words of wisdom today - backups are a very good thing! take a minute and make one - good for your own piece of mind too : )

More Upgrades...

Posted February 23, 2005

Just a quick update to say that the render farm was updated to the latest Maxon release 9.101 and Jenna 2.22 release. StormTracer 1.11 will be added to the farm in place of the 1.10 version at the next update opportunity.

dann

Upgrades...

Posted January 23, 2005

Ok, I have added Cinema 4D R9 Studio to the farm - as well as added Ozone 2.0 and Helix 3.0.8. The render farm will support both v8 and R9 for as long as it needs to, many users still are using v8 it seems so that is not going anywhere soon. Ozone 2.0 was a request from some architecture users, I am glad to finally be able to offer that plug in. Also along with the Helix 3.0.8 I upgraded the MSA to v3.12 - all these plug ins are available in either v8 or R9 so that is good it won't affect any user upgrades to R9 and their schedule.

Amazing that in just a couple months the render farm will turn 3 years old! Also amazing to me when I look back at the expansion and changes I have made during those years... Thank you for the loyal users whose support let RenderKing continue, it is very rewarding to think of the new friends all over the world I have made from having RenderKing.

As always, thank you for using RenderKing!

dann

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