Greeting everyone. If you are a senior Blender user struggling in post-processing and want to find a new render solution, you are interested in the trend of render farm services but do not know which is the right choice ? In this article, iRender will provide an overview of this software as well as point out the essentials to help you choose a suitable service helping optimize your software.
We all know Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing, interactive applications and even virtual reality. Blender has everything which other graphics software have: from Viewport realtime, path tracing, node base materials, 3D texture rendering, smoke / fire / fluid simulation, python scripting support, retopology tools and camera matching, montage, animation curve, …
Blender possesses many pioneering elements in the functions of 3D strengths:
- Opening files in Blender is backwards compatible, which is not possible with the Autodesk products.
- Super fast loading speed with a capacity of only about 250Mb compared to other common software about a few gigabytes, no need to install or run any platform.
- Open source sponsored by NVIDIA, AMD, Epic Games, Ubisoft and supported by a large number of communities, from groups on social networks to forums.
Workbench is considered as Blender’s first render engine, optimized to reach the fastest and simplest rendering for modeling. We recommend that you use it to display images when rendering in the 3D viewport. When you need to send the client a basic progress report on scene set-up position, animation or character model control, Workbench will be the right choice.
Similar to 3D sculpting programs like Zbrush, Workbench offers an option to randomly or individually allocate base material (MatCap) colors and snapshots to specific objects, making your model look like it comes alive while experimenting with animation or scene composition. In addition, Workbench also offers a few other interesting options for the Viewport, such as penetration, X-ray shading, holes, or simple shading.
Cycles has a bit more interesting features than Workbench. Cycles is a physically-based, unbiased path tracing rendering solution for Blender. This is a flexible engine for both CPU or GPU rendering to create incredibly realistic scenes and animations. The main feature of Cycles is path tracing, which is an algorithmic process of rendering images by simulating how light is reflected on an object. This algorithm detects its light paths from the camera rather than from the light source, making Cycles a sort of “reverse” path detector.
Cycles is very good at the post-processing effects including depth of field (DOF), Bloom, Motion Blur, and Screen-space Reflections. Pixar Renderman’s original render engine actually works quite similarly to Cycles, but what makes Renderman weaker is that the interface is not yet user-friendly, which is something Cycles does very well. On top of that, Cycles is also a plug-in that can be used with other software like Cinema 4D and Maya, making it one of the most flexible render engines used in modern 3D software. Cycles is completely free and included in Blender, all of these reasons make Cycles a great renderer for any 3D modeling designer who is on a limited budget.
There are cases where users will need a faster render speed than accuracy, and Eevee was born to meet that demand. Eevee (Extra Easy Virtual Environment Engine) is Blender’s most recent internal render engine, powered by the same code used for the Unreal Engine developed by Epic Games. Though it is hard to compete with Cycles in terms of image quality, Eevee is still completely unique and stands out at its unrivaled speed.
This physical render engine is not only used as a renderer but also for physical rendering (PBR) along with a huge asset that will certainly give you impressive and instant results in the Viewport. While the Unreal Engine is primarily used for gaming, Eevee will get the most out of animation and VFX.
Eevee shares the same available material system based on nodes (most notably BSDF material) in the Cycles, and at the same time it can work with pre-existing scenes made on Blender. Nevertheless, more premium materials like sub-surface scatter and inner-clad materials tend to display as not realistic as star-shaped materials (though they are still pretty impressive) when running on Eevee. When you do the render process, take advantage of Eevee’s ability to easily handle features in post-production including DOF, Ambient Occlusion and Screen-space Reflections with ease.
LuxCoreRender is not only one of the oldest unbiased physically-correct render engines on the block (carrying the mantle of the venerable LuxRender dating back to 2007), it’s also one of the most powerful. LuxCoreRender is also an open-source project, making it a sort of kindred spirit to Blender in that regard.
LuxCoreRender’s design philosophy is a no-holds-barred, fully physically accurate model when computing the render. The results of this are some of the most impressive/accurate renders out of the box. It also outclasses “traditional” Path-Tracers such as Cycles with a bevy set of features in place to compute light information even in the most challenging of scenes. This makes LuxCoreRender incredibly potent for rendering scenes with a focus on heavily refractive objects, caustics, or dimly lit interiors. It also features light grouping which Cycles is sorely missing at this point.While this no-compromise approach initially meant strenuous render times, updates to performance and GPU rendering as well as powerful denoising have dramatically increased render performance.
LuxCoreRender also plays well with Blender, being available as a plugin – unlike Octane -, as well as being able to parse Cycles material nodes (although it does have its own nodes for optimal performance as well as a material library!)
Redshift is known in the graphics industry as one of the leading GPU rendering tools – its Biased Rendering platform is much more flexible than zero-false options. others (Unbiased Rendering). Redshift is also famous for producing sharp animations when running on a variety of servers. In November 2020, Redshift is the latest name in a growing list of “industry-standard” renderers to join the roster of render engines with official blender support. Its latest 3.0.33 release brings with it the first public beta release of its long-awaited Blender plugin among a host of new features.
OctaneRender was one of the pioneers in the GPU rendering scene when it first launched, and since then has become a household name for powerful yet fast rendering. It’s an unbiased, spectrally correct render engine that leverages RTX hardware to its fullest extent to render accurate images at blazingly fast speeds right in the viewport.
It features, among other things, layered materials (as opposed to manually mixing shading layers), Spectral Random Walk Subsurface Scattering, Volumetric Rendering, or Deep Pixel Rendering with full Nuke integration. Optimized out-of-core geometry for larger scenes, as well as two new “Vectron” and “Spectron” modules allowing for the rendering of extremely large procedural Geometries and Volumes.
Luckily for Blender users, Octane offers a special free tier of its Blender plugin, with the caveat of supporting only one GPU in the aforementioned free version. The plugin comes in the form of a special Blender build downloaded directly from OTOY with the OctaneRender engine built-in, which might be an inconvenience for daily-build Blender power users.
Another caveat is that Octane comes with its own shader nodes/editor, and as such Cycles materials won’t be automatically ported over to OctaneRender. However, both being PBR based render engines, the logic behind the shader construction is close enough to make the porting of shaders (at least ones based on image textures) straightforward enough.
Compared to other 3D applications, Blender requires much lower hardware. However, strong configuration is still essential to be able to work with complex effects.
||64-bit dual core @2Ghz CPU with SSE2 support
||64-bit quad core CPU
|| 64-bit eight core CPU
||4 GB RAM
||16 GB RAM
|+32 GB RAM
|Full HD display
|Full HD display
||Graphics card with 1 GB RAM, OpenGL 3.3
||Graphics card with 4 GB RAM, OpenGL 4
|Graphics card with +12 GB RAM, OpenGL 4
||Mouse, trackpad or pen+tablet
|Three button mouse or pen+tablet
|Three button mouse and pen+tablet
Always make sure to install the latest drivers from the graphics card manufacturer website. These requirements are for basic Blender operation, Cycles rendering using the GPU has higher requirements.
NVIDIA: GeForce 400 and newer, Quadro Tesla GPU architecture and newer, including RTX-based cards, with NVIDIA drivers (list of all GeForce and Quadro GPUs)
AMD: GCN 1st gen and newer. Since Blender 2.91, Terascale 2 architecture is fully deprecated, try using 2.90 (albeit not supported, it might still work) [list of all AMD GPUs]
Intel: Haswell architecture and newer. [list of all Intel GPUs]
MacOS: Version 10.13 or newer with supported hardware.
In order to render in Blender, the computer configuration needs GPGPU (General Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units), the CPU calculates and returns the results to the GPU to compute the image, then the GPU resends the results to the CPU again.
Assuming that you are a designer, an animator or an architect whose work requires GPU performance and are wondering which brand of graphics card suits your work, we certainly encourage you to use Nvidia cards. The reason is that many people use Bender in particular and other graphics software in general often face some annoying problems with ATI cards during their use. Common problems include lighting errors and unstable operation. You can refer to the parameter of Frame Rate on Blender 2.90 of some of the best-selling cards below:
- Single-card or Multi-cards?
Blender’s internal tools like Eevee and Cycles both support rendering via GPU. Blender doesn’t limit the number of GPUs to render a scene, and the performance ratio is almost linear. For artists who love the realism of Cycles but the image processing speed is slower than Eevee, then using more GPU will definitely help you speed up your render. In the User Preferences >System > Compute Device, you can configure the CUDA device you want to use (or ignore). When rendering, each GPU will display a tile according to the settings on the Performance tab. The more GPUs you have, the more tiles are displayed simultaneously. For example, the same 2xGPU would be almost twice as fast as a GPU, 6xGPU could reduce render times 4-5 times.
In some cases of GPU rendering, mainly on previous versions of Blender 2.8, the whole system slowed down and became quite responsive. This issue has been fixed since version 2.8. The cause of this error is that a GPU has to do many parallel tasks, both computing and rendering, which means that it does not even promptly process the displayed image on the interface of the operating system. Therefore, using multiple GPUs can resolve the slowdowns or lag problem, since the graphics processor will divide GPUs to render while the user can continue to use the PC for other things.
In addition, if the rendering process uses only one GPU to compute and display the screen, you may have troubles in rendering complex scenes (effects, materials, motion, etc. ) due to the limited VRAM memory and other interaction issues when using the same graphics card for displaying and rendering.
iRender render farm is a GPU-Acceleration Cloud Rendering Service that provides high performance computing with the 20.000+ CPUs and the latest GPUs through Remote Desktop Application. The core difference between iRender compared to other render farms is our extremely uniquerender solution, completely different from the old SAAS solution, which is gradually revealing many limitations. In other words, this is a hardware service, not a software service, modern artists will choose a machine configuration to suit their design needs and requirements of the graphic software, subsequently have full authority to set up and control directly the remote machine through their own personal computer.
- About service configurations
iRender offers three main service packages based on customer needs: CPU Rental, Single-GPU and Multi-GPUs Rental. However, as mentioned above, multi-GPUs will be the best performance option for Blender, including three servers: 6x RTX 2080 Ti / 3080/3090.
Actually, RTX 2080Ti and 3080 might not be too different in terms of power. RTX 3080 has CUDA core numbers and TFLOP numbers twice as much as RTX 2080 Ti, but its performance is only 24% better. These results have been evaluated by foreign reputable reviewers and allowed to share widely. Therefore, if you are a Blender user that does not regularly work on large projects, both two packages are suitable for you. Following are the benchmark results comparing the performance of RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 3080 compiled by Videocardz:
It is undoubted that the 6x RTX 3090 super-configuration will still be the most powerful option with up to 24GB of VRAM graphics memory if you’re on budget. Moreover, it’s integrated with the latest NVlink technology that technophiles are craving for it, helping to expand data bandwidth between GPU and CPU 5-12 times faster than PCI Express interface. It can be used for a variety of things, from basic SLI for faster gaming to a large memory pool for the GPU to display large and complex scenes. This makes a huge step forward to the graphics industry, creating a differentiated processing power that takes advantage of multiple cards performance but running like a single card. Besides, this NVLink completely eliminates the bottleneck between CPU and GPU as well.
RTX 3090 – the flagship of Nvidia RTX GeForce 3000 Series along with NVLink technology has shown a very perfect combination. Server 8 with the power of 6 x RTX 3090 truly delivers speed, image quality and performance beyond expectations, especially for artists with thousands of frames to process. In addition, iRender provides the “Clone” function that allows to copy the entire data of a server and then create a series of copies to re-use. This is an extremely useful function when users have a large number of frames that need to render simultaneously on multiple servers with the same software, settings and configurations. Furthermore, it’s really simple to use. Users just need to put all necessary files to render in and enjoy the feeling of simultaneous rendering and no longer have to worry about rendering interference because of missing materials. You can check out the performance test video of the 6x RTX 3090/3080 package on Blender 2.90, renderer Cycles below:
iRender always puts the needs of the customer as priority to create the best server configurations, iRender is always a pioneer in the digital age with the latest graphics technologies.
Price is also an important factor affecting a customer’s decision to use the service. In addition to the moderate cost from only $1/hour, iRender is also the only render Farm service currently offering you a fixed rental package by day, week and month. This is an extremely beneficial advantage for professional artists having demand on using it regularly or during busy project seasons. By using those packages, users can save their money up to 60% compared to the regular hourly rental.
Whether you are an iRender customer, or you are simply interested in our service, iRender has a great number of enthusiastic staff that are always ready to support you 24/7. We believe the quality of support we provide is as vital as the technology we deliver. We provide unmatched support tailored to your specific needs and goals. iRender cares about the benefits of the users!
As Blender 2.9 has just released, besides the support for PBR materials right in the Viewport via Eevee real-time rendering, they will also have materials that are directly compatible with Cycles and various Simulation Cloth improvements. In addition, everything in Blender is being “node” to compete with Cinema 4D Mograph/expresso, Houdini or 3D Studio Max MCG.
Blender is growing with many powerful customization options and gradually asserting its position in the graphics industry. The software is being used more in real production, including not only the Next Gen animation on Netflix and many blockbuster games such as Homeworld 3 (2022), but also in other fields of design and production in terms of environment, architecture, modeling, animation, look dev and render.
Blender is already awesome, why don’t you upgrade your rendering experience with our amazing configuration here. What we get is more than rendering to create the final product. We receive a new technology solution, a good service, high security, features and softwares, and other utilities to help you save costs and time, reduce stress while working and most importantly, it breaks the creative limits of many technology artists nowaday.
Become a member of the iRender community today to stop wasting pointless hours of rendering. Always at the forefront of cutting-edge graphics technology, we do the rendering, the creativity is yours!
Thank You & Happy Rendering!