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Encyclopedia > Render farm

A render farm (also termed a render wall)[1] is a computer cluster to render computer generated imagery (CGI), typically for film and television visual effects. The rendering of images is a highly parallelizable activity, as each frame can be calculated independently of the others, with the main communication between processors being the upload of the initial source material, such as models and textures, and the download of the finished images. An example of a Computer cluster A computer cluster is a group of loosely coupled computers that work together closely so that in many respects they can be viewed as though they are a single computer. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The seawater creature in The Abyss marked CGIs acceptance in the visual effects industry. ... Visual Effects (or VFX for short) is the term given to a sub-category of special effects in which images or film frames are created and manipulated for film and video. ... Parallel computing is the simultaneous execution of the same task (split up and specially adapted) on multiple processors in order to obtain results faster. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ...

Over the decades, advances in computer power would allow an image to take less time to render. However, the increased computation is instead used to meet demands to achieve state-of-the-art image quality. While simple images can be produced rapidly, more realistic, more complicated, and higher-resolution images can now be produced in more reasonable amounts of time. The time spent producing images can be limited by production timelines and deadlines, and the desire to create high-quality work drives the need for increased computing power, rather than simply wanting the same images created faster. The state of the art is the highest level of development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field, achieved at a particular time. ...

To manage large farms, one must introduce a queue manager that automatically distributes processes to the many processors. These processes could be the rendering of one full image, a few images, or even a sub-section (or tile) of an image. The software is typically a client-server package that facilitates communication between the processors and the queue manager, although some queues have no central manager. Some common features of queue managers are: re-prioritization of the queue, management of software licenses, and algorithms to best optimize throughput based on various types of hardware in the farm. A priority queue is an abstract data type in computer programming, supporting the following three operations: add an element to the queue with an associated priority remove the element from the queue that has the highest priority, and return it (optionally) peek at the element with highest priority without removing... Client/Server is a network application architecture which separates the client (usually the graphical user interface) from the server. ... In information technology, throughput is the rate at which a computer or network sends or receives data. ... Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer, including the digital circuitry, as distinguished from the computer software that executes within the hardware. ...

The use of render farms in the entertainment industry is one early application of grid computing. Grid computing is an emerging computing model that provides the ability to perform higher throughput computing by taking advantage of many networked computers to model a virtual computer architecture that is able to distribute process execution across a parallel infrastructure. ...

Recent research has explored the feasibility of reprogramming modern video cards to do rendering in the card's hardware.[2] A video card, (also referred to as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, graphics card, and numerous other terms), is an item of personal computer hardware whose function is to generate and output images to a display. ...


  1. ^ http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/renderwall
  2. ^ http://techreport.com/etc/2002q3/nextgen-gpus

See also

A typical server farm. ... Queueing theory (also commonly spelled queuing theory) is the mathematical study of waiting lines (or queues). ... Parallel rendering is used to improve the performance of computer graphics. ...

Distributed applications

BURP, Big Ugly Rendering Project, is one of the newest projects for the ever popular BOINC. BURP is set to become a huge graphics rendering farm. It will work as a publically distributed system for 3D rendering. ...

Render Farm

  • "REBUSFarm Render Farm"
  • "Render Farm Service"

External links

  • "Build Your Own Render Farm", ExtremeTech, retrieved September 19, 2006
  • MegaPOV XRS — Free internet-based farm software for linux or cygwin for Windows

  Results from FactBites:
Render Farm Rentals from CRE / (877) 266-7725 (410 words)
The beauty of rendering farms is the fact that many computers work on the same problem, a task at a time.
CRE has experience in creating a render farm using 8-core Mac Pro rentals or Xserve rentals, the backbone of some of the most capable render farms being used today.
We can assist you with our "render farm toolbox" which includes the high-performance graphics capabilities of the 8-core Mac Pro rental, an additional 16 gig of RAM and 23" Apple Cinema Display.
Render Farm Main Page (721 words)
Rendered frames can become available for client viewing on a secure area of our web site as soon as they are finished, allowing the client to check progress and identify potential problems early, ensuring a risk-free venture.
Rates for hiring the render farm work on a sliding scale, with variable rates according to the number of processors used and the time required to render the job.
It works by comparing the speed of your computer to the speed of a render farm machine and extrapolating the time required to render the entire project based on the render time of example frames from the animation.
  More results at FactBites »



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