Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tim.bowman

Question re: Using an After Effects Render Farm

Recommended Posts

The muckety-mucks at my facility decided that we need to speed up our AFx rendering. I suggested a fibre-channel based SAN, but the $100K price tag didn't go over well. The "start the render at 5:30 and it'll be finished tomorrow morning" isn't flying either.

 

So... Who's using what to speed up your AFx renders? I'm looking for some sort of middle ground between my two extremes.

 

Is anyone actually happy with using AFx's built-in distributed rendering? (And if so, what's your secret?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Enfusion. It is pretty much a front-end for the "aerender (bulitin)" command line. Enfusion takes a while to setup and you can't save your "queue" so if you set up 80 renders you will have to setup the same 80 renders. Which mean copying a pasting you comp name exactly, adding you frame in / out and like 3 other check boxes. It wouldn't be so bad if the guys who made it would do some basic things. I am no programmer but... We also had a problem using 30 dual xserves of a server. The read write made all the other people working off the server; grind to a halt, but I thing they fixed that as I was leaving. There is somethine else called RUSH something that is the same. I guess enfusions claim to fame it that it can render Maya, C4D, etc all from the same window, one render app to control them all.

 

You also need all the fonts loaded, plugins on all machines.

 

I wish there was a way to complie the render so you could do something like SETI@home of FOLDING@HOME. Get rid of having to have fonts loaded and plugin. Some how make it pure data that get processed. Insert magic here <-------

Edited by pixel_pimp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had decent results using smedge. I use it with a small render farm, just 2 machines... which i guess is more of a render garden, but it's easy to setup and you can use it with most 3D apps and after effects.

 

Aaron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're running Enfuzion as well. Just ordered a new rack of the new mac servers for it, replacing HP blade servers (color shift issues on C4D renders). Also, there's an inherent bug if you try to use enfuzion with mac storage (xsan) and windows servers. It won't read/write files correctly so the short story is it just won't render. They're working on a solution supposedly, but in the meantime we've ditched the HP servers.

 

Tried out RUSH awhile back but hated it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we used to use RUSH, been with enfuzion for about 10 months now... worked pretty well with 6.5 but you have to have all your settings uniform, but not that big a deal... versioning out can be a pain but it's not that bad if you just modify a previous job submission. we just finally got 7 on all the machines so the IT guys are trying to make it work... it's good with maya/mental ray... trying to get c4d going with it soon aswell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

excuse me if this is plastered somehwere big, but I couldn't seem to find the pricing structure for Enfuzion. Does anyone know?

 

I've got a bunch of CPUs I only use for 3d rendering, but it's a waste not to use them for afx as well when possible.

 

thx.

 

-sf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Enfusion. It is pretty much a front-end for the "aerender (bulitin)" command line. Enfusion takes a while to setup and you can't save your "queue" so if you set up 80 renders you will have to setup the same 80 renders. Which mean copying a pasting you comp name exactly, adding you frame in / out and like 3 other check boxes. It wouldn't be so bad if the guys who made it would do some basic things. I am no programmer but... We also had a problem using 30 dual xserves of a server. The read write made all the other people working off the server; grind to a halt, but I thing they fixed that as I was leaving. There is somethine else called RUSH something that is the same. I guess enfusions claim to fame it that it can render Maya, C4D, etc all from the same window, one render app to control them all.

 

You also need all the fonts loaded, plugins on all machines.

 

I wish there was a way to complie the render so you could do something like SETI@home of FOLDING@HOME. Get rid of having to have fonts loaded and plugin. Some how make it pure data that get processed. Insert magic here <-------

 

Hmmm...know it pretty well. Email me I can help you.

 

JAD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your a total nerd and have hours of time to waste and money to burn use one of these network renderers. . .there's a much easier way to approach. . .

 

setup to WORK off a server with a good gigabit switch (xServe and xRaid do very well and are easy to setup, and admin) - no need to spend 100k on the setup. . .

 

and then just get a stack of machines (stick with (mac or PC) whatever you use as your workstations). . .plug them into the network. . .install fonts, AE, plug-ins. . .DONE

 

you can use watch folder (don't collect fiiles - use "project only"!) or even better manually open it on every machine u want to render on and skip frame render. This "low tech" approach lets u check to make sure everything will load properly on all machines. . .so u don't spend eternity trying to trouble shoot bad frames.

 

Seems like there's way too much focus on all these bullsh*&t tools out there that take days to try and configure. . .and then there's an update and it hoses everything! keep it simple and spend the money you save on Hot Pockets and Xena Princess Warrior season 2 DVDs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...