Times are rough for 3D artists. After you jump out of design elementary school and start working on projects that you actually want to profit from, you are faced with two options:
- Buy an insanely expensive computer for 3D rendering and online rendering that will either cost you years of savings or a big loan at the start of your career.
- Move all resource-demanding tasks to service providers like online render farms, which bill you every hour, always, until you can afford an insanely expensive computer.
Neither of those sounds like a good start to a career.
In this article, I'll tell you why the online render farms are not the way you want to go, and what you can do about it.
The "win-win" business model of render farms
The way render farms are making money couldn't be any more simple.
A render farm company buys hardware or pays cloud service providers (like Amazon, or Google) to get your resource-demanding work done.
With the first scenario, you pay for access to their data centers which will be running your rendering tasks online. The company has to count the hardware and maintenance costs, which don't come cheap.
In the second scenario, the render farm takes the position of a middle man. With a simple and user-friendly interface, it gives you access to data centers that belong to some other company.
The render farm has to pay the other company for cloud usage, but it completely eliminates the maintenance costs of having their own hardware.
If you would like to cut out the render farm from the picture, it would require some cloud technology expertise, and let's face it, you have better things to learn. You pay the render farm to make this experience easy.
So it's all fair and square, right? You pay the render farm to do all the dirty work, and you can just focus on editing.
What artists don't take into account here is that at the end of the day, you are still left with your physical workstation to do all the editing work.
This work often turns out to be as resource-demanding, as rendering, depending on the software you are using.
Option two - your own physical rendering workstation
On the other hand, you can always take up a small loan or save money to buy yourself your own rendering workstation.
The difference between a rendering workstation and your standard desktop PC is the components.
To make such a workstation efficient, you should equip it with multiple video cards, a good CPU, lots of RAM Memory, and let's not forget about the proper cooling system, so it all doesn't burn down with the first week of work.
All this makes them expensive. The starting price for the most basic setups is somewhere around $3000, and we're speaking low-end here. A good setup can be above $5000.
But it all is going to pay off with all the jobs you are going to get, right?
Partly, yes. But what about all those hours where the workstation doesn't pay itself off? What if the jobs aren't magically pouring down your way and you are left with a way overpriced gaming PC?
What if, worst come to worst, one of the components gets smoked or damaged and you are left with no workstation at all?
Having your own workstation seems safe and cost-efficient, but in the end, it's full of expensive risks, and even if nothing goes wrong, that's a very pricy investment.
A cost-effective alternative to online rendering
Is there a third way that could provide you with all the necessary power to do all your post-production work, not limited to just rendering, and, at the same time, didn't cost you a small fortune?
There is - a Renderro personal cloud computer.
A remote desktop that works exactly like your physical workstation or PC, where you can run any type of software you want.
Accessed any time, from anywhere with a decent internet connection speed.
Scalable, so when you have demanding tasks it gives you all the power you need, and when there's nothing to do - generates you no costs at all.
Safe, so there's no risk of your work being erased, or your hardware being burned away.
Renderro means all the benefits of having the freedom of online rendering and work, combined with an efficiency of a physical workstation.
On top of that, you can move your whole studio team and work as if you were sitting next to each other, sharing and working on the same files instantly.
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