A while back, I wrote(here) about online render farm options a while back, i'd also done a post(read it here) where i mentioned
Renderfarm.fi a free service that used the same grid computing network that i'd been a part of since over 10years now(read my previous posts onBoinc here).
With one of the recent releases of Blender i discovered that it now had an integration of sorts with Renderfarm.fi .. which let me directly send my model to be rendered via the Renderfarm.fi and the Boinc grid from within Blender itself!
Well anyway i finally decided to try out Renderfar.fi for myself. The model i used was my recent batmobile model, which was taking forever to render on my pc.
the results so far have been less than spectacular.. for one, lets look at the log so far
As one can see i submitted my model on the 4th of October 2012.. but it didn't start rendering until the 1st of November 2012.. thats well over 3 weeks! My PC could have rendered it in a few nights.
You can check the render project's progress here.
So for a first time user it can be a bit of a dissapointment. However once i read through the FAQ on the site, you realise why this happens.
"Renderfarm.fi receives its rendering power by distributing complex tasks for many computers across the world. This process makes it possible to achieve very, very big improvements in render time, but it comes with a delay. As an animation is put into rendering it must be sent to all the volunteering computers, rendered on those machines, and then the results must be sent back. All of this involves using the Internet, and this is slow business. If the submitted animation has very low render times such as 20 seconds per frame, then the animation will not gain any improvement in render time – it will get slower. When the rendering eventually begins on the volunteering computer the animation may have been initiated on the Renderfarm.fi server an hour ago as the volunteering computers don't constantly ask for work, but instead do this with increasing intervals.
With this said, animations with long render times get the most out of the service. Robotcomplete by ludopencil was 114 times faster using the service than it would have been on a single threaded computer as each frame took long and there was a large quantity of frames submitted. We recommend that users submit animations with at least 50 seconds of render time per frame to be rendered. We accept all sorts of animations that fill the other requirements, but short ones won't be receiving any advantage in regards to render time." – Renderfarm.fi official FAQ
so now the wait begins..
will post the finished render as soon as its done!
(at the time of posting this, it had rendered 403 / 500 frames)
Verdict in a nutshell: Totally worth it if you have a massive load of complex rendering to do. If its a small job like mine.. you'll find it faster to just render it over a few nights.