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Rendering V-Ray Projects on Render Farms

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Chaos V-Ray is one of the most widely used rendering engines in the world. It is so versatile that it is regularly used in photo-realistic visualization, visual effects, concept art, advertisement, animation, VR and AR, and many other smaller industries. V-Ray can also be finely tuned to have no trouble rendering even big projects quickly. Nevertheless, the chase for high realism brings in bigger textures and additional millions of polygons into the scenes, which in turn leads to a demand for larger RAM volumes and more processing power. A personal computer can no longer be enough to render such projects.

Rendering of large and detailed scenes can be relegated to a V-Ray Render Farm instead. There, every frame will be rendered not with just one powerful CPU or GPU, but with a whole array of them. This is called distributed rendering: one computer acts as the main node and assigns separate buckets to other nodes to render. These distributed nodes don’t have to be equal; some may work more quickly, others more slowly, but together they provide more impressive rendering times than a single computer. The nodes share access to the storage space; however, their RAM and processing units work independently. 

Does bucket image sampler work well with distributed rendering? Yes! It has actually been developed with DR in mind. The idea of dividing an image into a matrix of small squares works very well with the idea of giving several computers a piece of an image to render. The main node sends information to the other nodes, called slaves, about the illumination, and it is enough to keep the output consistent color wise. There is almost no limit to the amount of slaves or their composition, as long as each can run V-Ray standalone or V-Ray for 3DS MAX, Cinema 4D, Maya, or a different application of your choice.

In preparation to send your V-Ray project to a render farm, make sure all of the assets (such as textures, cache files, and bitmaps) are gathered together in one place, and these paths are set in the project file. It is recommended to keep a folder for all the assets in the core directory of your V-Ray project. This way, even if you’ve forgotten to properly set paths, the scene file will still find all the textures at launch, as it will look around the directory and find them there. But be careful, if you are using materials or objects from the Chaos Cosmos browser; these are usually saved in a separate folder, and you’ll have to manually move the source files to your project folder. Otherwise, the textures will be lost once such a scene is imported to a render farm, because a different computer won’t have the assets saved.

Any render farm offers a noticeable boost to your productivity. Using a V-Ray render farm for rendering your projects frees your personal computer to be used in different projects or just for fun. It also rids you of the stress of buying expensive hardware while chasing the modern developments. Render farms make sure they always have a fleet of powerful CPUs or GPUs or at least a balanced pool of nodes to work together in distributed rendering. This way, rendering in V-Ray becomes fast and cheap.