A quick and easy way to speed up rendering...
... without hacks, optimising scenes or hassle :)
Crowdrender can speed up rendering in cycles and Eevee. It is fully integrated with Blender, meaning you'll get exactly the same result as if you'd rendered without our addon, only faster. You can even use it with the compositor in Blender, all render passes are supported.
How it works
Crowdrender accelerates rendering a single frame and animations. It does this by dividing up a single frame or an animation into tasks that are computed on all your computers.
Generally you can expect to get close to a linear speed up, for example if you have;
- 2 computers = 1 / 2 the render time
- 3 computers = 1 / 3 the render time
- 4 computers = 1 / 4 the render time
In practice though, there is some overhead using multiple computers to render, this means in a lot of cases, you can get only an approximately linear speedup, also we're assuming all your computers are the same hardware spec, if that is not the case then your results could be very different.
Its simple, thankfully! Here's a quick overview ( there's a slightly more detailed overview in the images above, or check our documentation for details)
- Download the addon, install and enable it on all the computers you want to use for rendering.
- Pick one machine to be the "master" or "client" machine.
- On your master/client machine, add each of your computers by their computer name (macOS, Linux, Windows)
- Connect to each machine, wait for your blend file to by synchronised
See the docs section here on BlenderMarket for more info or the FAQ section if you have questions, see the support options below if you get stuck!
Quick Setup Video
You can also watch this quick setup video as a guide to get setup.
With any network based rendering, there are things that can prevent your setup from being able to connect and render, here a list of some of the things you should check if things don't go right first time;
- Not connected! Can you ping between your computers? Pinging is the most basic command for checking if your computers can talk to each other over the network. If the ping command fails to get a response from one or more of your computers, then they can't talk over your network, you'll need to fix this first.
- Firewalls! Generally a firewall will block a program from trying to receive incoming traffic on your network. So, you'll need to make sure that your firewall is configured to let Blender (yes, Blender!) listen on TCP ports. Make sure, if you have more than one version of Blender installed, that the version you are using has the right firewall rules setup to allow it to receive incoming traffic for the TCP protocol on any port.
- Anti Virus! We've seen some antivirus/malware programs block Blender from being able to listen! Norton's suite of security software in particular blocks programs that aren't on it's whitelist from listening.
- Disk Space! To be able to synchronise all the computers that are going to render, the blend file is automatically copied to each computer, but, if there's not enough disk space, this won't work, so always make sure you have plenty of disk space.
- Cloud Storage/Synchronised Folders! Crowdrender uses space on your hard drive to store blend files and intermediate results of render jobs. You can relocate these if wish, but we recommend NOT putting them in a folder that is synchronised (like dropbox, G drive, etc). This can cause confusion and corruption of the files since there will be both our addon and your synchronisation software trying to read/write to the same files.
- External Assets don't render properly! You may notice pink strips or missing objects or animations that don't work in some frames/sections of the image but do in others. If you see this behaviour then chances are, there are external assets on your client/master that aren't accessible from the other computers. This means that the frames or sections that your client/master renders look correct, but those rendered by other computers don't because they are missing textures, HDRI's, animation caches, or meshes. The solution to this is either to pack into the Blend file those assets, or, if this isn't possible, put your assets in a shared folder and make sure your scene references the assets from the shared location. More info about this is on our website's documentation.
Best way is to email us - info at crowdrender.com.au
- A compatible version of Blender, the versions on Blender market support from 2.93 to 3.5.
- At least two computers, both of them attached to your network.
- All computers need to have 64 bit processors and be capable of running Blender
- Recommended 16GB of RAM minimum on each computer
- At least 10GB free storage on each computer
- Compatible with AMD, Intel and Nvidia GPUs,
- Supports CPU/GPU hybrid rendering in cycles
- Compatible with 64 bit versions of Windows 10/11, MacOS and linux
- You can use computers that are running different operating systems, though this does impact how easy it is to render projects that have external assets which aren't packed into the blend file
The latest version is V0.6.3
V0.6.3 includes some minor bug fixes, but the highlights over V0.4.5 are;
- A completely new render dispatching system, including the use of frame splitting for animations, which is anywhere from 30% to several times faster depending on the use case.
- Support for running multiple sessions of Blender on your client/master machine
- Supports for a render node (a computer you decide only to render on) hosting multiple client sessions. Effectively you can have multiple blender sessions ready to render or even render at the same time on any computer now.
- If a computer is really slow rendering a tile or frame, a faster computer can 'steal' the job away from it and complete it, helps with finishing a render if a slow computer is 'hogging' a tile or frame.
- Ability to pause rendering on a node by clicking the camera icon next to it, so if you need to use a computer that is currently rendering, you can pause the rendering (note you can only do this from the master/client machine at the moment)
- Single frame rendering is much faster now with a new system for distributing tiles that doesn't need to assume or learn about the render performance before hand.
- All intermediate results from render tasks are now deleted once they are loaded into Blender for compositing/encoding, this saves massive amounts of disk space
- Performance fixes for poor UI performance in Blender
- More UI performance fixes (when using the Flared addon, no more slow down)
- Support for Cycles X in Blender 3.0
- Support for METAL/HIP devices in Cycles
- Support for CUDA/OPTIX devices
- "Sync Fail" no longer blocks rendering and is now considered a warning only
- Fixed "missing render tiles" bug, all tiles are now rendered
- Supports using auto pack in your scenes now
- Log files are now rotated and no longer consume ever more disk space
- All code (apart from third party libraries we use) is now plain source and licensed as GPL
Why we created it
We needed a quick way to render a still or short animation sequence, on multiple PC's, and without much setup, and, it had to work with as little as two computers, all the way up to hundreds.
All the other available solutions at the time required setting up at least one master machine that would control distributing frames to PCs that would render. Often that controller doesn't render. In a home or small office setup, those solutions don't offer a speedup.
So we built Crowdrender's distributed/network rendering addon.
Our goal is to make it so easy to use multiple computers that practically anyone that is capable of using Blender will be able to render their work faster across multiple computers.
Be sure to drop us an email if you have any questions or if you get stuck, we're nice, friendly geeks who like Blender and making computers go fast :)
Choose a product version:
|Dev Fund Contributor|
|Published||7 months ago|
|Blender Version||2.93, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6|
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