Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Make Your Own RenderFarm With Backburner

Render by Gilles Tran - Wikimedia Commons 
Rendering, as my old tutor at Escape Studios used to say, "is where everything starts to go wrong". Here at Bucks we expect our students to present finished, polished work for their assessed submissions, properly lit, textured and rendered out. But this poses problems - render times can be long and, as deadlines loom, any technical failure can be fatal to a timely submission.  So, in the absence of a high-end render farm, how do students render their work on time? The answer is Backburner - the poor man's render farm.

What is Backburner?
Autodesk Backburner is a free software application that comes free for users, packaged with 3DS Max, Flame, Maya and a range of other Autodesk products.

What does it do?
Backburner acts as the queue manager for background and distributed network processing tasks, allowing these tasks to be performed on one or more computers while keeping the main Autodesk program functions available for use. In setups with multiple networked machines, Backburner lets you render images more quickly and efficiently by breaking the job into smaller parts.

Why do you need Backburner?
Even a short animation at high definition can take hours or even days to render. Autodesk Backburner allows you to relegate this process to the background while continuing to work on other material. When you have multiple machines available, it also breaks the job down into several pieces, sending those pieces to individual computers and speeding up the render time.

What if you only have one machine to work on?
If you have only one computer but want the rendering capabilities of multiple machines, you can access Autodesk's subscription-based cloud rendering and storage service.

For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Lynda.com. Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn aboutmotion capture at Bucks.

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