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#1 2016-01-10 15:20:51

Mickey
Moderator
Registered: 2016-01-07
Posts: 28

General Farm FAQ

INDEX - list of the Q & A in this topic:
  1. Farm availability

  2. My project requires additional plugins. Is rendering with you still possible?

  3. What are Priorities?

  4. Who has access to my rendered frames?

  5. How can I check how much a scene will cost?

  6. Why test renders are so important?

  7. How to run a test render of an animated sequence or still image?

  8. Cost estimate and rendering time estimate

  9. How accurate is the cost estimate?

  10. When are the frames available for download and how can I download them?

  11. Minimum price

  12. Farm location

  13. Is it allowed to create more than one account?

  14. Where do images on your homepage come from?

  15. How do you troubleshoot problematic scenes?

  16. What software do you use to manage your rendering system?

  17. Do you regularly update your 3D software?


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1. Farm availability

Our farm is open 24/7 all throughout the year. So you can start rendering and take a rest for a while or get a beer with your friends smile
Also, our support is available 24/7 with minor exclusion during the major national holidays. So in a case of any questions or when in doubt, please feel free to contact us, and we will try to help you as best as we can.


2. My project requires additional plugins. Is rendering with you still possible?

If you stumble across the prompt about missing plugins, that means we do not have them installed on the farm nodes. You can either inquire about a customized setup via live chat, Skype or email https://garagefarm.net/contact/ or if your scene can do fine without them, just ignore the missing add-ons by choosing "IGNORE."
In the latter case, please note that all objects and functions that require the plugin will cease to work properly. However, it's not always the case, it depends on the plugin, and there are plenty of different plugins out there. Objects created with the use of the external plugin may sometimes be converted to regular meshes producing the same results as if the plugin was involved.

Let's take 3ds Max and QuadChamfer plugin for example. A scene will be heavier after converting all QuadChamfer geometry to regular geometry but will not require the QuadChamfer plugin to be present to produce correct results. If a scene gets too heavy and hard to operate on, you can always use external references.


3. What are Priorities?

GarageFarm.NET offers three priorities, which you can choose when submitting a scene to rendering.

High: 100% price - 80 nodes per job
Medium: 50% price - 40 nodes per job
Low: 25% price - 10 nodes per job

If you go for High, you will always know when the rendering is finished. Customers paying for High Priority will always be served first ahead of other customers.
With Medium you have a good chance to get the renders back in a day or even several hours. You get quite a low price and relatively short waiting time in the queue. Only High Priority customers are served ahead of you.
Low priority can be a big money saver, but you need to keep in mind that from time to time someone else could put your project on hold. Best choice when you're not in a rush and have long deadlines. Please note that we provide limited tech support to jobs on Low.
The scenes with the same priority are rendered in order of them being submitted to the farm.

In a nutshell:

  • For projects with ASAP deadlines, we recommend using High Priority

  • For projects with deadlines of 2 ~ 5 days, we recommend using Medium Priority

  • For projects with deadlines of more than five days, we recommend using Low Priority

Please note, however, that we don't guarantee the above turnaround times. Any job with a priority lower than High can get pushed down the queue whenever any jobs with Medium or High priority jump in the web chat. Also, please note that even jobs with High priority can sometimes wait in the queue longer than usual due to overall traffic on the farm.

If you want to change the priority of your scene, you can do it in Web Manager. Right-click on your job, and choose "set priority" option. You can choose a new priority from the list.


4. Who has access to my rendered frames?

The only people that have access to your project are the GarageFarm.NET support team and you - the client. The renders are secure behind a private network, and no one has access to them. What's more, we do not share our client's data with 3rd parties.

If needed, we can sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Please contact us and request the NDA document.


5. How can I check how much a scene will cost?

There are two ways to check how much your scene will cost when rendering on GF.NET:

Faster method but very rough
You can use our cost calculator on our website here: https://garagefarm.net/cost-calculator/.However, the shown estimates are based on empty values, and often they do not match the final price. The calculator's role is to give you a rough idea of the project's cost. So when checking estimate price this way, please do not take it too seriously and please be prepared that the final price may be different (higher or lower).

Longer method but more accurate
You can send your project to our farm and then render a test by rendering a few frames, for example, every 15th frame. Basing on the render time and the render cost of each frame our system will calculate how much the whole frame range will likely cost. Please remember that even though this method is more accurate, the final price can still be different by up to 10% from the estimation. For still images, please run a test in a lower resolution first and then multiply it by how much the final resolution is higher to get the estimated cost (see Point 7 & 8 for more details)

FAQ_v003_estimated_cost.jpg


6. Why are test renders so important?
  • They give you a possibility to check the final result of rendering on our farm before rendering the final sequence or image.

  • If any technical problems occur - like missing assets, not working caches, flickering or any other issues both on the farm side or yours, you can see and fix them before committing to the final render and paying the full price.

  • Our rendering system gives you an opportunity to get a close cost estimate of the final render basing only on a test of around 20 frames. It allows you to make a better decision about the final sequence concerning what priority to choose and see if perhaps the scene needs optimization to reduce the cost.

  • If you get a cost estimate of your sequence or image, you can quickly calculate the cost of final rendering for every priority. Medium priority rate is 50% of High, and Low priority is only 25% of the cost of High.

  • If you are a new user, you get free $25 to test GarageFarm and our workflow.

If you run tests first, you can get all the above information paying only a small percentage of the final cost.


7. How to run a test render of an animated sequence or still image?

Animation

  • Render your sequence using a step "s" option in Web Manager. The "s" value sets the number of n-th frames to be rendered. For example, if you have 400 frames in your sequence, and set the frame range to 1to400s20, you will get 20 test frames rendered.

  • The more frames you render, the more accurate the estimated cost.

  • For long sequences (like 600 frames or more), it's good to render more than 20 frames as a test. In such a long frame ranges a lot of things can happen between the test frames, and thus it might affect the estimate and its accuracy.

Still image

  • If you want to test a still image, please render it in 1/5 resolution or any smaller res. In the case of 1/5 resolution test, the cost of final render will be 25 times bigger than the cost of a test. For example, if you want to render an image in resolution 5000x6000, run a test in 1000x1200 resolution. If your test costs 1$, the estimated cost for the full res image is 25$.  (5 x 5 = 25).  For a 1/4 test it would be 16$ (4 x 4 = 16), etc.

Please note! If you want to get a cost estimate of your scene as soon as possible, please run it on High priority even if your final render will be submitted on a low or medium priority. You will get your test back relatively quickly, and it will be easy to calculate the cost of the final render for other priorities: the cost of Medium is 50% of High, and Low is 25% of High.


8. Cost estimate and rendering time estimate

Our system can provide a quite accurate cost estimate of the final render based on around 20 or more frames. The system takes the render times of test frames, placed evenly throughout the frame range, and calculates estimated cost for the full sequence.

When it comes to turnaround times, we cannot give you an accurate estimation for Low and Medium priorities. If your job isn't rendering on High, some other jobs with a higher priority than yours can jump into the queue before you anytime, and you will need to wait longer. Even on High priority, sometimes there might be several jobs rendering at the same time which increases the turnaround time.

When you run a test render, you get the render times per frame and thus will be able to get the estimated render time for the entire sequence. Mind you, this includes the render times only, and it won't take things like the queue, scene loading, or caching into consideration.


9. How accurate is the cost estimate?
  • The final render cost should be close to the test estimate within around +/- 10% margin.

  • Please note, however, that some scenes can have more rendering intensive parts in between the test frames. The still images are not always calculated 100 times longer for ten times bigger resolution. An estimate is only an estimate - in most cases, it shouldn't vary more than 10% of the final cost, but it might happen that the final price difference will be somewhat larger.

10. When are the frames available for download and how can I download them?

Your account and its folder is part of our network drive which is used by us as a regular disc in any computer. It means that rendered frames are saved straight to your account on our network drive, and thus we do not need to waste time moving files across servers. This easy, fast and automatic process lets you download frames just right after the frames are rendered out.

The frames can be downloaded automatically to your local machine as long as our renderBeamer application is running. You can also get access to your account via FTP to download the frames manually. Please contact our support for more details.


11. Minimum price
  • For an automatic workflow, there's no minimum price per job. You pay for what you use.

  • When you're on manual workflow (legacy, only if suggested and agreed upon by our support ), it takes much more work and time to set and render a project. For that reason, there is a minimum price of $19. Note that the first test for each scene is free, all the following will cost $19 each.

  • In the case of Rhino, we don't have a fully functional automatic system for animations yet, so they need to be set up and rendered manually by our tech support. Due to its complexity and time-consuming setup, we can render them on High priority only.

12. Farm location

We are a UK based business, our data center is in Poland, and the team is working remotely from various locations in Europe, Asia, and Australia.


13. Is it allowed to create more than one account?

We don't allow creating more than one account per person. If you have forgotten your login, password or email address which you used during registration, please use the password reminder from our website, or contact our support via web chat or email. We'll be happy to help you find your account credentials.


14. Where do the renders on your homepage come from?

The images on our homepage are projects that have been rendered on GarageFarm.NET by our clients who agreed to have them published. 


15. How do you troubleshoot problematic scenes?

If your scenes don't render correctly and return errors, then often we may notice those issues and fix them as soon as they occur. However, you know your work the best, so it is important for you to monitor the rendering process and check rendered frames as soon as they are ready.

In case we detect any problems, we always try to check the scene locally on our machines, look for the cause of the problem and do our best to fix them. We have experienced CG artists and developers in our team, so frequently we can troubleshoot the issues without much effort. Sometimes it might be necessary to give you remote access to one of our machines so that you can check and identify the problem yourself and help us resolve it.

Please note that we don't charge extra for checking, troubleshooting, and fixing problematic scenes, you only pay for your final renders.


16. What software do you use to manage your rendering system?

Our rendering system and rendering queue are managed by the software developed entirely in-house. We constantly update and improve our system. It is our day to day tool that allows us to manage the render jobs on the farm and quickly address and fix any problems as they occur.


17. Do you regularly update your 3D software?

We update our 3D software regularly. For the 3d software listed in our supported apps list (GarageFarm.NET homepage), we update the software versions as soon as they are officially released.

For less popular software or plugins, we update our system whenever requested by our clients. If you use any new plugin or additional tool in your scene, please contact our support which is available 24/7 via chat or email and ask about its availability.



Version 008

Last edited by Lucky_luke (2018-11-21 23:53:31)

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