Are there free render farms?

Thursday, 27 October 2022 by Nicole Holt | Reading time: 4 Minutes

Data center of a render farm

We understand that sometimes there are big projects with small budgets plus deadlines and you may find yourself unable to afford a render farm. This article will explain in detail if there is such a thing as a free render farm and how can a render farm be your ally in terms of costs.

To give you a brief explanation, as there might be very few (close to none) free render farms for certain 3D software, the truth is that all render farms have a cost in order to stay available for users. If you want to know more about how to render on a commercial render farm with a budget, stay with us on this article.

Render Farms

As you know, render farms were created from the need to solve the problem of lacking computer power that 3D artists were experiencing in general. It consists of many computer systems interconnected, specialized in the calculation of 3D images.

Each of these render systems has the required 3D software, the renderer and needed plugins installed and is, therefore, ready to render. A render farm will take your full frame range and divide it via multiple nodes, so the project can be completed faster.

Are there free render farms?

To answer this question, you must know the term 'free render farm' depends on many factors. In reality, keeping a render farm running will have costs, even if they are indirect, for hardware upgrades, software licenses, power or at the very least, maintenance.

There is one render farm (for Blender only) that is able to offer their service for free, as long as they are able to survive off of donations and the availability of the persons that borrow their machines for other people to use.

This might sound like a viable option, however, you must keep in mind that:

    • They normally work with one software and a few render engines, so yours is most likely not to be available.
    • You depend on other people putting their machines available for you to render.
    • Usually, a technical team is not available, so, in case something goes sideways or you have any questions, it is hard to get assistance.

For this reason, it's really important that you check which render farm option fits you best.

Commercial render farms, how much do they cost?

Commercial render farms do have a cost, still, the rendering costs depend heavily on the complexity of the scene, the render settings and the textures used. An image can be calculated within seconds or take many minutes to hours. Here at RebusFarm, only the computing time of the used render nodes is charged, exactly to the second. The use of the software, storage space and our support is free. There are no hidden costs.

The calculation of costs is very complex and depends on many factors such as the chosen priority, the settings of your job or discounts that apply. Therefore, we have two cost estimation tools for you. With the Online CostCalculator the approximate costs can be determined immediately by comparing them with your local system and the times of your rendering.

We also have the Cost Estimation tool. With this feature, you are able to render a few frames from your sequence on RebusFarm. The resulting render costs are then taken to give you an average cost for the entire animation. The Render Cost Estimation is much more accurate. It is displayed in the ControlCenter and sent to you by email.

If you decide to give it a try, you will most likely need to create your account and download the plugin to submit your jobs. Some render farms will also give you free credit to start off! Even though you'll have to pay, it's cheaper than you think and it is much more beneficial and secure to use a commercial render farm.

Get started with your own renderings