How baking works with Blender on RenderStreet

How baking works with Blender on RenderStreet

In Blender, you can apply multiple physics attributes to objects. Some of them need baking in order to work. Please read below for the specific instructions for each type of baking and don't forget to read the important notes at the end of the article. 

General considerations:

1. The following instructions are referring to working with simulations/physics in Blender. Texture baking is also supported, see this article for more information.

2. For baking on your machine and then uploading the project with the simulation(s) it to our server, the sequence of operations  is the following one:

  • Pack the blend file
  • Create a new folder, let's call it RenderJob
  • Save the blend file in this folder
  • In the simulation cache section, check the appropriate boxes (see below for specific instructions)
  • Set the path to a relative one where is needed, such as //cache_path (see below for specific instructions)
  • Bake the simulation again
  • If there are multiple simulations, repeat the previous two steps, selecting separate cache folders for each simulation.
  • Save the blend file again and test that it renders properly
  • Upload the RenderJob folder, that now contains everything required in it, to the farm

3. For uploading there are 4 options:

  • Use our plug-in. The plug-in will collect automatically all baked caches and all project assets and will upload them to our servers. You can download the plug-in from the link in your RenderStreet account
  • Zip the entire folder and upload via the "add render job page". You'll receive an error message saying that we were not able to find the blend file in the archive. In the process, the archive will get unzipped and then you'll be able to find the uploaded folder at the bottom of the page, in the FTP files section.
  • Via Dropbox or another cloud storage account .
  • Via FTP
       Important: Both the blend file and the cache folder need to be placed inside a master folder created in your RenderStreet account root folder

Specific bake instructions:


  • The new Mantaflow fluid engine in Blender 2.82 :

    • no special actions needed. Simply follow the sequence of operations from General Considerations above
    •  

  • Force Field :

    • No baking required

  • Collision :

    • No baking required

  • Cloth :

    • Saved in the blend file: you need to bake on your own machine. Uncheck the 'disk cache' box, then bake and save the file. After this, upload the blend file to our server.

  • Dynamic Paint

    • The cache needs to be baked on your machine and uploaded to our servers. Bake, then save the blend file and upload the blend file along with the cache folder to our server.


  • Soft Body

    • The cache needs to be baked on your machine and the blend file uploaded to our servers. Uncheck the 'disk cache' box, then bake and save the file. After this, upload the blend file to our server.


  • Fluid (Blender version up to 2.81) 

    • The cache needs to be baked on your machine and uploaded to our servers. Enter a relative path for the cache folder (under the Speed and offset boxes). Bake, then upload the blend file and the cache folder to our server.
                 Note: For Blender 2.82 and newer,  please see the Mantaflow engine instructions.


  • Smoke/Fire (Blender version up to 2.81)  

    • The cache needs to be baked on your machine and uploaded to our servers. Check the 'External' box and uncheck the 'lib path' one. Enter a relative path for the cache folder. Bake, then upload the blend file and the cache folder to our server. 
                 Note: For Blender 2.82 and newer,  please see the Mantaflow engine instructions.


  • Particle Systems

    • Saved in the blend file: you need to bake on your own machine (uncheck "disk cache", "external" and "use lib path" checkboxes first) and save the file before uploading it. Also, before saving the file, play the timeline through the sequence that contains the baked particles. This will help avoid a Blender bug that causes the particles not to show properly in some situations. Here's how to do that:
    1. Uncheck both the "disk cache" and the "use lib path" checkboxes
    2. Click the "Free all bakes" button
    3. Click the "Bake all dynamics" button and wait for the bake to finish
    4. Go to the timeline
    5. Select frame 0
    6. Click the play button
    7. Wait until it goes to the last frame and cycles back to the first, then click the pause button
    8. Save the file 

  • Rigid Body

    • Saved in the blend file, the cache needs to be baked on your machine and uploaded to our servers. Bake, then save the blend file and upload it to our server. The rigid body cache settings are under the 'Scene' tab.

  • Ocean bake:  

    • Ocean bake needs to be baked on your machine and uploaded to our servers. This bake type is available via a modifier. Enter a relative path for the cache_path field. Bake, then upload the blend file and the cache folder to our server.

Important notes

Important note 1: If you use multiple physics in your file - for instance, Force Field, Collision, Cloth or Particle Systems combined with Dynamic Paint, Soft Body, Fluid or Smoke, we suggest you to to do all the baking on your system and upload all the caches to our server before starting the renders. In these cases, a specific bake order is needed for the combination to work properly and this is the only way to make sure that the results are the expected ones.

Important note 2: If you are not rendering the entire animation range, please restrict the simulation frame range to what you need to render on the farm. The baking process will bake the entire frame range specified in the simulation settings in your file, and the longer the range, the longer it will take to bake your project.

Important note 3:  If your baked frame range is wider than the frame range you intend to render, you need to upload the entire baked frame range to our farm. For instance, if you baked frames 10 to 100 and want to render frames 50 to 60, you still need to upload the entire bake cache (10 to 100). This is required by the fact that Blender in some cases crashes if the baked cache isn't entirely available to it when rendering. To avoid uploading a bigger cache than you need, you can bake it again locally to only include the frame range you need, as described at important note 2 .

Important note 5:  If you have combined setups (for instance a simulation that has as emitter a particle system) there is a chance they won't always work properly if we do the baking. Make a test first, to make sure you get the desired result. 


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