How to Render a Blender file on RenderStreet

How to Render a Blender file on RenderStreet

On RenderStreet, a render is called a 'job'. The name applies to both still images and animations, and this article will show you how you can create jobs on our farm.

In order to launch a job, you will need a positive credits balance (for on-demand rendering), or an active RenderStreet One subscription.

There are three ways to launch a job: with our plugin, from a file uploaded on FTP or directly on our site, and with the API. Let's take them one at a time:

1. Using the plugin. 

First, download the plugin from this page and install it. The installing instructions are also included on the download page. 
When the plugin is installed, you will see a new box in the Render Settings tab in Blender. Log in using your email address as username and your RenderStreet password.
To launch a job, first, open the blend file in Blender. Optionally enter a job name in the 'Job name' field. This will be the name associated to your job.
RenderStreet Blender plug-in
In order to render just the current frame from the file, press the 'Render on RS - CURRENT FRAME' button. 
In order to render the entire frame range from the file, press the 'Render on RS - ANIMATION' button.
You can also just upload the project without launching a render from it.

If you have the RenderStreet One subscription active in your account, you can choose whether to use it, or use the on-demand plan for your render. When selecting the on-demand plan, you can also choose the rendering device (CPU or GPU) for the job you are launching. You can select GPU rendering even if your own computer doesn't have a GPU compatible with Blender.

For still images, you can also use the split render option available on our farm. 

We recommend you first test a single frame to see how it renders and then launch the entire animation.

The plugin will collect all the files and assets in the project and send them to our farm. You will see a status indication displayed in the plugin window.

All the other render settings will be copied from your file, except for the tile size. Our system will automatically set the optimal tile size for all rendering situations.

HINT: If you are working on the file and rendering multiple iterations of the same file, keep the same .blend file name. The plugin will upload only the different files, and the subsequent uploads will be significantly faster.
Important: Please note that if you have a render in progress, modifying any file from the project that is currently rendering may cause unwanted effects. We recommend waiting for the render to complete, or saving the blend file with a different name and then re-uploading it, if you need to launch a new render from it.

2. From a file uploaded on FTP or transferred from Dropbox / Google Drive / Microsoft OneDrive

FTP uploads are recommended for larger productions, as they have a few advantages over regular (HTTP) uploads:
  • you can replicate your local folder structure in your RenderStreet FTP account. Please note that this requires that your entire project is located in a master folder and that you use relative paths for all dependencies inside the project. The 'main' folder can contain any number of subfolders
  • you can use an FTP client with 'resume' support to upload the files. This helps if you have a slower or unreliable internet connection
  • if you change a resource file (library, texture, etc), you can reupload only that file
Instructions for FTP upload can be found here.

Transferring files from Dropbox/Google Drive/Microsoft OneDrive. If your project is already uploaded in your cloud account, you can transfer it directly from there to our server. As this is a server-to-server transfer, it's significantly faster compared to a regular upload. The procedure for connecting your account and transferring the files is described in this article. Once the files are transferred, they will be available in the FTP files list on our server and you can continue the job creation process.  

After uploading your files, log in to your RenderStreet account on our site. Then click the 'New job' button from the left top corner of your interface. In the new page, look for the section with the title 'File from RenderStreet FTP or Cloud'

The list will contain all folders in your FTP account. Click on the folder containing your file (in this case 'STANDALONE-PROJECT-2'). The list will expand to show its contents. Select the .blend file you need to render (in this case 'project-2.blend'). The selected file will be highlighted in dark blue. All the files and folders that will be sent to the rendering machines will be highlighted in light blue. Make sure all your dependencies are there, then click on 'Select file'.

A new page containing several sections will open. 
The first section contains the job settings. You can change the job name and confirm the detected render engine and software for your project.

The second box on this page contains the rendering settings. Note that these vary based on the render engine used in your project and also on the selected render plan (on-demand or RenderStreet One).

You can alter all the parameters in this box. The settings from this page will override the existing settings in your file.

The splitting function is only available for still images and allows rendering a single image on several machines simultaneously. However, it comes with a few limitations:
  • compositing will be disabled. This includes file output nodes as well
  • it isn't available if you select 'Multilayer EXR' as an output format
Also, for optimal results, only use this function for images that are taking over an hour to render on our farm.

The 'alpha channel' button only appears for output file formats that allow it (e.g. PNG).
Please note that, although it's not present here, our system takes into account the 'square samples' setting in your file. If that option is set, the number of samples you enter in this box will be squared (e.g. 100 will become 10,000). 

Once you are satisfied with all the settings in this page, you can press the 'Launch job' to start rendering. If you wish to only save the job for rendering at at later time, you can press 'Save for later'. In this case, you will have to manually start the render as desired.

3. Upload a file on HTTP

This method is similar to the one described at point 2, except that the file is uploaded directly on our website. 
From the 'New job' page, use the 'Select a file' button from the top-level section.

Select the file and it will be uploaded. After that you will be redirected to the settings page, as described at point 2. 

Please remember that the file needs to be packed or archived. For more details on how to prepare the files for upload see this page.

4. Using the API

At RenderStreet we have an API you can use to start your jobs with just a few lines of code from your application (shot management application, queue management application or any custom software). We can also provide integration services in some cases. 

Contact us to get more information about the API

5. Cloning a job

Once a file has been uploaded, through any of the above methods, you can render several jobs from the same file. This is especially useful if you want to render a low-res preview before the final render, or if you need to render several frame ranges separately. 
To start another job from an uploaded file, use the 'clone an existing job' box. Select the job that you need to clone and press the 'Clone job' button. 

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