I’ve been spending the Easter weekend getting back into blender again. I was originally going to do some mode coding, but I felt like doing something a little creative to relax a bit rather than try and program anything complex. I’m also getting a little frustrated with my lack of progress of my game code, so I thought I’d try something different.
After a long absence, in order to get back into blender I’m following the beginner tutorial series from CG Fast Track. There have been many changes to Blender since I used it last, so it was quite refreshing to go through a recent tutorial with the latest version (2.92) rather than trying to follow an old tutorial and translate it to the new version. After an hour or so this is what I finally came up with:
The tutorial does go through creating a 10 second animation, but I found my workstation was struggling to render high quality images (I don’t have a GPU, just using CPU - I’m on a mac!)
Rather than spend the time waiting to render my animation on my slow mac, I found another way - use a render farm. I originally was looking at using some virtual nodes in my home lab and push the render to them in some devops kind of way (freeing up my workstation) - but then I discovered Sheep It. I ended up setup 3 nodes from my home lab and added it to Sheep-It global render farm. It’s not much but the brilliant thing with Sheep-It is that when I submit a render job, my own nodes will process my job first, and any extra work gets ‘offloaded’ out to the rest of the global farm.
For example: If I had rendered my 10 second animation on my own mac workstation it would have taken me over a day of total render time - and I wouldn’t be able to use it to do anything else while it was rendering. Uploading it to Sheep-It enabled my render job to be distributed among 43 different computers around the work to do the rendering and it only took less than 2 hours. I submitted the job just before going to bed, and I work up with a nice fresh completed render waiting for me.
If you want the original blender file that I used to create this image then you can download that here