I never post things like this, but I was so pleased with customer service I needed to post and let everyone know.
I just wanted to let everyone know I used: http://www.GarageFarm.NET tonight and I couldn't be more pleased with the customer service. Tomek, the guy who runs this company, only charged me a small amount even though he had to redo some renders after I made a mistake. I offered to pay him more but he refused. I will use them again for sure.
If you are looking for a render farm please stop by and visit http://www.GarageFarm.NET.
I'm also very satisfied with his RenderFarm. I've rendered one HD animation recently and it was 7x times faster than what would i do in company on 7 machines I have at disposal :). So yes I can recommend this far very much, especially for LIVE support/feedback so you always can get feedback is all the data transferred fine and is all gonna render fine before starting all frames :).
I would also like to vouch for Tomek and GarageFarm. We had a Lightwave project w/ a pretty tight deadline and, with the time difference, he was there burning the midnight oil when we needed him. Great pricing, much more accommodating, and much less hassle than the other services out there. Top notch.
Very pleased with the quality and speed of their service, recommended.
We've got a pretty big farm at Cityscape, but I've used Garagefarm when we needed a bit more performance. Very pleased with it. :)
If you are doing this professionally, the support and trouble shooting is top notch.
When there's a question about a renderfarm, i feel like i MUST mention GarageFarm as Tomek is such a cool guy, always here to help (no stupid machine without a solution if you run into any trouble...) and the pricing of GarageFarm have always been the least expensive as far as i'm concerned with the apps i use, i.e. modo, LW or Kray...
Now you know ! :)
Laurent aka Tartiflette :)
Ive got two jobs running at GarageFarm as I write this Message - Tomek is awesome; an any-hour work horse. He managed to crank out a recent job in about 10 hours which took my machine almost a week straight.
I swear by them. Speedy and very cheapy.
I'm happy with results.
I use to render on EXR file format wich gives-me 25 mega per image, but their upload/download works great throught FTP.
You also see the data when images are in rendering and you may also render test 1/4 resolution for free.
i recomend Garagefarm too.
imho best thing is to have enough machines to deal with most jobs, and in my case 10 nodes + 5 workstations (which become nodes by night or during we) are pretty enough. for all other needs i rely on GarageFarm, price are nice and it will always be faster than an internal farm - unless you buy A LOT of machines/blades.
I'll third that, Tomek at garagefarm.net has pulled the stops out for us on several projects now. He's a true star, a pleasure to deal with and is very reasonable.
Whilst you could buy a couple of render nodes, you have to ask yourself how quick do you want your animations rendered? For us, a farm that can render out a sequence in a day on their 30+ PCs is so much better than having 2 of our own nodes that would render them out in 15 days. And to have 30 nodes just sat idle waiting for a project is a waste. It comes down to how quickly you need your renders doing.
I am a Huge fan of GarageFarm.net. They saved my bacon more than once -- fantastic group, great service, and absurdly affordable.
you can throw pretty much anything at garagefarm and there gear will fly threw the scenes , you are best speaking with tomak one on one and he will advice you best in terms of packaging the scene " i would assume setting the frames and export the scene via scene package will be sufficient however again speak with garagefarm" as for the actual render that really is artists settings dependant on what version of LW you are using it will differ , best doing a final stage frame render to see what is the best setting for example 5 minutes on your machine might take 20 seconds or quicker on the farm.
sorry this is the only advice I can give although I know Garagefarm will pretty much bend over backwards to get your product finished within the deadline they are good service in that regard
Just put together a very short animation to test out the http://www.garagefarm.net And believe me, that was the most happily $13 I have ever spent in my life.
I send him a packed scene file and after a few moment I got an email asking how I would like to have the animation deliver. I told him as 24Bit tiff files. And then I ask him if it was possible for him to go into the scene and change to camera 2 after camera 1 was finish rendering. And for all the other 5 cameras in the scene. No problem he says. We was on Skype the so no waiting for answers. And then he call me just to make sure we was ready to go. We had a problem with a plug-in, but that was taken care of en a few moment. I have never seen that kind of service in my life.
After 4 hours he was finish rendering 350 frames (on my system I used 7 min pr. frame = 40 hours) and I only paid $13. That is properly less then the electrical bill for having my own PC running for 40 hours.
Try it out. I works.