frequently asked questions

1. Where are you based?

We are a UK based business, our data centre is in Poland, and the employees are working remotely from various locations in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

2. How can I get started?

Check out our quick start guide first. If you’re very new to cloud rendering and need a guiding hand, we also recommend going through our text guide. Besides that, all you need to do to get started is to register with us and render away all by yourself.

3. Can I render a project using a GPU renderer like Octane or Redshift or only CPU is supported?

Our render farm has both CPU and GPU nodes so GPU renderers like Redshift, Cycles, ProRender or FStorm are supported (check this page here for more info). However, Octane Render is not supported on our farm. We encourage you to check out our GPU server rental dedicated service called xesktop. You can get access to powerful rendering machines with 10x 1080Ti and 8x V100 via Remote Desktop at a low cost.

4. How can I send my files to the farm?

Once you have an account with us, you’ll need to download and install our software that includes a plugin. After installing the software, you will be able to send and upload your project to our farm right from your 3d program’s interface.

5. Which files should I send?

We need all the files that are used in the scene: textures, proxies, xrefs, lights, GI etc. However, you don’t need to worry about any of that because our plugin will collect all the data from your scene and upload it to our farm along with the scene file.

6. How can I get a render cost and time estimate before committing?

You can get a quick estimate using our cost calculator. Remember though, it’s only an approximation and it only works for animations.

To get a more accurate estimate for animations, we recommend running a few frame test job using a step on the farm. For example, if you have 400 frames in your sequence, and set the frame range to 1to400s20, you will get 20 frames rendered in total. Our system will then calculate the cost estimate for the full range based on those frames rendered.

One thing to keep in mind is that the more frames you render from the range, the more accurate the estimated cost is.

For stills, please render the image in 1/5 resolution or any other smaller resolution. In the case of 1/5 resolution test, the cost of full resolution render will be 25 times bigger than the cost of a test. For example, if you want to render an image in resolution 5000x6000, run a test in 1000x1200 res first. If your test costs $1, then the estimated cost for the full res image should be around $25 (5 x 5 = 25). For a 1/4 test it would be $16 (4 x 4 = 16) and so on.

7. Why is running test jobs so important?

Network rendering across multiple machines is very different from rendering locally on a single machine, especially when system environments aren’t the same as it is often the case with cloud rendering. Tests help you determine whether your scene renders fine and produces the same results as on your local machine. On top of that, you avoid the situation where you pay for results that aren’t what you had in mind.

We always urge our customers to run tests first no matter how well optimized the scene might be or how confident you are that network rendering won’t be an issue. Better be safe than sorry. Plus, tests cost very little, and if everything goes well, the frames rendered in a test won’t be rendered and charged for again when rendering full range anyway.

8. Do I need to upload my project again when rendering a full range scene after doing the test?

You can submit a job that you already tested by right-clicking on it and selecting ‘Render full range’ without uploading again. Please note that it works with jobs that have been previously test rendered with a step (i.e. 1to400s20). Certain renderers and GI modes won’t allow it, though, and you will need to upload the scene again.

9. I have a new scene that uses assets from the same project that I already have uploaded. Do I have to upload the entire project with all the assets again?

Nope. Our software will checksum the files that are already present on the server and upload only the new scene, new assets, and the assets that have been changed.

10. What will happen when my render job is more expensive than the credits available in my account?

As soon as your account goes below 0, the render job will get paused (not killed!) and the currently rendering frame(s) will continue rendering until finished. This means your account will go to a negative balance. To prevent this from happening it is crucial to run test jobs before deciding to render full range or full resolution renders in order to estimate job cost and plan accordingly.

The negative balance in the account is the responsibility of the user and must be paid to enable back full system functionality.

11. How can I check the rendered frames?

Each frame that is completed is downloaded automatically to your local drive to a directory you selected in the renderBeamer application. Please make sure you keep renderBeamer running whenever you have jobs rendering to get the frames downloaded right away. Our app sits in the Windows tray when running.

As an alternative, when you’re logged in to your account on the website, you can preview all rendered frames in Web Manager (web dashboard).

12. Your calculator says it would take 4h to finish my project, is that correct?

The calculator shows the render time in a scenario where either 75, 150 or 300 nodes are used in your render job, however, that number may vary. Also, it only shows the time of the nodes when they are rendering. It doesn’t include the farm queue waiting time, GI caching, or the scene loading time.

The time when your job starts and finishes depends on three factors:

Priority you choose – the higher the priority, the sooner your scene will start rendering

Placement in the queue – there could be several customers using the same priority, and thus the jobs get served on the ‘first come, first served’ basis

Nodes availability - current farm load dictates how many nodes are available for use at any given time; some large projects on High priority could take all the nodes available and, as a result, make jobs on other priorities wait for their turn

13. How can I pay?

You can pay using PayPal for credit cards and PayPal payments, or DotPay for credit card payments only. If none of those two is possible for you, we can accept bank wire transfers as an alternative payment method. You may want to check out our Payments guide here:

14. Do your prices include the taxes/VAT?

Our prices do not include the tax/VAT.

We are a United Kingdom-based Company, which means that for everyone from the UK, we need to add 20% of the VAT to the payment. Generally, HRMC will refund the VAT amount after filing the VAT Return form to British companies.

If you are from the country within the European Union, and you have a valid VAT number, the tax/VAT won’t be added to the payment.

If you are from the country within the European Union, but you don’t have the VAT number, we will add 20% of the VAT to your payments.

If you are from the country outside of the European Union, you don’t need to pay for the tax/VAT.

15. When should I pay?

Initially, you receive $25 credits that you can use to run some test jobs and get familiar with our service. Once you use them up, you’ll need to buy credits to continue rendering. You should give our discounts offer a closer look.

16. Do you have discounts for students?

Sorry but we don’t. You should try our Low priority, though. It’s great for students and artists who are just starting out.

17. How can I know what the current farm load is?

Upon submitting a job on the web dashboard, you’ll be able to see the number of jobs that are currently rendering. You can use this info to decide which priority you need to use given the farm load.

18. What is baking?

As a light solution in rendering is usually approximated, different computers will have slightly different results. In animation, it results in uneven lighting/shadows across the frame range. Therefore, before rendering a final animation, a file or a series of files with the lighting information needs to be prepared. Baking is a process which saves Global Illumination (GI) to a file which will then be loaded and used in the final rendering.

19. Do you support 3rd party plugins? What if I use a plugin that you don’t have on your farm?

We have a broad range of supported plugins that we constantly maintain and update. If you happen to use a plugin that we don’t have or have a different version currently installed, it shouldn’t be a problem. You can let us know and we’ll do our best to get it installed on the farm within a few hours. Please note that the custom plugin installations apply only to Medium and High priorities. take a look at the list of apps and plugins supported

20. What are priorities and do they affect the cost of rendering?

You can choose three priorities when rendering on our render farm. Each of them has a different rate and gives you different features. You can select a priority that best suits your situation. For example, you can choose between speed or low cost or best of both worlds.

High priority - 100% cost, 300 nodes per job, top of the queue

Medium priority - 50% cost, 150 nodes per job, in the queue behind High

Low priority - 25% cost, 75 nodes per user, in the queue behind Medium and High

More info here

21. I’m not sure which priority to choose for my deadline, will I be able to change the priority during the rendering?

You can change the priority any time during the rendering. However, the frames that are already rendering won’t be affected by the change. You can right click on the job that is running in Web Manager in the jobs panel and select the priority you wish to change it to.

For deadlines within a few hours, we suggest using High Priority.

For deadlines within a day, we suggest using Medium Priority

For deadlines of 1- 3 days, Low Priority is probably the best choice.

22. I got charged for frames that were broken or rendered too long. Can I get a refund?

Don’t worry. Please contact us and we will investigate the issue and will help you find the cause.

If the cause of the incorrect frames was our system failure, we will offer you a refund or some other form of compensation.

Please note that we can’t guarantee a full refund in cases where no tests were performed or the instructions provided in the system or documentation weren’t followed or were neglected. You can read about Return Policy in our Terms of Service.

23. What should I do when a scene fails to render?

We have a team of experts that are online and at your disposal at any time of the day 7 days a week. All you need to do is reach out through our live chat and ask about the job that failed. We will troubleshoot it for you and assist you through the process.