With the Farminizer, TeamManager and other supportive functions, RebusFarm is a versatile cloud rendering service.
RebusFarm is a spin-off from RebusMedia and was founded in Cologne, Germany, in 2006 by Ralph Huchtemann.
RebusFarm aims at fulfilling the growing need of rendering power in the field of 3D Animation and VFX. The render farm supports a wide range of 3D applications, including the host applications, as well as secondary rendering applications. Furthermore, RebusFarm targets to offer the largest possible rendering capacity at the most affordable price, while maintaining service oriented contact to the customer. Such qualities had made it top ranked cloud rendering service provider.
In 2009, RebusFarm presented a completely new and unique concept for integrating a render farm into the workflow of the 3D community by publishing the Farminizer Software. It gave the user full access to the power of the render farm from inside their 3D application.
We thank Ralph Huchtemann, Founder and Sabina Roeloffs, Marketing Manager from RebusFarm to make this detailed interview possible.
The Virtual Assist welcomes you Ralph. Please tell us about your background and the history of RebusFarm.
Hi, thanks for having me here. I graduated as an engineer from the RWTH Aachen in Germany and started to produce industrial visualizations in the middle 90s. I was the first generation of 3D designers who worked completely without the very expensive Silicon Graphics Computers (SGI), using PC Hardware instead. That was a way to ‘democratize’ 3D rendering.
I remember back then the CEO of SGI said the remarkable sentence: “You can put a rocket on the shoulders of a dog but it always remains a dog”. I felt that this was wrong and history punished this arrogance hard.
I founded my own 3D visualization firm and worked about 10 years as a freelance 3D Artist, mainly doing visualizations for industrial films. By 2005, my small studio got about 10 render slaves and that started the idea to share those machines with other local studios to save costs. This pretty much was the birth of RebusFarm, the cloud rendering service.
How was the Farminizer Software developed?
Looking back on the beginning of the software, I ask myself why I didn’t protect it with a patent. The idea of collecting all resources in one main application with a plug-in was completely new at the time. All other render services forced the users to collect the scene files, textures and other resources manually. The idea has been adopted from almost all of them since then.
We have the advantage that we have the most developed solution since we work on the Farminizer constantly and there is a huge amount of engineering hours, months, years invested in this piece of software to provide a sustainable solution.
Describe the main features of the RebusFarm TeamManager.
The TeamManager feature was introduced to support large teams with one team leader, who is able to control the work of all his 3D artists. The leader is in control of the budget and allocates render points for his team members. Furthermore, he can see all the work that was rendered by his colleagues. The main advantage is that a team does not have to share one account in which the download of different renderings gets messed up. Each team member works in an own account but the leader controls the budget and the projects.
How many software and plug-ins are supported by RebusFarm?
We support a very wide range of software and plug-ins in our cloud rendering service. For a detailed list of all supported software check the specs on our website: https://rebusfarm.net/company/render-farm-specs.
If you happen to find a new plug-in that we do not support yet, just contact our support team and we will see what we can do to implement it on our farm.
Kindly share the production pipeline, integrated with RebusFarm.
We are rendering in our own data center in Cologne. This distinguishes us from most new entrepreneurs in business. We do not use any resources of AWS, Google Could, Azure or any other cloud rendering service.
The advantage is that we are able to bill exactly by the second instead of charging by the minute for example. Furthermore, we do not have a minimum turnover, you only pay the exact amount of engine time. Our machines will start immediately instead of waiting until the correct image file is fueled to the virtual machines. That makes us much faster, cheaper and better.
How do you secure your clients’ data? Please elaborate your answer.
As mentioned above, we have our own data center to provide the cloud rendering service. It gives us complete control over the infrastructure. There are no machines shared with other companies or customers.
Let us know about your different pricing policies.
We are trying to keep it very simple. You just pay for the rendering time and this exactly by the second. There are no hidden costs for storage, network, internet, up- or download and so on. Check out our pricing schemes.
To support our environment, your Green Power movement through GrundGrün Energie GmbH is very appreciable. Let us know in brief about it.
We started very early to choose a green energy provider to take responsibility for the environment. Any rendering that is rendered at RebusFarm, instead of at home or another render farm, saves CO2 and radioactive waste. As a special, we have a feature in our cost calculator which does not only calculate costs but also your personal contribution to climate protection when rendering with RebusFarm.
The costumers do not have to pay anything extra for it and we have saved a remarkable amount of CO2 and radioactive waste since the start of our Green Power movement.
According to you, what is the future of cloud rendering technology?
If I knew this, I would be very happy ;).
I suppose that rendering with GPUs will progress and get more market share in the future. But this was prognosticated in the past already and I am surprised how slowly the change is proceeding.
You had already given control of Render Farm on mobile and app. What are your next goals?
Our next goal is to publish the RebusFarm Software 3.0, which is already in production. While introducing a lot of new features in the Farminizer plug-in as a more exact price calculation and smoother submission, it will also be accompanied by a new Control Center in the backend of RebusFarm. The new Control Center will be highly interactive, as you can slide through your animation in real-time and see each image as soon as the rendering is done, for example.
I think people will love it.
RebusFarm is part of cloud based computing technology, widely known as SaaS (Software as a service). Keep tuned for more updates of this leading cloud rendering service for CGI and VFX.