06. Make workflow notes
Have a documented workflow. When implementing a render farm you will need a solid workflow that both the artists and IT departments can adhere to. A good example is the requirement of all files on central storage – a must as a part of a workflow for distributed rendering.
07. Set up cluster rendering to optimise
Cluster for optimum utilisation. Ensuring you have clustering set up means that you can rest assured you’re always going to be utilising your render farm to the maximum.
08. The right amount of Licenses
Include software license counting. Make sure you have enough licenses for all your applications. Generate reports regularly to see if you require additional licenses, and so avoid unnecessary idle time on the farm.
09. Expand your infrastructure
When growing the render farm expand your infrastructure. This is commonly forgotten but absolutely imperative. The addition of even just ten extra hosts could be the tipping point for your storage or network.
10. Train your staff
Training is absolutely key. You'll get more throughput and value from your investment in rendering infrastructure and management software if you know how to enable and manage the features that will continue to accelerate your render pipeline.
Words: Josh Bretag
Since 2002, PipelineFX has been helping organizations of all sizes to better manage rendering for digital media applications and programs. Their software product Qube! was originally built for Square USA's animated movie "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," and has been used on hundred's of feature films since.
The full article was first published in 3D World issue 188.
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