To use a render farm to render your animation projects, your SimpleCloud plan needs to include rendering. When this is in place, you can create render farms in SimpleCloud. When you create a render farm, you choose the settings you want, and then we will set up all of the elements of the farm, including the database, repository, VMs, services, security etc. 

To use the rendering servers, set up a render farm in SimpleCloud:

  1. Log on as a studio owner or studio manager. Only these types of user have the permission to create a render farm.
  2. Select Studio.
  3. Select your studio and then select Manage Studio.

    The Studio list shows a list of the studios in SimpleCloud. A studio has been selected, revealing its Manage Studio option. A callout arrow is pointing to the Manage Studio option.

  4. Select Processing.

    Studio overview. A callout arrow points to the Processing option in the header menu.
    When you select Processing, SimpleCloud displays the:
    • Render farms list, if there are already render farms set up in your SimpleCloud instance
    • Settings for creating a new render farm if there are no existing render farms.

  5. Select Create New Farm. This step only applies if you see the Render farm list. 

  6. Enter a Name for your render farm. When you enter a name, SimpleCloud will automatically generate a unique code based on the farm name. This is to make sure that each farm has a unique identifier, in case there are farms with the same name. You can change the code to a different 5-digit code if you prefer, but once these settings are saved, the code cannot be changed again.

    Close up of render farm name and code settings. The name has been set to ACME300 Render Farm and the code has been set to AC300.
  7. In the Available Farm Managers section, find the farm manager software that you want to use for your render farm. Then drag and drop it into the Farm Managers section on the left.

    The farm manager software allows you to access any combination of local and cloud resources for your rendering and processing needs.

    Take care when choosing the farm manager software as this cannot be changed. If you want to change the farm manager software, you will need to create an entirely new render farm in SimpleCloud.

    Drag and drop software from the Available Farm Managers section into the Farm Managers section.
    When you add a farm manager, the Software section appears and the Available Software options are shown in the panel on the right.

  8. In the Available Software section, select the rendering software that you want to be available on the rendering server (node). Then drag and drop it into the Software section on the left.

    To make appropriate choices, you will need to understand what software you need for your project's production process and rendering.

    Drag and drop applications from Available Software to Software.
  9. Select the edit icon (cog) for the Processing Nodes section. This loads the Available Nodes in the panel on the right.
  10. Drag the rendering node you want to use from the Available Nodes section into the Processing Nodes section on the left. The nodes are servers. They have can have different CPU, GPU and RAM configurations, based on your rendering and processing needs as set in your payment plan.

    Drag and drop a render node into the Processing Nodes section.
  11. In the Available Projects section, select the project(s) that you want to render using your new farm. Drag and drop each project into the Involved in Projects section on the left.

    Drag and drop a project into the Involved Projects section
  12. Select Create.

SimpleCloud creates your render farm and it enters the pending state. It will remain in this state while the various elements of the farm, such as the database and repository are being set up. When it is ready, the state will change and it is then available for use on the project you selected. You can also use it on other projects, if needed. To do that, you can either edit the render farm and add the project there, or you can edit the project and add the render farm to the project.

To test that the render farm is available, you can log in to one of the workstations for the project(s) you added in step 1. Run the Deadline Monitor software on the workstation to access the render queue. The connection between the Deadline Monitor software and your project is made in the background, automatically by SimpleCloud.

When SimpleCloud creates the render farm, it adds a system-managed user to the render farm management software. This user allows SimpleCloud to issue instructions to the farm. If you delete the user, any queries you make will stop working, for example,you will be unable to check the status of nodes in real time.