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caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
Is OS planning on adding rendering? Or linking to desktop rendering tools?
Renderings (stills and animations) have become pivotal in selling ideas, concepts, marketing colleteral...
I recently discussed the matter with someone in the render biz and personally I think rendering in the cloud currently doesn't make much sense as a business model. There's just too much computation. At least for realtime rendering.


Best Answer


  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    Nice comments, Joe.
    As for LAGOA: not so sure they have the right business model (flat rate). They just closed their Boston office, for whatever reason. They essentially got rid of their sales & marketing. Is that sustainable?

  • MaggieSuMaggieSu Onshape Employees Posts: 3
    I'm curious about the allotted rendering time idea. Is there a company out there that does this?
    Rendering times for models can vary. What if you want to render a model that takes 10 minutes, for example, but you only have 5 minutes in your rendering time "bank"?
    Maggie Su. Onshape UX Intern
  • joe_dunnejoe_dunne Onshape Employees, Developers, Simulation EVP Posts: 178
    There has been a market for online render farms for quite a while. I can think of a few off the top of my head


    There are a lot of them. I cannot speak for each's business model. But they have become a standard resource for high end use. Film and advertising. there is a challenge on the estimation side of things. I think one of the things each of these companies have learned is how to accurately estimate the upfront rendering time required for a given scene. Of course a lot of them are rendering 1000s of hi res images for a single brief scene. So its easier to suck up the cost of one test render, to get an accurate cost of the other 999.

    Seems to me there is a fine line between these types of services and having the entire rendering task in the cloud...


    Joe Dunne / Onshape, Inc.
  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    edited August 2014

    The render farm business model is indeed a solid one. It has proven time and again to be commercially viable.

    Then the question is: what do you do before submitting render jobs? How do you setup and prepare for final rendering?

    I think there are two paths:
    1. Setup scene through parameters & settings. Then submit test render jobs to farm. This fits nicely in the render farm model. The workflow would be traditional, like Vray.
    2. Realtime scene setup. Tweak lighting, materials, camera... in realtime. When done, submit render job to farm for final hi-res frames. The workflow would be akin to using e.g. KeyShot.
    I estimate +95% of designers & engineers would prefer the second path, from a usability point of view.
    I think the real challenge is how you handle the computational requirements (and costs) of realtime setup when everything is happening in the cloud.

    What do you think?

  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Joe, I'm not a fan of cloud rendering for design level renders. What I mean by that is renders done during the design phase to internally sell a design. For marketing or motion graphics renders farm is the best solution (we use Rebus with Modo) but there you tend to be looking at multi hour stills at very high resolution or hundreds of animation frames.

    The issue is that apps like Keyshot have redefined what we can do in 5 mins on the desktop. When SolidWorks first alpha tested PhotoView 360 it was a standalone app. Somehow the integrated Photoview has never really worked for us. Keyshot is simply faster, easier and better.

    I would strongly suggest you look at building plug ins to Keyshot and other rendering systems than worry about cloud rendering. That way you enable your stage 1 users to access the best in class tools rather than force then to use said tools via file export or even worse, force them to use a basic cloud solution. I've tried Lagoa. Honestly? It was sluggish, difficult to set up and total time start to output about 10x longer than using Keyshot.
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