Render Farm Subscriptions – Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

Subscription based rendering is a whole new ball game. Here are the basics.


How does it Work?

Subscription based rendering allows individuals and businesses unlimited rendering on the farm for a specified period of time by paying a flat fee.


How Much Does It Cost?

The cost depends on which rendering engine you would like to use. Fees are outlined on the subscribe page, here: Subscribe Now [requires login]

For all render engines aside from Blender, you can purchase 3 months for the price of 2!

 


Are there any hidden fees?

No.


Should I use metered or a subscription?

We’ve tried to priced things so that in the vast majority of cases, it simply makes more sense to get a subscription than to use the metered service. Subscriptions make more sense for everybody involved – if you have a lighting issue, you can re-render without worrying about additional charges.


Can I buy one plan and upgrade later?

You can upgrade to any higher-priced subscription, as long as you upgrade before your subscription expires. Simply go to your Account Status page. Then click the link that says “Upgrade” next to your active subscription. This will take you to the Subscribe page, and it will show you which subscriptions you can upgrade to. You will receive a credit based upon your existing subscription and how many days you have used up.


Do I have to sign up for a whole year or anything like that?

No. Sign up for the time frame you are comfortable with. Super/Unlimited and Super/Blender subscriptions do not automatically renew.


How long do subscriptions last?

Each subscription is available for varying amounts of time. Any jobs you place in the queue will run until they finish, die, or you abort them, even if your subscription expires.


Are there any limitations?

A few. Subscription jobs run at a slightly lower priority than regular metered jobs, and yes, you will be sharing the farm with other users. If you have ever used ResPower before, however, you know that this is rarely an issue. We keep our utilization ratio low by continually adding to the farm. More nodes means more power and fewer sharing conflicts. Plus, our timeslicing algorithm means the farm splits itself automatically. When you submit a job, you start seeing computers pick up your frames immediately. This means that metered jobs in practice get perhaps 5 more nodes than our subscription jobs. Also, there is a time limit per frame. For all engines but Blender/Yafray, this limit is 2 hours per frame. For Blender/Yafray, it can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the level of your subscription. This time limit refers to clock time per frame. It means that if a frame starts rendering on a machine with a local time of 8 am, it has until exactly 10 am to finish, or it will be marked as failed. This time limit is essential to ensure everyone gets access to the farm. If a job of several thousand frames that took several hours or even days for each frame to finish was started by another user just before you submitted your job, your ability to render would be determined by the queue. With a time limit in place, the farm can be split and shared more evenly.


What can I do if my render exceeds the time limit?

 

  • Split Frame Many render engines support split-frame rendering. If your render engine does support split-frame rendering, it is possible to do split-frame animation rendering, which allows for much longer render times.
  • Modify Your Scene We all want radiosity, infinite levels of reflection, Multi-Billion polygon models, and so on. Unfortunately, doing this consumes a ridiculous amount of render time. You can tweak your scene to reduce its render time and try again.
  • Increase RAM/GHz requirements. We do not recommend doing this during the Render Wizard, but if your frames have failed due to a time limit, you might consider increasing the RAM or GHz requirements. This will reduce the number of computers that are allowed to work on your job, but will increase the likelihood that they will finish inside the time limit.
  • Metered Service You can resubmit the dead frames using metered service, which has no time limit.

 


You say I will be sharing the farm. How many computers will be allotted to my job?

 

If you are the only user at the moment, you will receive the entire farm. If not, the farm splits itself between all users. In simple terms, If there are 2 users, the farm will try to ensure that each gets 50% of the farm. For 3 users, each would get 33% of the farm.

We say “simple terms” above, because the algorithm is somewhat complex. For example, if one user is a metered user and the other a Super/Unlimited user, the metered user might get 51% of the farm. Also, we do not terminate renders in order to balance the load, and setting Minimum System Requirements can reduce the number of eligible computers for a specific job.

 


Will a subscription cover my whole studio?

Super/Unlimited™ Subscriptions are allowed to be used by up to 3 individuals inside a single company. Employees of a company are all allowed to use the same subscription, but they may not share the subscription with anyone else. Super/Unlimited Premium™ Subscriptions may be used by up to 6 individuals inside a single company. Super/Blender™ Subscriptions may be used by single individuals and may not be shared, even between friends, co-workers, etc. Furthermore, they may only use the subscription for company purposes, so employees thinking about using their employer’s subscription to improve their personal demo reel will need to get their own subscriptions. To prevent the sharing of accounts, ResPower employs methods, including but not limited to:

  • Credit cards may be automatically verified, but not more than once per 24 hours
  • Logging of ip addresses may be used to ensure an account is not being shared.

This is necessary to keep our prices as low as possible and our service lightning fast. If you have questions or concerns about how to purchase and use a subscription, please contact us.

 


Can I split my subscription up? I.e., Can I buy a 30 day pass, and spread those 30 days across the next 3 months?

No. Subscriptions are available for contiguous periods of time.


Can I purchase my subscription in advance? I.e., Can I pay for a subscription today, but start using it next week?

Yes! Simply choose the “Activate Later” option when you purchase the subscription. Then, when you are ready to use a subscription, go to your Account Status page and click the link to activate. You can purchase as many subscriptions as you like in this manner and simply activate them whenever you are ready. Please note, however, that only 1 subscription can be active at any time, and that if you already have a subscription active and choose to purchase another, any additional subscriptions are automatically set to Activate Later.


Can I purchase my subscription offline?

Yes, but all subscriptions must be paid in advance. We do not provide any billing terms. To purchase a subscription off-line, please email support@respower.com for details.


Do you guarantee that my renders will complete during the subscription period?

 

No. We provide you with unlimited access to submit renders to our farm of computers and provide a certain amount of time per frame, or bucket, in the case of Split/Frame. We have no way of knowing ahead of time how long your renders will take or how many frames you’ll submit. We’ve had several people submit literally hundreds of thousands of frames during their subscription period and allow them to continue after the subscription expires.

What we do guarantee is that you will be able to submit renders during the subscription period. We never promise to meet any deadlines under any circumstances.

 


What happens if my render is still going at the end of my subscription?

It will continue to process until it either completes or dies. The end of your subscription only means that you will not be able to submit additional renders without purchasing another subscription or using the metered service.


Can I restart renders after my subscription expires?

The render farm will allow you to restart your jobs within a reasonable amount of time after the initial job submission – at the time of this writing, 7 days. After this period you will need to go through the Render Wizard and start a new job. We reserve the right to reduce this timeframe without warning or notice.


What about technical support?

Technical support for subscription users will be available by telephone and emails are answered promptly during normal business hours.


Where do I sign up?

Once you have logged in to your account, check the account status page to purchase a subscription. Or, use this link for unlimited rendering

 



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