How To Use The Farm

There was a video here, but things are changing so fast here that text is better.

1) Sign up for Dropbox if an account is not already had.

2) Send an email to with your name, the user name you would like, your dropbox e-mail address, paypal e-mail address, and a contact e-mail address.

3) Wait for the Dropbox “rendered” and “to be rendered” folders to be shared.  This might take a while as it is done by hand.  Please take that into consideration and sign up long before project is to be rendered.

4) Buy some render time from the “Buy” tab on

5)  Place projects in the “to be rendered” folder that was shared.  Please follow instructions below for the type of file being uploaded.

6) For any special instruction for things that can’t be saved in the 3d file a .txt should be uploaded with the 3d file.  For example, with a .pack.thea file, where only one camera can be set, a .txt file can be sent with the .pack.thea. This file could say: camera 1 should be render with tr1 at 200sp, camera 2 .png presto mc 500sp.  This way the file only has to be uploaded once.  The .txt file can really say anything and the instructions will be followed.

7) Render time used for each job as well as render time left can now be found in a .txt file in the “rendered” folder.

8) Very Important! – The images of the render will be uploaded to Dropbox or FTP as they are rendered.  Please look at how long they are taking to render.  If the images look wrong or are taking too long please send an e-mail to stop the render as soon as possible to    The render time used will be stopped as soon as the e-mail is recieved.

9)  Please see the FAQ tab at


Using CINEMA 4D with a Farm

Some things must be done before sending a file over:

1) Set a picture format for the final image to be saved as.  Do not set to a movie format like .mov as this will cause problems.

2)  If using a Stage object make sure it is the first object in the objects list.  The stage object will not work if this is not done.

3) Make sure all the textures are gathered right in a single place.  The easiest way to do this is to go to File > Save project with Assets.

4) Bake anything out that needs to be baked unless it is to be baked over on this side.  If it is to be baked on this side please give detailed instructions for baking in a .txt sent with the 3d file.  Things that might need to be baked include, but are not limited to, particles, mograph, physics simulations, cloth simulations, cmotion, thinking particles, xparticles.  Without baking these things could take dramatically longer to render on a farm than they would on a single computer.

5) If using Thea Render with C4D keep Network > Distribution > to None.


Using Thea Render with a Farm

1) Pack up the Thea Render file in a .pack.thea file so it will have all the textures with it.  This can be done by going to File > save as and change it to .pack.thea.

2) Write a .txt file for anything special that cannot be set in the Thea file or if unsure that the Thea settings will save right.  This can be anything from rendering with different settings with different cameras using the same file to rendering with different lights on for the same camera.  Instructions in the .txt can look like so: camera 1 .png tr1 500sp, camera 2 .hdr presto mc 100sp, camera 3 .png tr2 200sp room lights on sun/sky off, camera 3 .png tr2 100sp room lights off sun/sky on.

3) I highly recommend using Presto if possible as it is generally way faster to render than tr1 tr2 or biased methods.  Using a good denoiser in post can save a lot of rendering time.  Biased methods with Thea on a farm are generally slow at this point in time as the GI calculation is done on a single computer.

4) It is recommended to always set a Max Samples value for the render.  This will get the lowest cost possible and allow for super high resolution renders to be done when using Presto.  To find the Max Samples, also know as “sp” or samples per pixel, a super low resolution render can be done until it looks good.  At super low resolution the image should get to an sp that looks good fast even on a very slow computer.  This sp should then be put in the .pack.thea file or in the instuctions in the .txt file.


Calculating and Saving Money When Using a Render Farm

– Always do a test render before sending over to get an idea of how long it will take

– Don’t change any setting after the test render.  Render times can go up by 100x with the change of a single setting.  This will destory any advantage a farm gives that is 100x faster.

– Send an email to  for any questions.  Files are normally not looked at, but if permission is given to open the 3d file help can be given to solve many render issues that can pop up.