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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Estimating Render job times is easy right? I just tell you how many frames I have and can get an estimate of how long it will take right? If only that were true! Each render frame is truly a unique creation of the different animators, which means there is no way to estimate just from knowing the number of frames. So how can you get an estimate?

Well, the BEST way is to take a small sample of your frames (or a reduced resolution version if you have a small number of high res frames to render) and use our mission control to launch the test frames and see the render time it took. Then it’s time to break out the calculator and multiply your sample times up to your total job size. The important thing here is to take a sampling of the job, so if you have 1000 frames, don’t just take the first 5 frames for your sample, take every 200th frame for example, and then multiply that time by 200 for your estimate. The more accurately your sample reflects your job, the more accurate your estimate will be.

If you don’t have time for that, or a less accurate estimate is fine for your needs you can use our estimate-o-matic on our pricing tab to get a very general guesstimate of what your render time will be. Keep in mind two things when using this that often confuse people. First, all of the information you are putting in (number or cores, time to render, etc.. ) is for your computer, not ours. So if you have a dual 4 core processor that took 5 hours to complete 10 of your frames, you need to put 8 in the CPU cores pulldown, and 30 minutes in the time. The second thing to keep in mind is if you have an intel chip with hyperthreading, make sure to count your logical cores. Often this will double the number of physical cores (a 4 core chip will also have 4 logical cores giving you 8 total cores) Yes this is crude, but rendering is a hyperthreading friendly process and we aren’t considering lots of other potential modifiers so this suits the guesstimating we are doing just fine. Do those things and the estimate-o-matic will spit out it’s best guess from the info you provided on cost and turn around time. Once you have an estimate you are comfortable with, I’d recommend checking out our prepaid package price list, so you can decide if you’d like to get some of our bulk discounts. Those are also listed on our pricing page.

I hope that was helpful to some of you as we occasionally get questions on how to do better estimating, let us know if you have any other questions!

We recently secretly launched our support for Vray for 3dsmax to 2.0! It wasn’t supposed to be a secret but I see we neglected to update our website and I was wondering how come we were getting so many questions about if we supported the new Vray or not! Sorry about that, it’s been updated now though. Let me also take a moment to say that if you see anything on our website that you think is unclear or needs updating let us know. With our recent update to our spanking new website and our work on an updated mission control interface to be premiering soon, we might have an area of the ship here or there that could use some polish and we always appreciate feedback from our users.

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