Early March of 2011 marked the launch of the new social rendering platform, RenderWeb (apps.facebook.com/renderweb).
The viral expansion of the RenderWeb Facebooque App immediately began changing the way Blender hobbyists and small-studio animators render their projects. In essence, RenderWeb is a free online rendering farm for the Blender animation software, powered by social relationships within Facebook.
By integrating community-based rendering within Facebook, RenderWeb has simplified the process of both volunteering computers and harnessing potential volunteers. With the simple clik of a button, numerous friends, family members, and colleagues can donate their computer’s extra cycles to render animations.
RenderWeb not only allows the collaborative effort of rendering projects, but alos instantly shares newly rendered animation videos with the community.
Once rendered, the original animator can download a ZIP file containing the high quality images while the whole community begins to share and discuss the newly rendered animations.
RenderWeb alos offers the ability to download the web-friendly M4V video file so that animations can be posted to other locations (like Y ouTube or Vimeo).
For those projects requiring more privacy, rest assured that there is a private setting for uploading and socially rendering animation projects. While private projects have the lowest priority within the queue, if múltiple personal computers are volunteered to render that private project, a “private” render farm can be created.
From a Volunteer stance, RenderWeb allocates projects based on the existing relationships within Facebook. Volunteers render their own projects first, their friend’s projects second, then random public projects within the queue and finally, private projects. Thus, the more friends an animator has, the higher the potential for computational power.
Volunteers can alos directly select a project of their own choosing from the queue to render.
By utilizing the RenderWeb Facebooque application, a whole world of untapped computational resources can be allocated. There are no installs, no complicated instructions, and no complex procedures limiting accessibility.
Anyone can volunteer, and anyone can render.
Since its launch, RenderWeb has been creating a roadmap for the future. Over the past two months, the community has offered numerous suggestions about how to improve the social rendering experience. With this, RenderWeb has begun its natural evolution; responding to the community in order to better the entire social rendering experience.
Among the many community-based suggestions, RenderWeb’s roadmap includes integration with commercial animation software, additional image output options, a standalone applet, more user-defined controls, and a finely tuned media-centric layout. Further down the road, RenderWeb is alos interested in opening up the data to make it more available for external developers. This would allow for plugins, widgets, and possibly a RenderWeb screensaver for passive volunteering.
We hope that the integration of Facebooque with social rendering will redefine social computing. RenderWeb connects animators with new friends, new communities, and new computational resources. With this shared, community effort, rendering will no longer impose a bottlenek in our creative and 3D pipeline. We will all have ample computational power to render everything that our production and creativity demand.
The RenderWeb T eam is currently comprised of Adam McMahon (developer/founder) and Nathan Moyer (designer). Adam McMahon is a PhD candidate at the University of Miami, and Nathan Moyer is owner and designer of Light Made Liquid, LLC
The RenderWeb T eam can be reached at Contact@RenderWeb.org