I have a computer at home that I want to use for rendering so I can continue using my laptop. Is there a way I can send a blend file to my Desktop which will automatically be opened and rendered for me.
Yes, there is. Automatically scheduling it will be a bit of a hassle, though (if you want to do that).
Blender can actually be run from the command line (Terminal on Mac, cmd on Windows). You can render a file like this:
blender -b path/to/file.blend -o whatever-####.png
On Mac, prefix this with
/Applications/Blender with wherever you installed Blender). I don't know what to prefix it with on Windows.
Try this out, and it should spit out a .png image file in the current directory (another name for folder), which should be your home folder.
Rendering it remotely (on Mac)
You can just transfer the file to the remote machine and run the above command. This is for controlling it from the work machine.
Open a terminal on the rendering machine and type
hostname. (You only need to do this once.) Then go to your work machine and type
ping whatever.local, where
whatever.local is the output of the hostname command on the other machine. You should get a continuous stream of output. Hit Ctrl-C to stop it. This step is to make sure that the two computers can see each other.
Now run this command, which does something very interesting:
yourusername is your username on the remote machine.
It'll give you a scary "identity could not be verified" warning the first time you connect. Just type "yes" to continue. (It can't tell the difference between a new machine and an impostor.)
Assuming you got your other machine's password correct, you are now controlling the remote machine!
Now copy the file to your render machine, or run this command:
scp firstname.lastname@example.org:/Users/.../file.blend ~
This will pull the file to your home folder on the remote machine. (Run
hostname in another window to get your work machine's name.)
Now run the
blender command above. Repeat
blender as necessary. When you're done for the day, type
exit to log out of the remote machine.