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I'm working on architectural visualisations, and I can't imagine more useful feature. How render farms for rent do that?

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  • $\begingroup$ do you actually mean that image stacking does distribute loads through the network render?awful $\endgroup$ – diego Jun 10 '13 at 16:21
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I'm not sure if a render farm currently exists to do this, but theoretically it's easy. Simply use a method called Image Stacking, where you render the same image multiple times with different seeds and then mix them together to average out the noise.

The first two images would mix 50/50, the third would mix into that by 33.3%, the fourth 25%, 5th 20%... basically 1/n where n is the number of images in the mix.

This is the method that renderfarm.fi uses, but I believe they have a minimum animation length so you can't use it to render a single still image.

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    $\begingroup$ Wow Greg, I think you just saved the day! I can distribute my frame through network rendering as a short animation without any movement, that will give me series of images to stacking. Now, I only need to automate image stacking itself. $\endgroup$ – Marcin Skrzypczak Jun 9 '13 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ You can use ImageMagick (imagemagick.org/script/binary-releases.php) to automate it really quickly. A single command in the terminal/command prompt will merge all the images inside a folder: convert *.jpg -evaluate-sequence mean OUT.jpg $\endgroup$ – Greg Zaal Jun 9 '13 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ This is indeed the process we use at renderfarm.fi. $\endgroup$ – jesterKing Jun 9 '13 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ if you use stacking you may want to blend at higher bit depth then 8 bits per color channel. (using formats such as EXR/PNG/TIFF that support higher color depths) $\endgroup$ – ideasman42 Jun 10 '13 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ There's a small downside to this method. There will be more noise in a stacked image than an image that was rendered in one go. This answer explains why: blender.stackexchange.com/a/7342/1170 $\endgroup$ – Justin May 24 '17 at 16:29
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A more makeshift solution might be setting up cameras to render small sections of the scene, and then stitching the, together with a panorama program. Could take a while, though.

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  • $\begingroup$ "with a panorama program" you wouldn't need that because the stitches would already match precisely (assuming you positioned the cameras correctly). There's no camera-shake or wind to worry about when rendering. $\endgroup$ – wchargin Jun 9 '13 at 22:05
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Actually Blender is very well capable of slicing a single image into rectangular tiles and dispatching them to different workers. It just has to be scripted.

A distributed render engine that does this is BitWrk (https://bitwrk.net/). It has tiled rendering for stills and animation, conveniently integrated into Blender. No more zip file uploading. You can build a private render farm with BitWrk, or use its peer-to-peer service, or mix both.

Disclosure: I am the person behind BitWrk, so feel free to ask me anything about it.

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You can send a single image just make sure that if you don't have a single frame render option just make sure you've set up the project to only play 1 frame.

You can all so set up a local system to export it from cycles which can do single frame renders.

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