Continuously BURPing for a decade


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Profile Janus
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Message 12834 - Posted: 16 Jun 2014, 16:59:51 UTC
Last modified: 16 Jun 2014, 18:06:48 UTC

On June the 16th 2004, the very first test renders started rendering on BURP. A lot has happened
since then and a lot of the original ideas from back then have now been turned into reality.
We aren't done just yet, so stay tuned for more in the next 10 years -
Happy anniversary!


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Message 12835 - Posted: 16 Jun 2014, 17:05:31 UTC - in response to Message 12834.
Last modified: 16 Jun 2014, 17:10:02 UTC

BURP started out with a post on the BlenderArtists.org forum back in the days when it was still called Elysium. It is quite fun to read that thread and see just how much things have changed.
In the early days the renderer was Yafray (a renderer whose legacy lives on today in Yafaray) and Linux was the only supported platform. The website was very basic:



Quite quickly it became clear that Blender had matured into a much better choice as renderer with its compact file format and stable cross-platform base - as part of that trade we also got Windows support (as well as unofficial support for a bunch of other platforms). At the same time we got a number of different suggestions for how the website could look. Here's one of the suggestions: a blue theme made by Samir. Eventually we settled on another design made by Fred:



Much of the time bandwidth was an issue - in 2005 the community stepped in with massive help and resources and we got the BURP mirror network up and running. It helped get BURP through some difficult times of network contention and allowed us to scale from scene files measured in KB in the beginning to being able to handle almost 100MB in 2010. Eventually software changes and faster network connections at the BURP site made the mirror network obsolete. It still stands out as a great example of what people can do when they pool their resources together.

Several massive rewrites of the server backend and a switch from primarily custom coded C and PHP to Java on Tomcat with more focus on standard libraries made BURP a lot easier to maintain. In 2007 several outside entities started showing interest in the codebase - most notably ORE (later Renderfarm.fi). This sparked an increase in both development and publicity but also underlined the neccesity for legal counceling; eventually resulting in a change of licensing to Creative Commons.

The many changes to the server software eventually paved the way for the first major test of all aspects of the system in October 2010 with the Sunflower Project. Rendering The Big Buck Bunny in 4K 60fps 3D stereo was used as a testcase to figure out what kind of features the renderfarm would need to have in order to render high quality cinematic movies. Many of these features were tested during Sunflower and the last few of them are slowly on their way to the website as well.

Just recently in 2014 we've seen an update to both the Linux and Windows clients fixing a long list of bugs. Looking towards the future we see interesting developments like GPU support and physics baking somewhere on the horizon.

I'd like to make use of this occasion to say thanks to all of you and wish you a happy 10 year BURP anniversary; it has been quite an interesting endevaour so far. Let's make the 2nd decaBURP just as interesting!

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Message 12836 - Posted: 16 Jun 2014, 17:05:37 UTC - in response to Message 12835.
Last modified: 16 Jun 2014, 18:23:38 UTC

And... oh, one more thing:
Actually you may not have to wait another 10 years for at least some of the changes to arrive. Some of them are starting right now.
The web has changed a lot in 10 years. A decade ago browsers were fairly stupid and noone really agreed upon (or conformed with) any single web standard for anything. These days things are very different and the browsers have matured a lot.
Over the course of the next few months we're going to upgrade the website to HTML5 and CSS3; it is a good chance to give the overall look and useability of the site a bit of an overhaul too.
You will be able to take part in this effort - the pages will be revealed one at a time and at the same time a forum thread will be opened with explanations and discussion.
The post for the first page (the site frontpage) is right here

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Message 12840 - Posted: 17 Jun 2014, 11:02:54 UTC

Congratulations to everyone involved, participants included! :)

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Message 12844 - Posted: 17 Jun 2014, 20:20:50 UTC

Random fact of the day:
We've now rendered over 1111 sessions*. If it had cost artists $0.1 per CPU hour we've saved them from an expense of a bit more than 383'321 dollars. If they had to use their own CPU we've saved them 437 CPU years of waiting time.

* Data from the first 132 sessions is unfortunately missing and hence not included in this little factoid

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Message 12879 - Posted: 20 Jun 2014, 19:45:54 UTC
Last modified: 20 Jun 2014, 19:46:07 UTC

Another random fact:
We've posted 2301 threads and 12877 posts in this forum. That's around 3.5 posts per day every day for 10 years. Naturally the posts weren't posted like that but rather clustered around certain events and left other periods without posts for weeks.
The top 10 posters together posted around 44% of all posts. There are 416 users who have only ever posted 1 post, around half of which are still actively donating processor time.

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Message 13696 - Posted: 31 Mar 2015, 22:06:58 UTC

I am just now reading this thread. Congratulations!

I checked my account page. it looks like I was about 1.5 years late to the birth event.

BURP member since: 9 Dec 2006
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Message boards : News : Continuously BURPing for a decade