Joined: 29 Oct 09
I see other threads about what I am suggesting here on the message boards, but I'm going to make a new one anyways, ahem -
Back in '09 when I started BURP'ing, I was just getting used to blender (pre 2.5) and what all the technical stuff meant, and suddenly I had a project that my PC could not render in under 5 minutes, and I was puzzled.
I searched google like everyone else new usually does "How to speed up rendering Blender" and was taught about renderfarms there.
I didn't want to spend any money on buying rendertime from the shady-looking bunch of renderfarms we had back then, and somehow found a link to BURP on blenderartists.org.
I went to upload my .blend here and a mixture of technical jibberjabber and all the information you have to put in when uploading a .blend, plus me not wanting to waste everyone's time made me not upload the .blend after all.
Probably for the best - I'm sure it was completely unoptimized and only made in 20 minutes with several hundreds megabytes of physics data - but whatever.
After getting used to how BURP and BOINC works (not that complicated really) the current upload system and downloading using CATS is fast and simple.
Though it could be easier.
Most of you guys are probably happy with how it works now, but what if we got hold of a (couple of) developer(s) to start developing a Blender addon for the project?
If we need to crowd source a bit of funding for the developers I would be happy to put in my 20$ for it to happen. Let me hear from some of you if you think it's a good idea.
Maybe I'm the only person here that would want something new to happen here on BURP (Not to say the current system is bad, I like it for what it accomplishes), and if anything I'm just happy to start a conversation about it (the future and possibilities of distributed rendering and BURP)
If we got an addon working flawlessly I'm sure the Blender developers would incorporate the addon in trunk in a heart beat.
In my eyes, open source Blender and open distributed rendering goes hand in hand.
I also have a couple of feature concepts that would take a bit more work than just a simple uploader:
- Built-in user sessions status and maybe even session previews
- Built-in basic quality assurance forcing the uploading PC to start rendering one low-res frame (or part, if selected) and report .blend memory usage etc. (possibly offering credits in return)
- BOINC installation guidelines (or link to).
- Frame output dump to folder.
- Automatic uploaded .blend distribution for manual QA to trusted BURP/Blender users.
And very advanced addon features:
- Display status/previews of popular current/past BURP sessions, download scene for educational purposes or projects under the given CC licence.
- Help rendering from inside Blender client working in parallel with BOINC (select which session you find interesting from the previews and start downloading/rendering it).
I think it would be awesome if most of all things could be handled in Blender, communication/forums and advanced use done on the website, and power rendering done in BOINC.
Joined: 16 Jun 04
A related little piece of info: BURP has a remote API. This allows you to login, upload, configure, submit, list and download sessions without using the web frontend. An example application built using this API is CATS.
The API is a little dusty and completely undocumented (or rather, very well documented on a server which seems to have gone offline). An addon was made using this API and was/is even included in recent Blenders under renderfarm addons (haven't checked 2.75a). In older versions of that addon it was a simple matter (a matter of changing a few URLs) to make it use the BURP main site - however, it is a little messy now and personally I would prefer a cleanup/rewrite... amongst other things it has some issues handling error conditions.
[Edit:] In fact even the upload page on the website is using the remote API. The rest of the site is using the faster direct backend link.