How/When am I going to render this film?

I've animated over 800 shots for the film up to this point which takes me into the seventh of the films nine sequences- but as of this time I've only rendered 6 shots 0_0

I started rendering on one of my PC's- an older 8 core which has Cinebench score of 6.7. I haven't turned the other three old core2quad boxes on as I don't want to destroy the power bill.

Here's a look at my available PC's to render on and their cinebench scores

So my render farm is a bit old and slow by now- Since I don't have the budget to upgrade (I used the money raised from pre-orders to pay the voice actors)  I'll have to be patient. 

Running older,  less power efficient PC's 24/7 might be MORE expensive in the long run than upgrading their processors/mainboards/ram to newer models now as the new models consume less power.

Ideally I'd be able to replace the parts inside of the 3 render nodes and upgrade them to i7-3770's which would make just those 3 nodes faster than the 5 machines I have now- saving money on the power bill with less machines running and more energy efficient machines at that. has an option to not pay for 12 months with no interest, you just have to pay it in full before the 12 months is up. So I'm debating whether or not to do that and pay it off with money from the sales of the film.... hmmm....

So it would be $2000 to upgrade the three render nodes- and another $1500 to cover the power bill of 3-4 months of 24/7 rendering.

I guess its good if my only problem right now in regard to the film is the financing- the film is coming out AMAZING! And production is speeding along so yeah...

So I have a few options- 

1- render on the one PC  24/7 and it will take 6-12 months from now to finish rendering the film- the monthly power bill won't be insane- this is the most likely option but it would push back the release date from Dec 2013 to June 2014- the film would be "done" in August 2013- it would just take all that time to render

2- render with all my PC's 24/7 and it will take 3-6 months to finish rendering the film BUT the power bill will go upwards of $500 a month which I can't afford unless I raised the money to cover this- then the film would be released on schedule in Dec 2013

The cost to upgrade the render nodes to i7-3770's  is about $620 each (I would also have to upgrade the motherboards,  ram, and cpu cooler)

As the cost of power rises (with everything else) - rendering your film can become a financial liability or a time sink- so raise/earn/save the money to cover the costs or be prepared to wait.

Covering the costs of rendering was the main motivation for doing a kickstarter for the film, which wasn't successful. BUT I will probably launch another one soon now that I have actual footage- but I'll set the amount to just cover the costs of upgrading renders nodes + power costs. A $3500 kickstarter should be doable eh?

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations? Let me know!

Update 6-13 - The mainboard on the one render server/client that was rendering just died- so I'll really have to do something about this now. Decisions-decisions!


  1. you made about 2,000 something the first time around right?
    Now that you've got an actual website for the film and clips to show for, id say theres no way a 3500 one could fail.
    However, you gotts ta take into account for all the people that preordered already.
    Dem "prizes" should slap the preorder in the face if your gonna convince them to buy the film... again. lul.

  2. I think you should try crowd funding again, considering you got to almost 3 grand last time without any footage or anything up.

    If you are worried about not making the funding though you could always go through indiegogo and do it as a flexible funding campaign.
    That way you still get the money even if you don't reach your goal, and I'm pretty sure the money goes straight through instead of waiting until the end of the campaign. It has a much smaller backer community though.

  3. do a whole Zach Braff kickstarter spoof video ... hehehe maybe it will go viral and you will fund everything for the next 10 films .... XD

    1. So pretend to be somebody already famous and be all douchey? ^ ^

  4. If you do the kickstarter, you can't fail with all the new stuff you got and two awesome movies like you did. And I'm ready to buy the film again if that means I won't have to wait 1 more year.

    I'm talking about you to my friends, I'm sure I'll get them to donate a few bucks. You have to be known, you could have a great impact on cinema and film makers.

    1. aight lets say you already pre-ordered- what incentive can I give? Perhaps to become an extra in the film? something like that?

  5. Try indiegogo or something similar where you keep whatever you raise (even if you don't meet your goal), OR set a REALLY LOW kickstarter goal, like $1000. I will definitely throw in some beans for render farm upgrades for your projects!

    1. Yeh the minimum I need to upgrade one render PC is $700 so I could set that as a goal-anything over would be suite but $700 should be doable me thinks

  6. Being the giant nerd that I am...what kinda power supplies do your boxes have? Do you do like, a PSU calculator type thing to figure out what kinda PSUs to get? I know that most of the ones out there have efficiency ratings and stuff on em, but I was looking at i7 3770's myself, and was just gonna do CPU, ram, mobo, and an SSD. Micro ATX boards with video out so I wouldn't need a video card in each of em. Using a calculator, I think I got something like 266 watts under full load? So a 300 watt PSU @80% efficiency would probably save me a lot of power while running the node stably? Something to look into and test if you're gonna buy some new boxes and stuff...that and I would think that the wattage of the 3770 would be a bit less than some of those older chips, like the Q9300's. But then again, you gotta buy all that hardwarez.

    1. They have 350w PSU's- yeh I wouldn't have to buy new boxes to upgrade the 4 nodes- just CPU, Mainboard and Ram- can scavenge the HD's although SSD's are the cheapest in the long run with the lower power draw.


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