Having recently built Ethereal Render (which is a free community based rendered) I’ve seen and had many requests for other common features in a render management application. While Ethereal Render may offer some general rendering for modo users in a non-secure online distribution it by no means does anything close to what commercial render managers have to offer.
I’ve typically always just scripted by batch rendering in modo and have not had a real need for render management software until I’ve started doing many sets of animation sequences and re-renders of the same frames as I make updates. Doing this manually all the time and keeping scripts running is a real pain and has many limitations. So, I did some searching for several render management applications and ended up reading some recommendations for one that I have had some recent experience with now, SquidNet. I have no affiliation to SquidNet but I have to say, that I have been quite impressed at the applications capabilities and more recently, their support.
SquidNET works with every common render software and I used it with modo 501 to queue up scenes and re-run frame renders as I make changes in modo. It offers a huge set of features and while there is a free version for simple one node rendering, it limits the overall functionality. The professional version seems very affordable compared to many others I’ve tried and the enhanced features make great additions, like better priority management, image sequence viewing, email integration, and many more.
Anyway, I am always impressed when I find a company that offers excellent service and support and SquidNet has been a great example of that. After installing it on my system for testing, I kept having security issues listed when issuing render jobs. I noticed after a number of attempts to use it that it only did this after rebooting my system and that SquidNet worked properly everything after a fresh install (which I did because updates were available). Anyway Ralph from SquidNet ended up contacting me several times after a support request and he arrange a time to remotely access my machine and do troubleshooting in the evening to get things up and running for me. It took some time to figure out, but he found an issue with a password limitation or bug in windows7 and so gave me a work around to get it operational right away, telling me he would patch it in the next update of the software. I thought that was great and expected to use the workaround until the next release. Then he let me know the release was already in place and online for download the next morning!! I couldn’t believe it. THAT is exceptional customer service and so I thought I would share this experience for others who want a great network render manager and a company that supports it well.
They have a free trial offer to check the software out, so I definitely encourage you to try it yourself. There is plenty of more info at the website above as well. Enjoy!