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Version 0.4.4 is the latest version of CrowdRender which has support for 2.8 to 3.2.

Crowdrender v0.4.4 for Blender 2.8 to 3.2

CR 0.4.4

Free version

Free to download and use as you please, these are the latest public builds that support Blender 2.8 to 2.93, you'll find them here.

Crowdrender v0.4.1 for Blender 2.8 to 2.93

CR 0.4.1

Version Backlog

If you are looking for older versions of CrowdRender, you'll find them all here.

Changelogs

  • 0.4.4

    Bugs Fixed

    CR-885 - Found a massive slow down in Blender's UI when using flared addon. To fix this we had to make changes to how we store the list of nodes in Blender's Scene. We also had to make the local node (the local node is just jargon for the same computer you are looking/sitting at) not so special and it now sits in the same list as all the other nodes.

  • 0.4.3



    Bugs





    • With Cycles X, render tile size tuning changed. The render tile_x,y settings were replaced by a single "tile size" setting. We changed our user interface for render nodes to support this change.


    • Fixed render nodes sometimes failing to complete syncing due to a failure in the synchronisation code.


    • Fixed an issue where a render node would always fail to synchronise after uploading if a mesh object was selected in the scene.


    • Fixed a problem where the file transferer shuts down if a file can't be found, requiring a complete restart of Blender, including its background processes.


    • Fixed an error when trying to display upload progress in Blender.


    • Fixed HIP/METAL devices not showing up in the settings for render nodes, you can now use HIP and METAL devices for rendering in Crowdrender.


    • Fixed a problem where the addon would stop working thanks to hardcoded cycles computer devices being used.


    • Fixed a bug where the cr\server folder was not being created if you decided to change the default location of the "Files" preference for the Crowdrender addon (see Blender preferences > addons > Crowdrender for this setting).




    New Stuff





    • Update bundled libs to support python 3.10, which means support for Blender 3.1 stable release and the current 3.2 alpha.


    • Added a button on the cloud panel to take you to your profile at discovery.crowd-render.com


    • Changed the requirements for synchronisation for rendering, sync failure is now treated as a warning and any node that has the status of "sync failed" will be able to render regardless.




  • 0.4.2

    Fixes

    CR-869 Blender Fixed Blender 3.0 and 3.1 crashing when rendering with the local device/machine. A patch was submitted to Blender and made available in builds from the 11th November 2021

    CR-868 Fixed Invalid UTF-8 characters coming from a render process causing render nodes to just stop rendering. We now replace any invalid chars instead of allowing them to destroy us.

    CR-848 Fixed an issue due to the OPENCL device being removed from cycles-X. We used to hard code the device types and this stupidly assumed that all hardware would have OPENCL and that Blender would forever support this device type. We now always ask cycles what device types each node actually supports to avoid this error.

  • 0.4.1

    Fixes

    CR-857 Starting a Render using the local machine can cause an error


    V0.3.2 had a fix for something we broke in V0.3.0, this version has a fix for the thing the V0.3.2 fix broke. More specifically, when attempting to render using Crowdrender, if you use the local machine, this causes a copy of your blend file to be saved and used in a background render. Saving the blend file triggers a dependency graph update. The way we were using Blender's python app.handlers to trigger the save occasionally could cause a conflict with another dependency graph update that was already running. This fix hopefully stops that from happening. Our tests seem to indicate its fixed.


    CR-856 Missing tiles


    We nailed a very annoying and difficult to kill (difficulty was apparently ours) bug. When rendering stills or animations, some tiles would occasionally fail to render and would either appear black or blank.


    We use Blender's border render system to divide up single frames. The border system requires four decimal fractions between 0.0 and 1.0 for the xmin, xmax, ymin and ymax boundaries that the border will be restricted to. 


    We didn't realise that Blender stores these numbers as C floats that have less precision than python's floats, despite the coordinates for the border being available through the Blender python API. This occasionally caused tiles to be ever so slightly the wrong size as there was a rounding error converting between the python float and the internal C float that Blender actually uses for the border coordinates.


    We've fixed this and have rendered complete animations up to 1000 frames with no more missing tiles.


     


  • 0.4.0

    Bugs

    CR-830 The switch to our shiny new rendering experience in Blender came at the price of occasinoal breakage due to an error that crept in. That error was thankfully fixed and resulted in a far more elegant solution being used. The problem is gone too!

    CR-829 There was a bug where the file transfer code would forget to set something important, its now remembering to do that and transfer speeds are hopefully not compromised as a result.

    CR-722 Autopack can sometimes really bollocks things up. So we made sure if you have used autopack, we dodge the bollocks should they be swung our way.

    New Stuff

    CR-855 A pretty major re-organisation happened, the main instigator was compliance with Blender's GPL license. So the addon should now be fully compliant, but also more neatly organised.

    CR-833 Logs no longer balloon in size. We limit each log file to a max size, so your disk space isn't chewed by logs.

    CR-819 We reduced the number of sockets needed for file transfers by one. This has made things simpler and hopefully less error prone!

    Random stuff

    CR-813 Tweaking of the file transfer code yielded a 4% improvement in transfer rate. Celebrate the small wins :)

    Known Issues

    Multiple render layers are rendered multiple times - *Sigh* Sorry, but if you have more than one render layer, you'll find that currently, blender will call one render for each one. But when in background mode, just one call to render your file will cause all render layers to render. Put the two together and you find you render each layer multiple times with our addon.

    There is a workaround though, you can create multiple copies of your scene, each scene then has just one of the render layers you want to render. Using the compositor you can now setup multiple render layer nodes to get each render layer to reference the layers you want from each scene and now you're back in business :).

    Interrupting an upload can cause Blender to hang - *Sigh* Sorry, again. So the issue here is that if you are uploading to a node, and then you eithe revert, or open the same file, or possiblly a different file, then Blender can hang.

    Its best if you either let the upload complete, or use the "-" (minus) button next the "connect" button (bottom of the crowdrender panel's list of render nodes). Highlight any nodes that are uploading still, and remove them by clicking the "-" button. Then you can do what you will without Blender hanging.

  • 0.3.2

    Release notes

    What's New?

    Support Apple M1 based systems - We've included all you need to render with multiple mac machines marvellously. Also brushing up on alliterations too.

    Support for cycles X.... ish - We've started supporting Cycles X, the first changes we noticed broke the addon. So we've updated it to support the new python API, though its still likely to go through more change and so you might find that more recent cycles x builds dont work. We tested with the daily build as of the 31st of May 2021 .

    Fixed a bug causing sync fail - Normally when a render slave gets an update, it will do its best to apply that change. If the change results in the slave having different data in its scene, then it attempts repair. We fixed a problem where the repair was failing, and now it doesn't, which is quite joyous to behold.

    Fixed another bug with load balancing - When rendering in cycles, we record the time taken to sync, and draw, which are the two parts of the cycles render. We use these measurements to predict the optimum screen area each node should get. Though we were recording the sync time incorrectly, soz about that, fixed it now.


    Known Issues

    Multiple render layers are rendered multiple times - *Sigh* Sorry, but if you have more than one render layer, you'll find that currently, blender will call one render for each one. But when in background mode, just one call to render your file will cause all render layers to render. Put the two together and you find you render each layer multiple times with our addon.

    There is a workaround though, you can create multiple copies of your scene, each scene then has just one of the render layers you want to render. Using the compositor you can now setup multiple render layer nodes to get each render layer to reference the layers you want from each scene and now you're back in business :).

    Interrupting an upload can cause Blender to hang - *Sigh* Sorry, again. So the issue here is that if you are uploading to a node, and then you eithe revert, or open the same file, or possiblly a different file, then Blender can hang.

    Its best if you either let the upload complete, or use the "-" (minus) button next the "connect" button (bottom of the crowdrender panel's list of render nodes). Highlight any nodes that are uploading still, and remove them by clicking the "-" button. Then you can do what you will without Blender hanging.

  • 0.3.1

    Release notes

    Story

    • This update provides compatibility with Blender versions that use python 3.9, as of the time of release, both Blender 2.93 beta and 3.0 alpha have been tested and do work.

  • 0.3.0

    Release notes

    Story

    • [CR-818] - Fairly significant change to the UX for rendering, now you select the "crowdrender" engine from the render engine menu in blender. This allows you to use Crowdrender to render with. Then you select whether crowdrender should use either cycles or eevee to use as the render engine that actually does the rendering.

    • This change also makes scripting crowdrender much better as we've overhauled the integration with blender so that now the addon behaves just like other render engines without doing pre-render setups or post render tear downs that modify the scene.

  • 0.2.10

    Release notes

    Story

    • [CR-690] - We used do a pop-up advertising thing where a box would appear saying 'save file now' on opening a file that was new to the crowdrender system. This is not really necessary anymore so we've removed it. The warning was to let you know that the file you have opened wasn't tagged by crowdrender and so if you upload it to your computers, then close crowdrender without saving the file, then you'll upload it all over again then next time you connect. Tagging means Crowdrender remembers what files are on what computers. So worst case, you'll have to upload your file again, but more likely you will save the file at some point and the problem will be fixed.
    • [CR-814] - Send more diagnostics for requests to our cloud servers. This will help in glorious debugging of our web applications! Ok, in English, crowdrender makes requests to your cloud account for you, to get your render credit balance, to get a list of all active computers and to request nodes to start in the cloud. These requests can sometimes fail and its handy to know what data was in the request, web servers don't log a failed request, just the body, so we are now logging failed requests to help us improve things and fix broken stuff.

    Bug

    • [CR-797] - Render devices for a node are sometimes duplicated or out of date, or just plain wrong. We fixed a bug where devices weren't being cleared from a node, like ever. So we now clear out all the old render devices and refresh them with what is actually installed and running when you connect to that computer, or when you look at the client's render devices in the "This machine" settings.
    • [CR-811] - Blender developers are a busy lot, always coding it seems! They also like to change the name of things, which is fine, that's totally within their powers. However, it does break stuff when they do that. The crypto matte passes in blender had their python API names changed which broke our addon. Thankfully we've now fixed this in a way so that V0.2.10 is backwards compatible with 2.83, 2.91 etc and works with 2.92.
    • [CR-815] - A mistake introduced, most likely in V0.2.8 or V0.2.9 meant that you'd have to wait quite a while to see a render node as active. We've un-made that mistake now.

  • 0.2.9

    Release notes

    Story

    • [CR-796] - Hot Keys! You can now press Alt-F12 to render still, and Shift - Alt - F12 to render an animation with Crowdrender! You can also configure these shortcuts to map to another key combo if you like.
    • [CR-804] - Server session processes no longer pile up like banana skins next to an ape enclosure, and, you can connect to an existing node multiple times in a row and it doesn't break now.

    Bug

    • [CR-780] - Fixed, Rendering doesn't obey the number of threads settings, now.... it obeys.
    • [CR-800] - Compatibility restored with Blender 2.91! Yay!
    • [CR-808] - Temporary directories on a render node are now cleaned up properly. Though windows still stubbornly thwarts this if you run crowdrender headless (blender launched in background with the CR addon enabled) and close the window blender runs in. You can get around this by first typing Ctrl - C or Ctrl - BREAK which will properly cleanup temp directories before closing the window.
    • [CR-809] - Nix OSes might fail to run the addon due to a permission error (OSError 13). Fixed this so there's no more naughty nix permission problems.
    • [CR-810] - A bug was introduced in V0.2.8 that could cause render nodes/slaves to upload your blend files all over again, even if they were the same. This bug was fixed.

  • 0.2.8

    Release notes

    Story

    • [CR-721] - Add support for new cycles device!! :D 'OPTIX'
    • [CR-782] - Move all ports to 9669 - 9696 range, stops interference with known services on these ports
    • [CR-791] - Modify crowdrender to manage missing attributes across different blender versions, this is intended tosupport addons that modify blender's datablocks, though it will make strict adherence to having the same version ofblender on each node a thing.

    Bug

    • [CR-723] - Turns out, one of our background services was multiplying and this is not a good thing. This happenedespecially with larger files that had lots of things to process after loading them, like modifiers, animation data,drivers and so on. The delay in running all the scripts and blender operations in these files would make Crowdrenderthink the background services weren't there, and so start another. We fixed that.
    • [CR-789] - Fixed an issue where, if you had a fluid simulation in your file, double clicking the blend file iconwould cause the near instant death of our background services. This was eventually tracked down to the fact thatinternally, blender changes part of its path variable when a fluid sim is being used, that path just so happens tocorrespond to the variable we check to see what executable we should use to start our background services with.Turns out this changes from Blender to python when a fluid sim is saved into your blend file, so our backgroundservices were started in the wrong process. Fixed this by making sure we verify the executable being used is theright one.
    • [CR-790] - Windows would sometimes return a strange IP address for a render node. This IP address is normally onethat is valid for private networks, so something like 192.168.XXX.XXX, there are other valid private address ranges,but we saw addresses which were clearly wild and savage. This was tracked to our host name resolution methodappending ".local" to the hostname and 'giving that a red hot go', when in fact, this should not be done on windows,so we don't anymore and now its working again for the kind folk who alerted us to it.
    • [CR-792] - File transfers used to glitch out, and in fact, there were some quite severe network problems thatcould cause connections to just stop working. After much work on the whole networking thing, we found thatconnections were not being kept alive, so if they idled for too long the internet or even your LAN hardware wouldjust kill the connections. This was most noticeable where longer renders would finish, but then the tile would notbe downloaded and the whole blender/crowdrender thing needed a restart. So we make sure connections are kept alivenow, and we've also added a lot more checking to the file transfers, like hashing individual chunks so that if theydo get garbled, they are rejected. We also found that if you connected several nodes, one after the other, ratherthan using the connect all button, then the file being used to copy the project to all those render nodes, gotoverwritten, and therefore sync failed on all the other nodes apart from the last one you connected to, same forresyncing. So we now make sure that each node will get a copy of the file that is pristine and non-violated. Finally(this issue was huge by the way), we made sure all the extra copies of temporary files are cleaned up on the clientwhich results in massively less disk space used over time.
    • [CR-795] - Autopack caused all sorts of bad, as it turns out if you use autopack files into blend and the filescannot be autopacked for anyreason, then blender throws an error when saving the file. Of course we save your filefor you on render nodes, and so if you had autopack on, then render nodes would die. This would also cause problemson the client as well since sometime projects would get moved, or its stuff that used to be autopacked would getmoved and the autopack would then fail and cause our background services to roll over and expire. Now we make surewe turn off autopack when we're saving temporary copies of the blend file for internal use since its really notneeded.

  • 0.2.7

    Bugs

    • [CR-778] - Manual mode for the load balancer could engage in shenanigans that would cause parts of the frame to not render at all. This has been fixed now.
    • [CR-783] - Large files no longer cause stability issues when being saved for render or transfer.
    • [CR-784] - Rendering occasionally resulted in tiles being black or missing. This has been fixed, you'll be happy to know :)

    Improvements

    • [CR-689] - Temp files used to be bothersome, cluttering up your project directories, they are now actually temporary, in that they are deleted when blender closes, and they are now generated in the cr\client folder instead of in your project directories
    • [CR-781] - Stereoscopic/multiview Rendering is now properly supported
    • [CR-786] - Log files now print the version of crowdrender that generated the log, so developers like us no longer have to guess or go hunting for the correct version ourselves.

  • 0.2.6

    Release notes - CoRe systems software development - Version 0.2.6 ** Bug * [CR-777] - Fixed a problem that would cause the system to silently die by either trying to use a web browser to connect to crowdrender (which puzzled us no end, but seems you guys are curious kitten!) or some other service doing something similar. * [CR-779] - Fixed when a render node fails when using a blend file containing a fluid domain/physics system, so effectively you can now use the addon with manta flow :D

  • 0.2.5

    Release notes - CoRe systems software development - Version 0.2.5 ** Bug * [CR-775] - Fixed source of errors on linux related to audio device not being present. ** Story * [CR-776] - The quite useful linux_distribution() function has been removed, a replacement python package was integrated into Crowdrender to replace it.

  • 0.2.4

    Release notes - CoRe systems software development - Version 0.2.4 ** Story * [CR-774] - update patch to support py 3.8.x in blender and fix cycles view layer settings, so now you can change settings for the denoising and cryptomatte passes without needing to do a full resync.

  • 0.2.3

    Release notes - CoRe systems software development - Version Alpha_0_2_3 ** Bug * [CR-751] - Fixed Cryptomatte and Optix Denoising passes missing when rendering with Crowdrender 0.2.2, though you still need to do a full resync if you make changes to the pass settings in Blender. ** Story Basically make the cloud rendering service more reliable * [CR-733] - Now requests user credit only when the credit is changing * [CR-742] - Refactor to use a separate mutation for refreshing credit to avoid rate limiting

  • 0.2.2

    Release notes - CoRe systems software development - Version Alpha_0_2_2 ** Bug * [CR-709] - Persistent sync failures when resyncing * [CR-720] - client interface is a process that just won't quit... sometimes