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Monday, September 22, 2014

Are You a Student Using Autodesk's Cloud Rendering? Here's What You Should Know.

It is no secret that I am a huge proponent of Autodesk's 360 Cloud Rendering service.  Personally, I use it in the office almost weekly (if not daily).  The simple ability to send my views to the cloud and continue working without bogging down any computers is MASSIVE for me.

I have used it so much that I have created my own techniques on how to make a raw cloud rendering look similar to renderings produced with professional rendering engines (such as V-Ray).   If you are interested in my techniques check out BIM After Dark - Volume 1.

Example: Rendered in the cloud using the techniques I illustrate in BIM After Dark (Click here to see more).
If you are student, Autodesk was gracious enough to give you unlimited cloud rendering credits absolutely free.  This is huge!  I remember leaving my laptop on for days rendering a few scenes while I built a physical model (crossing my fingers hoping the machine didn't break or restart).  Throwing up 30 or 40 interior/exterior scenes to the cloud and being able to crank out floor plans, sections, and elevations while they rendered was life changing.

Well, with the release of Revit 2015 and a new cloud update, the word "unlimited" is key.  You will still have an endless supply of cloud credits at your disposal, but, you may not able to throw thirty up to the cloud and let it crank away...

Depending on your rendering settings, and lets face it, a final rendering should be CRANKED up, you will be limited to the amount of views you can send to the cloud at once.

See the series of images below:

1 View - Basic Cloud Setting

16 Views - Basic Render Settings
16 Views - Render Quality = Final
16 Views - Render Quality = Final - Image Size = Large
Do you see what happened there?  Notice the little box that says "Max Per Request".  With the student account you can only use 16 credits PER request.  This is what the cloud rendering box looks like on a commercial subscription account.

Cloud Rendering Setup - Commercial

So what does that mean for you, a student?  Well, first, it means you STILL get unlimited cloud credits. Which is awesome.  But, it means if you want to send a bunch of FINAL renderings at very large image sizes you will have to re-open the Render in a Cloud setup dialogue for every rendering you want to send.  Although this is tedious, you can still get a maxed out rendering for 16 credits. 

...Oh, but don't forget to consider the "rendering queue"... Which could add up to hours if you are on a deadline....