In the below article, I show how the cloud is revolutionizing the rendering industry, especially for architects. Now you can use a light portable laptop for your daily work and outsource your heavy tasks to powerful computers on the cloud.
How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Architects
Ever needed to do a long running task on your computer but did not have the time? Cloud computing is a technology by which computation services are delivered on demand by an online provider. Cloud technologies are revolutionizing the tech landscape. Rather than using your own software or hardware, you can run lengthy computations on cloud virtualized servers. The magnitude and potential of cloud services allows massive benefits over local hardware in security, speed, and reliability. Both large companies and freelance architects can benefit from the virtualization revolution. Virtualization is the means by which providers host virtual machines that can run your software. Traditionally, architects used bulky gaming computers with integrated graphics processing units (GPUs) that rendered architectural scenes. These laptops were expensive and bulky. With the revolution of the cloud, this is going to become a part of history.
What Does This Mean to an Architect?
On software such as Lumion, 3ds Studio, Revit, sketch-up, or Blender, rendering scenes can be overly time consuming even on a fast machine. For a large project, this may mean five to eight hours of rendering. The client has to wait lengthy periods before he or she receives the rendered models. It is also frustrating for the architect who cannot use the machine while it is rendering. Even modern computers will slow down to a crawl.
With the advance of the cloud, architects can now rent virtual machines online with extremely powerful GPUs – much more powerful than the ones they could have gotten on their laptops or desktops. These GPUs have massive parallel computing abilities, allowing them to finish a rendering task in an hour instead of twenty with more precision and at much lower costs.
Architects can now improve their productivity by offloading render tasks to the cloud and leaving their computers available for other work such as preparing reports and responding to client queries. They will also be able to deliver renders to customers faster.
How This Works
You do not need to be an expert in cloud technologies or IT to use cloud rendering since many companies are now offering solutions specifically tailored for architects. Simply connect to your virtual Windows PC running 3ds Studio or any other rendering software, upload your project, run the operation, and start rendering. The virtual PC will use parallel computing in the background to quickly render the images.
Luckily, the common cloud rendering services support most major 3d software needed by architects and so this covers everyone’s needs. Simply download the rendered images to your local computer when the operation is done.
Pricing and Feasibility
Industrial grade GPUs are immensely expensive. They also consume a lot of power resulting in massive electrical bills. Rendering remotely on the cloud is very cost efficient making it much cheaper than buying powerful GPUs. For freelance architects, finishing renders faster also means catering for more clients.
Cloud rendering services charge very little. The operational cost can be as low as $1.40 per hour and these virtual machines are billed on usage basis – hours when your virtual machine is down do not count.
Finally, not many architects are aware of the option of remote rendering. Most were amazed with the productivity and flexibility gains that such a service offered. It was surprisingly cheap and once they began working with an image in the cloud while at home or at the office, they could easily access the service from just about anywhere. For example, they could finish while at a meeting with a client and immediately present the renders. Cloud rendering makes all this possible. Some good options are irendering and renderpool and many others are available with a quick internet search.
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