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7 Tips for Faster 3D Rendering

You have heard and read all the most common Google answers to this question. They tell you to close your other programs when you are rendering. They tell you to buy better software and be more selective with your effects. The advice you often read on this subject is always oversimplified, which is a shame because the people who need faster 3D rendering are often highly intelligent and professional people. This article tries not to talk down to you but try to remember that the most difficult problem you face is “You” and the way you work. Making your 3D rendering faster is far more of a personalization problem than it is a software or hardware problem (well, within reason).

1 – Crank Up Your RAM Capacity For More Complex Projects

If you are working on piecemeal sections of a design, or your software doesn’t put your processors to work too hard, then increasing your RAM will not speed things up that much. Nevertheless, for the sake of completion, it is “Easier” to speed up your renders if you have RAM to spare, as opposed to working with a low-RAM rig.

2 – Optimize RAM Reserved for Other Applications

This sounds obvious at first, but as a professional designer, you probably have several apps open at one time. Unless you are the sort of person who leaves their computer to sit while rendering, then you are going to have to share out your processing power and your RAM a little more selfishly if you want your renders to complete more quickly.

3 – Remove a Few Layers or Don’t Flesh Out Details Too Early

Most designers and creators do not create fully detailed designs on their first draft. It is often a process of building a foundation, a skeleton, and then fleshing it out. You can save a lot of time by either removing layers when you test your designs or by simply avoiding the sexier details until you are farther down the development/design pipeline.

4 – Test The Parts You Altered and Not All of Your Design

This is an old (and frankly obvious) video editing methodology that applies to most types of work that requires rendering. When editors add a new transition, they do not render out the entire movie to see if it worked. They just render out the bit they changed. Try to apply this principle to your designs as you test and develop them. Also, turn off the preview when you are rendering because it uses up processing power unnecessarily. That is unless you use the preview window to spot mistakes, but that isn’t always the best use of your time.

5 – Optimize Your Software Setup For Your Method of Work

As mentioned in the introduction, how you work will determine how you set up your hardware and your software. Somebody who designs quickly will want a faster-acting design UI and quick and nasty test renders. This may make it more time-consuming when the final render needs completing, but a fast and snappy workspace and rendering process is preferable for some people. Most software is set up in a way that suits the broadest audience possible. Create a backup of your settings, and start experimenting with the most efficient design/modeling settings and most efficient rendering settings.

6 – Caching Frames While Idle

This is somewhat of an extension of the previous tip, except it considers the times you are away from your computer. We are all pulled away from our computers from time-to-time, to use the toilet or sneeze on a coworkers coffee mug. Ask yourself what your computer could be doing while you are away. Caching frames while idle may help speed up your overall render times or may simply smooth out the design process a little.

7 – Use a Rendering Service

This is one of those tips where one may be tempted to write the words, “Well, Duh” at the end, but for those out of the loop, take a That is a 3rd-party rendering service that will render out your designs for you, no matter how complex, and they have pay-per-use contracts so you don’t have to buy a massive subscription before buying. Third-party rendering services, like Cloud computing services, offer the fastest way to render out your designs, especially since we now have fiber-optic Internet, so uploading and downloading is super-fast too. In short, if you want super-fast renders that don’t tie up your computers all day, then let somebody else do it for you.

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