Engineering
March 2nd, 2021

Rendering Blender 3D Models Faster with Coder

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Thomas Hughes
Senior Solutions Architect

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As a customer success engineer at Coder, I work with customers every day to identify their pain points and how they can solve them with our platform. Recently a customer inquired about the feasibility of using Coder and Blender within their classroom.

Blender is a free and open source tool used for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and more. I’m somewhat familiar with Blender, but the answer to whether or not you could use Coder and Blender together wasn’t immediately obvious. Clearly, because of the lack of a GUI within Coder, it wouldn’t be possible for students to build the models in Coder. But if they built the models locally, would it be possible to render them using Coder, freeing up their local machines during the resource and time-intensive process?

It turns out that Blender has a pretty awesome CLI tool that supports headless rendering on a remote machine. After a little Googling, I turned up a Blender Docker image from the NY Times and recorded this video sharing how it all works:

For reference, when rendering the model on my gaming machine, it took over an hour to complete a single frame. Using Coder, I was able to render all five frames in ~40 minutes. If students tried to render on their own laptops, they would be unusable for anything else for many hours.

Using Coder to render faster with Blender is just one of many use cases we’re discovering for our customers every day. Have an interesting use case for Coder? Let us know about it on Twitter @coderHQ.

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