Thursday, September 22nd, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Blender Studio releases Flamenco 3

Blender Studio has released Flamenco 3, the latest version of the open-source render farm management software used by the studio on its own productions.

The software has been rewritten from scratch to support core design principles of simplicity and transparency, with the launch video showing how to set up a Blender-based render farm in five minutes.

An open-source tool for running a Blender-based render farm, used in-house at the Blender Studio
First released in 2017, Flamenco is an open-source tool for setting up and managing a Blender-based render farm.

It is developed in-house at Blender Studio, the creative counterpart of the Blender project itself, and is used on the studio’s own productions, including the upcoming animation Project Heist.

The software is aimed at individuals and smaller studios, and is now designed for farms of up to 100 computers, with teams of up to 10 artists accessing them.

Redesigned with simplicity and transparency in mind
Flamenco 3 rewrites the software from scratch – “not a single line of code remains from its original implementation” – with the aim of satisfying the design goals set out in this post on the studio’s blog.

Key principles include ease of installation, transparency of operation, and the ability to operate offline.

On the first point, Flamenco 3 certainly succeeds: the quickstart guide boils installation down to nine steps, and the video embedded at the top of the story explains how to do so “in five minutes”.

For more advanced users, the software is designed to be highly customisable, with TDs able to customise existing job types or author new job types easily.

Not intended for very large teams or commercially confidential projects
However, it’s also worth noting that Flamenco 3 is also designed to operate on a trust basis, so it isn’t well suited to commercially sensitive projects.

The software doesn’t “offer much in terms of user authentication, nor the organisation of users into groups” and people are “trusted not to mess with other people’s jobs”.

Licensing and system requirements
Flamenco 3 is available free for Windows, Linux and macOS. It is only designed to be used with Blender, not other DCC applications. The source code is available under the GNU General Public License.

Download Flamenco from the product website

Homepage image: A character from Project Heist asset rendered via Flamenco 3.