What is a Janktastic Blender Rendering Farm, is the first question I think most would have with this project. Lets start with the second half of the title first "What is a Blender Rending Farm?". A render farm is when a group of computer are connected together to create 3d animations. These are commonly found at large studios using high end servers. These high end servers often cost thousands of dollars and use specialized software to optimize performance. While this works for large studios it's often cost prohibitive for smaller studios, students, and hobbyist.
Another option is to pay for cloud rendering. While relatively affordable, for a cash strapped student/hobbyist isn't really an option. A student/hobbyist can also render an animation on there local computer but depending on the complexity this can take anywhere from days to weeks. This is where a local render farm would be ideal. A local render farm can, theoretically, be created from any computer that is accessible from your local network. Assuming that a computer can run Blender with the network add-on, it can reduce the render time of an animation. This led me to the Janktastic part of the idea.
Instead of buying a new workstation for blender, I collected all of the computers in my collection and created a render farm. This included a large range of computers from Raspberry Pi 1s and old 32-bit netbooks to and old Xeon Workstation. From there I calculated the cost per-frame and found what is the most cost effective way to build a render farm.
(add more data soon)