Name : Ralph Huchtemann
Birth year : 1968
Country : Germany
Company : RebusFarm GmbH
Position : CEO, Founder
Website : www.rebusfarm.net
[ Sélène Vilaseca ]
Let’s meet Ralph, the CEO of RebusFarm, who shaped the company into a leading provider of fast, reliable, and affordable rendering solutions. Under Ralph’s leadership, RebusFarm has not only become a trusted name in the industry but has also actively contributed to the architectural visualization community.
Through initiatives like the ‘3D Artist of the Month Contest’ and various challenges, RebusFarm has provided a platform for artists to showcase their talents and gain well-deserved recognition.
Now, let’s delve into an insightful conversation with Ralph as we discuss RebusFarm’s journey, the future of architectural visualization, sustainability efforts, AI and much more!
Hi Ralph! Thanks for sharing with us your insight and experience! Could you share a bit about your background and how your journey led you to the field of 3D rendering and founding RebusFarm?
Hi Sélène, thanks for inviting me, it’s great to be here. I started as a 3D filmmaker in the 90s, producing 3D films for trade fairs, product presentations and architecture visualizations. We eventually became incredibly successful and worked with some of the industry’s biggest stars. Our 3D studio production firm had clients in the automobile, telecommunications, and other industries.
During this period, I built our own render farm and quickly realized that you never have enough rendering power for your 3D projects. It does not matter if you have a private render farm with 5, 10, 25 or even more dedicated render slaves at your disposal. Then again, there are times when you don’t need to render, which means that the machines stand still, which I found to be very inefficient and expensive.
So around 2007, I came up with the idea of renting out our render farm to other 3D studios during our downtime. I was excited about this possibility, but the other studios had to send their render jobs in a manual way which was inconvenient. I wanted to improve the workflow and invented a plugin that made it possible to send render jobs directly from the 3D applications to our render farm. I think it was in 2009 that we released the first version of this workflow, and it was a huge improvement for the industry.
“You have to find the right individuals to build a strong team around you.
A company’s true gold is its workforce.”
How has RebusFarm evolved since its inception, and what were the main challenges you faced during its growth?
Developing an IT firm was a difficult endeavor for me. I had to learn that you must always precisely outline the structure of your organization and, most importantly, find the right individuals to build a strong team around you. A company’s true gold is its workforce. I believe we are in a strong position on this subject.
Next to that, there is the technical factor of our service. Today, we are a completely virtualized SaaS, which makes us as flexible as possible and allows us to respond quickly to any new demand. Not to mention the current installation’s sustainability and safety.
But it has been a long and difficult journey to get there.
As the market leader in rendering capacity, price, reliability, and delivery speed, how does RebusFarm continue to innovate and stay ahead in the industry?
I am happy that you ask that. We strive to be the driving force of development in the 3D render farm / render cloud industry. We’ve been working on a new release of our system that affects all aspects of our services. The primary purpose of the new update is to significantly improve the interaction and “fluffiness” of our ControlCenter. Soon, users will receive instant feedback on rendering results, which will transmit the feeling of using a simplified local render farm. Furthermore, we are developing a sub-system to support unlimited huge teams with a user-friendly management interface and graded team administration.
Considering the advancements in AI, there is a growing concern about its potential impact on the future of architectural visualization. What are your thoughts on the potential role of AI in the industry, and do you see it as a threat or an opportunity for RebusFarm? How does RebusFarm plan to navigate and manage this potential change?
The results of AI are impressive but, especially in architectural visualization, precision matters. AI must be able to build a 100% accurate visualization of an architectural draft. The use of AI in filmmaking is still in its early stages, and it is difficult to predict what quality AI systems will be capable of producing in the future. I think it will not be able to replace human-made architectural visualization in the next few years.
Given the increasing concern for the environment and RebusFarm’s commitment to environmental issues, could you elaborate on how RebusFarm addresses the ecological impact of architectural visualization and strives for sustainability? Specifically, how does RebusFarm integrate green energy solutions and promote sustainability in the industry?
In your opinion, how do you envision the future of architectural visualization in terms of incorporating sustainable design and environmentally conscious practices?
Since 2006, our render farm has been powered by green energy. Artists who rendered with us produced no CO2 compared to what they would have if they had used their own machines because we are completely CO2-neutral. By offering our render service, we significantly reduced the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.
We are devoted to preserving the environment, so we give our clients the chance to view the actual CO2 and nuclear waste reduction with their renderings at RebusFarm. See how much CO2 and atomic waste you can save by rendering with us by using the CostCalculator on our website, which offers this information.
“Since 2006, our render farm has been powered by green energy.
Artists who rendered with us produced no CO2 compared to what they would have if they had used their own machines.”
RebusFarm plays a significant role in the architectural visualization community, offering initiatives such as the “3D Artist of the Month Contest” and various competitions that provide exposure and visibility to many artists. Could you tell us more about RebusFarm’s commitment to supporting and promoting artists in the community, and do these initiatives contribute to the overall growth and recognition of talented individuals in the field?
We are extremely delighted to have grown the 3D community that we have today, and we are even more delighted to interact with this community to support all these talented 3D artists in becoming renowned, especially those, who have just embarked on their careers. Our platform is not only a push for artists in the 3D industry, but it is also a place for inspiration, creativity and exchange. We will always continue to grow it and we are sincerely grateful for the positive impact RebusFarm has on the 3D community because we are aware of the significant difference we make in the careers of many 3D artists.
“Doing the right thing in an ethical, social, and interpersonal context is always important to me. Love is always more important than money.”
Reflecting on your career journey, what would you consider to be the most pivotal and significant moment thus far? Furthermore, if you had the opportunity to go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self based on the experiences and insights gained along the way?
Doing the right thing in an ethical, social, and interpersonal context is always important to me. Of course, you want to be successful and earn money, but this means nothing to me if the previously specified conditions are not met. Love is always more important than money.
Thank you, Ralph, for sharing your story with us! In the Archviz community, we are fortunate to have RebusFarm, a company that genuinely cares about ecology and the people behind their renderings. So, a heartfelt thank you from all of us!
Interviz #8 – 21.08.2023 by Sélène Vilaseca