A render farm is a group of computers that work together to render frames of an animated or visual effects shot. Using a render farm can greatly speed up your rendering while also leaving your computer workstation available for you to continue working on other shots. For example, if you have a shot that is 100 frames long and each frame takes 10 minutes to render on your workstation, you will have to wait 1000 minutes (16.7 hours) for your shot to finish rendering. However, if you have a render farm comprised of 20 computers that are each as powerful as your workstation, your shot would render in just 50 minutes.
CalArts has a render farm that supports Maya, Cinema 4D, and After Effects jobs. Our render farm queue management software is called Deadline and it is made by AWS Thinkbox. Using the render farm is highly recommended for Maya and Cinema 4D projects. For instructions on how to use the render farm, you can find the following tech docs on the support page.