With this high level of computing ability, it is possible to create computer generated imagery. This is typically done for television and film special effects. While in the past a large number of computers were placed in one room and set up to handle images separately, now these computers can all be tied together. Additionally, one computer system can be a render farm of its own, provided its ability to perform high-end CGI techniques exists. A computer cluster is most commonly used, but the number of computers in that cluster can vary from just a couple of computers with high level abilities to hundreds of computers.
There are both on-site and cloud-based render farms, as computers and computing both continue to evolve and change. With high-speed internet access, a number of cloud computing services are now offering render farms or the ability to operate them, simply because the technology and the speed are both there to do this. That allows companies that need AI and CGI for their projects to focus on what the cloud can do for them, and this can significantly reduce the cost of a render farm and the time needed to create it and use it to its fullest advantage. While not all companies use render farms, they can have strong results.
In the case of very large render farms, queue managers are required to ensure that everything continues to move through the process the way it should. Smaller farms may not require this, and if the cloud is used it is possible for a company to allow someone outside of their organization to manage the queue so they can move on to other things. Client-server packages are used for the software, and this allows communication between the queue manager and the processors. Without the need for a company to build its own rendering solution, much more can get done with a render farm in the cloud.