Render Wrangler

Monitor the process of turning computer models into movie special effects.
picture of Render Wrangler

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $100,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Render Wranglers do?

The word “farm” can be a touch schizophrenic: To a Farmer, it’s land used for growing crops. To a Film Producer, however, it’s a cluster of computers used to create special effects under the watchful eye of a Render Wrangler.

If you’re that Render Wrangler, it’s your job to manage what’s called a “render farm,” which is a group of computers that convert 3D models into 2D images for use in feature films.

Whether it’s the characters in “Avatar” or the recreation of the Titanic in “Titanic,” movies’ special effects are created digitally by 3D Modelers, 3D Animators, and Visual Effects Artists. To be seen on film, however, effects must be converted from “models” into “images.” That conversion process is called rendering, and it’s kind of like taking a photograph: The Artist sets up the shot, then the Photographer — the Render Wrangler — takes and develops the photo.

Because rendering software converts one pixel at a time, the process is slow and can sometimes take hundreds of computers working continuously for thousands of hours. It’s your responsibility to manage the entire operation, which involves prioritizing files and allocating them to computers for rendering, then monitoring those computers for errors while making sure the server has enough space to store the rendered files.

Like a Rodeo Performer with cattle, your job is wrangling computers and files in order to move special effects from hard drives to movie screens!

Should I be a Render Wrangler?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to become a Render Wrangler

    Most Render Wranglers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aut9aa&chl=|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%2819%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2862%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,62
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