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Render Wrangler - Career Profile
What does a Render Wrangler do? Where does a Render Wrangler work? ACR takes a look:
About Render Wranglers
The words “render” and “wrangler” may sound funny together, but this position is as serious as they come. Render wranglers, also called “technical resource administrators” (TRA), are accustomed to high pressure environments. The job might require the wrangler to monitor and control the rendering process, and monitor a few computers or an entire render farm of hundreds of machines. Render wranglers monitor the computers to ensure I/O of data across various file systems and initiate data moves to allocate disk space. Render wranglers communicate producers, supervisors, resource managers, coordinators, animators, and other artists in various departments.
Render Wrangler Jobs
When artists submit completed data for rendering, the render wrangler prioritizes work and allocates machines. They monitor the computers around the clock to make sure there are no technical or computer problems that could hinder successful output. According to Skillset Animation, rendering can be required in the planning stages and throughout production, including development and tests for models, animation, effects, lighting, etc. Although Animators usually check their own work in progress, animation may need to be rendered to view subtle movements such as facial expressions. Render wranglers work with compositors about the delivery of final rendered CG elements.
Render wranglers work for animation studios, film and video production companies, and gaming companies.
Render Wrangler Salaries
Render wrangler salaries vary by company type and size, geographic location, experience, and other factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary information for render wranglers, but sites such as Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com do provide some salary information for positions throughout the U.S. Indeed.com reports that render wranglers working in Glendale, CA average $39,000 per year and across the map in Bristol, CT., they average around $35,000 per year. Redwood City, CA render wranglers average $47,000 per year, according to the site.
Becoming a Render Wrangler
Although render wrangler is an entry-level position, a degree is still required for entry into this field. Common degree paths include computer animation, computer science, or art-related degree with an animation or CGI focus. Render wranglers must have a high degree of computer literacy and advanced knowledge of 3D packages such as 3D Studio Max, XSI, or Maya. Many employers prefer experience in Linux, Shell scripting, and basic administration experience as well.
Writing and organizational skills are important and the ability to work with a group and unsupervised. Many render wranglers work the night shift, so the ability to work alone and solve problems on your own is essential.
Job Trends for Render Wranglers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report employment growth for render wranglers. However, because render wranglers work in the animation and film and video industries, employment growth for them may be similar to employment growth for professionals working in these industries. As long as the animation and film and video industries continue to grow, there will always be a need for render wranglers.
Employment growth for animators is expected to average 14 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. This is higher than any other field in the artists and related workers category. Wage and salary employment in the motion picture and video industries is also expected to average 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, compared with 11 percent growth projected for wage and salary employment in all industries combined.