Before we start: The options described below are designed for use when Team Render is used in conjunction with multiple computers to render a single image (i.e., not an animation).
Caches are used by various functions during rendering. A cache is a collection of data that is temporarily saved (cached) during rendering. Caches can, for example, be found in GI (Irradiance Cache) or in the Subsurface Scattering’s Cache mode.
When using Team Render, the options described here determine if all computers will work together to calculate a single cache (options enabled) and subsequently render using this cache, or if each computer will render its own cache (options disabled). In most cases, rendering will be faster if all computers work together for a single cache. It’s also preferable to have an identical cache for all computers because this will, in the best case, produce an identical render result for all computers. If, on the other hand, each computer calculates its own cache, render inaccuracies in the various caches can result in different render results. This means that the output image will have visible bucket outlines (the square regions that each computer renders).
Enabling these options is generally recommended. When should one or more be disabled?
When using Team Render, it takes a while for the computers involved to coordinate with each other. Especially when working on very simple projects, this "overhead" can require more time than if each computer were to calculate its own cache. For example, if the Irradiance Cache calculation only requires a few seconds on a single computer, it wouldn’t make sense to do this using all computers. In this case, the corresponding option can be disabled.
All in all, you simply have to determine whether or not enabling these options is advantageous for a given project.
If the Team Render server (the computer on which Team Render is initiated) has access to an existing cache file and Auto Load is enabled in the corresponding Cache settings, the saved cache file will be distributed across all computers (ideally, the existing cache file was created by a single computer without using Team Render - only then can you be 100% sure that no buckets will be visible in the rendering).
Note that the Team Render will only save cache files (if Auto Save is enabled) if the corresponding option is enabled.
This is a Subsurface Scattering cache (see Mode
If enabled, the Ambient Occlusion cache (see Enable Cache) will be distributed to the Team Render computers.
If enabled, the Irradiance Cache (see Irradiance Cache) will be distributed to the Team Render computers.
If enabled, the Light Map cache will be distributed to the Team Render computers.
If enabled, the Radiosity Map cache will be distributed to the Team Render computers. This is the only option that is disabled by default. Radiosity Maps are very large and require a great deal of time for network trafficking. They are also difficult to render as a distributed file. This option can be enabled in the following cases: