Ranch Computing is still doing good work and still supports Terragen. We're grateful to them for being the first major render farm to support Terragen and for the partnership we had with them. But as Ty mentions, Pixel Plow was basically built with Terragen in mind and as a result it's simply a nicer, smoother, more flexible system to work with than any other currently available option.
Pixel Plow is also much more cost-effective, and with our animation-capable versions of Terragen starting at only $349 (Creative + Animation), we saw rendering costs becoming far more expensive than the initial software investment and that's rather discouraging to people actually wanting to take advantage of their animation features. We knew we had to find a way to make animation rendering more affordable for everyone. Pixel Plow is an excellent partner for realizing that goal.
You're going to see more Terragen animation from Planetside as a result of this, but the real hope is that we see more from *you*! The great thing is that even a simple camera move can really make a scene come alive, and so many of you have scenes that are animation-worthy. It doesn't take much. If you can get your render time down to 20 minutes or so per frame (at 1080p or 720p), you can render a nice 10 seconds of HD animation for $10-$15! Test renders at lower resolution to check motion, etc. will be just a couple of dollars. Getting a full-motion view of your favorite scene for under $20 seems like a pretty worthwhile investment, no?
We're working on other ways to make animating more affordable too...
Kadri, I did a quick test of a 1080p image that takes 4 hours and 45 minutes to render on my i7 3.4Ghz quad core here (I intentionally chose a long-rendering, demanding scene). I rendered it at low priority on Pixel Plow just to get a baseline and it took a little under 45 minutes, about 6.5 times faster. Total cost was $1.42.
At that price you could easily render at Medium or High priority (cost would be ~$7 at High priority) and it would deliver about 3x faster at High (tiled rendering is not as efficient with resources as as distributed animation frames, and you will see greater advantages on higher resolution images too). So you can choose how important speed is to you and pay accordingly, and even at High priority the pricing is still very competitive. Also you can of course be rendering or building something else on your local machine while something is going on the farm, which is a handy way to experiment and keep your workflow going while rendering a high resolution still or animation.