Online digital-effects service Zync Render ascends to Google Cloud

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Google Cloud Platform has acquired Zync Render, the cloud-based digital effects rendering service which has been used for such recent features as FLIGHT, AMERICAN HUSTLE, STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, and LOOPER.

“Rendering” refers to the creation of motion pictures from detailed mathematical descriptions, which have been created by digital-effects artists. To efficiently perform the calculations which create the pictures, many computers are set to work together in networks, called “render farms.” The computers are specially made to do the math and do it as quickly as possible. Large amounts of electricity are consumed, and large amounts of heat are generated.

Many studios have neither the resources nor the desire to create their own render farms; or their in-house rendering may require extra rendering capacity but, for only a very short time, observed Google Cloud Product Manager Belwadi Srikanth.

“Zync and Cloud Platform will offer studios the rendering performance and capacity they need, while helping them manage costs,” Srikanth explained. “For example, with per-minute billing studios aren’t trapped into paying for unused capacity when their rendering needs don’t fit in perfect hour increments.”

Zync Render provides distributed rendering, job dependencies, references, pooled images between multiple host applications, and advanced job monitoring for digital-effects application software including Maya, Nuke, V-Ray for Maya, Mental Ray Standalone, and Arnold for Maya, along with plug-ins like GenArts Sapphire, Furnace, and Ocula.

Zync Render was started in 2011 at Boston, Massachusetts visual effects studio ZERO VFX.