Google today announced that it has acquired Zync Render, a service that makes it easier for movie studios to render their visual effects in the cloud. The technology was used to render effects in movies like Star Trek: Into Darkness and Looper, for example. Google will use the technology to make it easier for studios to use its Cloud Platform infrastructure to render their creations.
Currently, ZYNC is optimized for work on Amazon’s EC2 service, but Google will now integrate it into its Cloud Platform. ZYNC says its technology has been used to produce “over a dozen” feature films and hundreds of commercials, for a total of 6.5 million core hours of rendering time.
As Google notes today, it typically takes a very powerful infrastructure to render the special effects in a movie. Most studios have their own render farms for this. Those studios would only need a cloud service to sometimes burst their capacity to finish a job faster. Others, however, don’t have access to their own servers (or don’t want to deal with them), and for them, the cloud is the only way to render their effects.
Google says it will offer studios per-minute billing, but otherwise, the company remains pretty quiet about its exact plans for this service. The ZYNC team itself notes that it believes that “the scale and reliability of Google Cloud Platform will help us offer an even better service to our customers — including more scalability, more host packages and better pricing (including per-minute billing).”
It’s worth noting that Amazon has regularly positioned its platform as a solution for rendering visual effects, too. Indeed, it currently features a case study around Atomic Fiction‘s work on Star Trek: Into Darkness — the same movie ZYNC also worked on. Microsoft, too, has occasionally brought up its cloud’s suitability for this kind of work.