Google Launches First Beta Of Its Zync Visual Effects Renderer On Google Cloud Platform

Google, the largest subsidiary corporation of Alphabet, wants movie studios to use its cloud to render their special effects.

Last August, Google acquired Zync, a visual effects rendering service that allows studios and independent artists to render their works in the cloud. Today, the company announced that it will open up the first beta of Zync on its Cloud Platform next week on August 20.

Zync’s technology has been used to render effects in movies like Star Trek: Into Darkness, Looper and Flight.

Artists who want to use Zync can now sign up for the beta and get $300 in Cloud Platform credits to try the service. That should be enough for roughly 100 hours of free rendering.

The service can work with popular tools like Maya, Nuke, VRay, Arnold and (soon) Pixar’s Renderman.

“We are thrilled to announce RenderMan’s upcoming integration with Zync by Google Cloud Platform,” said Chris Ford, RenderMan Business Director at Pixar Animation Studios, in today’s announcement. “When the integration is released in the near future, RenderMan users will have easy access to Google’s incredible cloud rendering infrastructure, for convenient access to burst computing power to meet animation and VFX deadlines.”

The Zync render has a built-in cost calculator so users will have a general idea how much their rendering job will cost.

Google says artists will get access to 1,600 dedicated Compute Engine cores to run their jobs (I assume these cores were optimized for Zync). Users also get access to support (with a 4-hour response time) during business hours.

As Google noted when it acquired Zync, the company believes that even though many studies have their own render farms already, many of them “don’t have the resources or desire to create an in-house rendering farm, or they need to burst past their existing capacity.”

When Google acquired Zync last year, the company’s services were optimized for use on Amazon’s EC2 service. It’s no surprise that Google is now brining it to its own platform as well. Unsurprisingly, all mentions of Amazon have now been banned from Zync’s homepage and all of the tutorials now exclusively focus on Google Cloud Platform.

It’s worth noting that both Amazon and Google have occasionally highlighted their cloud platforms’ capabilities as render farms, but what they don’t have is a software solution that makes it easy for studios to tap into that.