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Google acquires visual effects cloud rendering company Zync Render

updated 06:07 pm EDT, Tue August 26, 2014

Company to join Google Cloud Platform team, visual effects rendering services to continue

Google's cloud offerings are growing to include services aimed at the movie industry today, thanks to the addition of a rendering technology that utilizes the elasticity of cloud computing. The search giant posted on the Google Cloud Platform Blog announcing that it acquired Zync Render, a company that specializes in flexible tools that use the cloud to store and render visual effects for films.

Zync Render was born out of the idea that deadlines are often shifting in the movie industry, leaving polished visual effects harder to come by in shorter periods of time. The company created a tool that gave studios the power they need to render 2D and 3D items quickly through cloud computing in a user-friendly package. Notable films including Looper, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon have utilized the service.

On top of rendering functions, the company also offered licensing, storage and data transfer. Zync previously utilized Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud service prior to the Google acquisition. Zync was offered through a stand-alone application, but also worked directly in apps like Maya and Mental Ray through a plug-in. It's unknown if these tools will be changed or offered in another capacity through Google.

Studios often have a need for infrastructure to render visual effects, on top of having a team to put them together. By having the technology in place from an outside service, the movie industry has more options to look to other than some high-profile studios like Industrial Light and Magic or Weta. By acquiring Zync Render, Google can offer film studios the capacity to come up with visual effects without having to build out large computer facilities or expand the ones they already have.

"Since its inception at visual effects studio Zero VFX nearly five years ago, Zync was designed to not only leverage the benefits and flexibilities inherent in cloud computing but to offer this in a user-friendly package," read Zync Render's website. "Pairing this history with 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). With a friction-free, affordable, and elastic rendering solution, visual designers and artists in the industry can continue to do their best work."

To support the packages and pricing pieces that Zync Render brought up, Google confirmed that it would be coming up with services that meet performance and cost needs. In the announcement post, Product Manager Belwadi Srikanth said that options like per-minute billing would be available. That way, when capacity isn't used or doesn't fit neatly into a time block, the studios will be able to cut back on cost.

Details on the deal weren't outlined in the statements made by the companies involved. However, both companies stated that they were excited to work with one another. Srikanth stated that Google would have more details on the rendering program in the future.

by MacNN Staff



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