Maya customers will now be able to easily use Google's for ZYNC render on Google Cloud with a new highly parallelized version of Maya optimized for cloud deployments.  Autodesk today announced that it is collaborating with Google to provide Maya customers with the ability to render 3D scenes created in Autodesk Maya on Google Cloud Platform ZYNC Render. Artists will be able to register with ZYNC Render and render images using a new cloud-optimized Maya service.

ZYNC Render will now fully support for Pixar’s RenderMan. Built-in licensing and Maya support is already available for V-Ray and Arnold. ZYNC users will now be able to spin up 500 machines per account, scaling to 32,000 rendering cores, which is pretty impressive! Maya customers could see up to a 10x improvement in efficiency due to the new system. This should allow multiple rendering jobs to start instantaneously, cutting wait time and accelerating production.

The service uses a ZYNC Render plugin for Maya to render 3D scenes on Google Cloud Platform. You can use any of the Maya-supported renderers on ZYNC (currently Arnold, V-Ray and RenderMan). Pricing starts at $0.60/hr. This is an exclusive arrangement with Google (it does not look like there will be matching services on Amazon or Microsoft Azure).

ZYNC Render uses a new specially developed, highly parallelized, Maya software to render on Google Cloud Platform which has been optimized to run as micro-services (cloud instances) at an unprecedented level of computational granularity (cores per minute). This is required to effectively execute and scale Maya processes on the cloud and increases cloud rendering performance by an order of magnitude. Combined with the scalability, per-minute pricing, security (cloud rendering is typically as secure if not more secure than most private networks) and performance of Google Cloud Platform, studios of all sizes and individual artists can tap effectively infinite render farm in the cloud.
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What's changed?
Of course, you could use Maya before with ZYNC, but it was a lot harder and this new deal represents advances at both ends of the process. Firstly, the version running on the cloud is new and much more optimized. Secondly, 'technically' you now have a licensing agreement that allows you to legally render in the cloud with greater ease at your computer. Autodesk did not previously have a version of Maya that could be licensed to run in a cloud deployment. To use ZYNC before required an artists to execute Maya processes on remote virtual computers.

Autodesk began beta testing the new capabilities late last year and has developed a cloud-optimized Maya service that they are now launching in collaboration with Google Cloud Platform ZYNC Render. These optimizations have resulted in rendering efficiencies that are often an order-of-magnitude greater, providing a tremendous gain in rendering throughput.

3dsMax,for now, is not supported at ZYNC, but here at fxguide you can read about the Autodesk Arnold deal also announced today. This deal will most likely lead to Arnold for 3dsMax which in turn will mean 3dsMax users will also have a ZYNC option in the not to distant future, although this is not being discussed by Autodesk yet.

Google Cloud Platform ZYNC Render gives artists flexible scalable rendering capacity and allows much better scaling to meet production deadlines. ZYNC provides users with a secure, cost-effective means of rendering images without having to invest in building a render farm or managing hardware. Render farms are complex to manage, require not only the hardware of the computers but also serious power and air-conditioning sub-systems. They also can just take up a lot of space, space that can be used for artists workstations if your farm is not co-located. We first witnessed this five years ago, when ZYNC first started.

fxguide visited a new vfx house setup in a funky converted warehouse style setting in 2011 (this was pre-ZYNC + Google). Next to the coffee machine was a small curtain, no smaller than a tiny broom cupboard. We literally pulled back the curtain to see their "equipment room" and there was virtually nothing, - no tapes, no blade servers, no massive SANs, no huge LTO library, just one switch and a cable going into the wall... and that is their entire equipment room. Such companies avoided an equipment room by deploying cloud rendering.

At the time we were stunned to see a company growing and working without a vast computer system, - this was one of the first ZYNC customers and working this way in 2011 was unusual. Today, the virtualisation of computer rooms and the use of the cloud is vastly more common, especially in high end facilities. Given the highly variable needs of production with ‘crunch-times’ and ‘downtimes’, cloud-based rendering allows you to scale up and down based on your needs. Google Cloud Platform is one of only a few providers to allow studios to pay by the minute only for what artists render.

As part of the announcement today Autodesk Senior Vice President Chris Bradshaw commented “Cloud-based rendering has opened new doors for creative facilities of all kinds, making it easy to scale rendering to project demands, and we’re excited to bring this new value-add to customers,” said Bradshaw. “Maya customers can now scale productions quickly and efficiently while also adding rendering capacity – without additional hardware. And Maya is only the beginning as our teams continue to explore how we might expand this functionality to other M&E products as well.”

Find out more by checking out the ZYNC website for full details on pricing and availability. You can try it for free, as all new ZYNC accounts receive $300 in Google Cloud Platform credits that can be used to try the service (note: these credits will expire within 60 days after you first register).


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