Cloud News & Insights

Cloud-Based Rendering – the Logical Next Step for Render Farms



With more Hollywood magic being computer-generated, huge server arrays to handle rendering have become a staple of major VFX and animation studios. Third-party render farms have also become important players due to this market demand and the increasing need for computing power has resulted in impressive technological breakthroughs. Afterall, rendering is an expensive business.

There are thousands of computers that need to be maintained and cooled. Security is also an essential concern – a leak can be devastating for any movie studio. The electricity costs for a render farm can run into millions of dollars annually, ruling out small company take-up. However, cloud service providers offer processing and storage services both to visual effects studios and to existing render farms, allowing everyone to save.

Rendering in the cloud: a no-brainer?

It is important to note that huge strides have been made in cloud security. If the security of cloud computing is good enough for institutions like the Pentagon and the United States Department of Defense or for important financial institutions and banks around the world, then it certainly can be adapted to the security needs of visual effects studios! Another concern about cloud rendering is data latency due to the huge size of the files involved. However, the monetary advantages are too substantial to be foregone.

Why cloud-based rendering is inevitable from a financial point of view

The main advantage of cloud service providers is: computing resources on demand. Expensive local render farms maintained by large visual effects studios no longer make sense economically. A render farm costs millions of dollars to maintain even when it is not being used. People need to be hired to guard and maintain the computers and infrastructure costs can be huge. Cloud service providers offer render farms and visual effects studios huge savings with no operational side-effects.

Another of cloud’s strong points is scalability: only paying for what you need. One studio that has embraced this move is Warner Brothers.. Additionally, since many cloud vendors are not located in California, using their services makes many California-based studios eligible for huge tax rebates applicable in other states.

Assuaging render farms’ concerns

Cloud service providers must pay attention to their data latency, making clear promises on what kind of latency is acceptable. Dedicated data lines are key, making sure that data flows at all times. Safety is no longer a big concern.

Cloud service providers can mirror security protocols used in local render farms or visual effects studios. A computer can be locked down physically, completely preventing access from outside parties. It is as simple as getting an independent security audit from a third party. You’ll be surprised by the results, in a positive way.

The Asian panorama for cloud-based render farms

Asia is a major market for cloud-based rendering and will continue to grow in the future. India produces the most movies in the world, not Hollywood. Other huge movie producers in the region include Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Many studios in these countries do not have the infrastructure or resources to support a full-time render farm, meaning that cloud-based rendering is a welcome enhancement to business.

Be Part of Our Cloud Conversation

Our articles are written to provide you with tools and information to meet your IT and cloud solution needs. Join us on Facebook and Twitter.


About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

Share on LinkedIn

Comments are closed.