Google and Autodesk have teamed up to offer the latter's Maya 3D modeling and animation software as a hosted cloud rendering service.
The new Autodesk Maya for Cloud Platform ZYNC Render will give studios and artists a way to tap the power of Google's cloud infrastructure to significantly boost rendering performance, the companies said in separate announcements Monday.
The arrangement will allow developers and artists to continue working with rendering tools they already are familiar with and use on a regular basis while tapping the global reach and computational power of Google's cloud infrastructure.
"Cloud-based rendering has opened new doors for creative facilities of all kinds," said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president at Autodesk said in a statement. Cloud services make it easier to scale projects quickly while also making more rendering capacity available without requiring investments in additional hardware, Bradshaw said.
In a blog post, Todd Prives, Google's product manager for the Google Cloud Platform, said the cloud-optimized version of Autodesk Maya would use a Maya plug-in to transfer 3D images and scenes to Google's Compute Engine while the artist is working on the desktop. "Maya is capable of running on the artist's workstation and also in the cloud on [Google Cloud Platform]," he said. "This allows artists to run massively parallel rendering far more efficiently than before — taking advantage of the scalability, performance, and price benefits," of Google's cloud infrastructure, Prives said.
He claimed that the cloud version of Maya would deliver a 10-fold improvement in file upload performance compared to the standard, non-cloud optimized version of the rendering technology. The better file uploads supported by the cloud hosted service will also allow rendering jobs to start almost instantaneously without the usual wait times.
The new cloud-hosted Zync Render service will allow developers to use multiple Maya-supported renderers to rend scenes including Renderman and Arnold, a rendering technology that Autodesk acquired this week via its purchase of Solid Angle. Pricing for the new service starts at $0.60 per hour, according to Autodesk.
Google announced the Autodesk partnership at this week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show in Las Vegas along with news of several other recent updates to its cloud platform offerings for the media and entertainment industry.
The company for instance, used the show to announce general availability of its recently introduced Cloud Vision API for classifying and analyzing images. As part of the release, Google announced two new features for the API, one for logo recognition and the other for recognizing images containing particular types of text, like that in a receipt.
Google also used NAB to launch a beta version of a cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) for accelerating content delivery by caching it on the edge of the network, and therefore, closer to end-users.