Google getting into cloud-based visual effects with Zync buy

Previously a proud Amazon EC2 customer, the visual effects provider is also moving over to Google Cloud Platform.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Google is acquiring Zync Inc., bolstering the internet giant's cloud-based offerings for creative professionals.


Founded in 2011, the Boston-based company's flagship product is Zync Render, a cloud-based rendering and storage platform both 2D and 3D applications. The platform consists of scalable compute, licensing, storage and data transfer features for rendering visual effects software and files within Zync's supported host applications.

On its website, Zync touts that it builds products for smaller creative teams, but some of the results might be familiar to wider audiences. Zync's portfolio has contributed to the production of a number of Hollywood films, including American Hustle, Looper, and Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Google product manager Belwadi Srikanth noted in a blog post on Tuesday morning that most studios don't have the necessary resources for in-house rendering or compute capacity.

It looks like Mountain View wants to fill this gap.

"Together Zync and Cloud Platform will offer studios the rendering performance and capacity they need, while helping them manage costs," Srikanth explained. "For example, with per-minute billing studios aren’t trapped into paying for unused capacity when their rendering needs don’t fit in perfect hour increments."

Zync has also been a customer of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) cloud hosting to now, citing on its website that EC2 "is the only public-cloud that meets or exceeds MPAA security requirements with a Best Practices rating award."

Nevertheless, the Zync team confirmed that the service will be moved over to the Google Cloud Platform, singing an expectedly different tune:

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. 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.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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